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The Third Circuit, Animal Cruelty, the First Amendment and (maybe) the Supreme Court:  At Volokh Conspiracy Jonathan Adler predicts that the Third Circuit's en banc decision in United States v. Stevens, could get a chance to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Adler reports that the Third Circuit had found that depictions of animal cruelty are protected by the First Amendment and struck down  federal law 18 U.S.C. § 48, prohibiting the production, sale, and possession of depictions of "animal cruelty."  Monday, the Solicitor General filed a petition for certiorari in the case.  Adler predicts that because "the Court usually agrees to review decisions striking down federal statutes... the chances for certiorari are pretty good."

California Appellate Court Rejects Second Amendment Challenge:
  At Sentencing Law and Policy Doug Berman provides a link to today's decision in People v. Yarbrough, No. A120721 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. Dec. 17, 2008). The defendant in the case was convicted of carrying a concealed firearm (Pen. ‎Code, § ‎‎12025, subd. (a)(2)), and carrying a loaded firearm in a public place (Pen. Code, ‎‎§ 12031, subd. ‎‎(a)(1)).‎  In his appeal he claimed, among other things, that his conviction of possession of a concealed ‎weapon ‎violated the Second Amendment.  The court decided today to uphold the judgment, concluding "that the conviction of ‎possession of a concealed ‎weapon does not contravene defendant's Second Amendment ‎rights as interpreted in the United ‎States Supreme Court's decision in District of ‎Columbia v. Heller..."  

Senate Judiciary Committee: David Ingram at BLT has this post on how the Minnesota recount and the filling of Pres-elect Obama's seat may affect the composition of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "A bigger committee margin potentially gives a majority party a greater ability to limit difficult questions from the opposition, as well as some wiggle room in the case of controversial nominees."

Cone v. Bell: A different take on the oral argument in this case is available on SCOTUSblog, written by Josh Friedman, a Stanford law student who worked on the brief for the petitioner. Our previous post, by Kent Scheidegger, who wrote an amicus brief supporting the respondent, is here.

The Right to Bear Yagers: Eugene Volokh has this post on an 1869 Oregon gun rights statute.


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