Signed into Law: Two California Bills to Protect Privacy Against Warrantless Surveillance

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2015) – Today, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law not just one, but two bills putting into place privacy protections among the strongest in the country. The new laws work together to protect privacy from some of the worst spying programs on the state level, and also take on a part of the federal surveillance state.


Nullification in Effect: Oregon Governor Signs Law to Further Implement Marijuana Legalization

SALEM, Ore. (July 8, 2015) – On July 1, marijuana officially became legal in Oregon, effectively nullifying federal prohibition in practice in the Beaver State.

And even as the new law went into effect, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed another bill into law that will take Oregon’s effort to nullify in practice the federal the war on weed to the next level.


Surprise: Law Professor Misinterprets Supremacy Clause

Have you ever read an article that you were not sure what stance the author takes on the subject but presents both sides of the argument at once? I had the distinguished experience recently when I was reading the article titled “Sheriffs, State Lawmakers Push Back on Gun Control” on the Newsmax website (see: It was a little confusing until I got about half way through it and read a quote by Sam Kamin.

Sam is a constitutional law professor at the University of Denver. One would think that if someone was a law professor that they would actually know and understand the law. Or in this case, a constitutional law professor – who should then know and understand the constitution. It is highly unfortunate when people like Sam misspeak about a subject. Their title gives them some credibility so people think what they say is true because they are supposedly an “expert”. But, when they make a mistake it is still a mistake.

The Supremacy Clause of Article VI, Clause 2 reads:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Sam makes the comment that state legislatures can pass any laws they want but that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution makes such actions unconstitutional. He further states that when there is a conflict between state and federal law, the federal government is supreme. Nothing could be farther from the truth. His blanket statement implies that the state laws are not necessary and state governments are not necessary because the federal government and its laws are supreme.