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Image from the Government Printing Office’s website. Last Friday, Maryland’s intermediate appellate court treated the Supreme Court’s Heller opinion as doing nothing to change the Maryland Court of Special Appeals’ 2005 ruling that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states. Williams v. Maryland, ___ Md....

Today is World Press Freedom Day. Caring little if at all for the First Amendment's prohibition against "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" Donald Trump bears utter contempt for the press. Only four days before World Press Freedom Day, Trump lumped all "mainstream media" as fake. Before Trump was elected, his campaign penned in reporters at his rallies, thus barring them from interviewing attendees, and leaving reporters on display for Trump's supporters to harangue with chants of "tell the truth" and "CNN sucks". Trump has declined to answer news conference questions from news organization(s) he is at odds with. Trump's handlers not long ago barred various major news organizations from a press briefing. Ever thin-skinned but taunting-tongued, Trump would love nothing better than to water down First Amendment protections against libel lawsuits against the press, which he cannot accomplish without getting the First Amendment amended.

With the Trump administration likely will come a continued increase in immigration raids. Hopefully the subjects of those raids will know their Fifth Amendment right to refuse to state their immigration status. This all reminds me of my immigration law professor's emphasis on the importance of asserting "El Cinco" or any other effective language to assert the Fifth Amendment when admitting undocumented presence in the United States could spell detention and deportation proceedings.

Bill of Rights. (From the public domain.) It is sad enough when cops urinate on people’s Constitutional rights, and sad even more when judges allow a subsequent conviction grounded on such violations. Julian Madison-Sheppard learned that firsthand, after being unlawfully detained by cops on an insufficient description...

Legalize marijuana as much as alcohol is legalized, and our civil liberties will flourish exponentially. Police repeatedly troll for marijuana odor, to seize on such odor as probable cause to search for marijuana and other contraband. The District of Columbia heavily decriminalized marijuana to address racial disparities in police pot arrests. Convicting and jailing marijuana consumers converts countless otherwise law-abiding citizens into convicted and jailed criminals. Even if marijuana is legalized, I doubt I will use it. This is a matter of freedom of choice. Similarly, even if handgun laws are further liberalized -- with Second Amendment rights having particular teeth in my state of Virginia -- I do not expect to be buying any firearms (although I enjoyed target-shooting .22 single-shot rifles in summer camp).

Fairfax criminal lawyer on criminal liability for discharging a firearm indoors in Virginia. Unlawful firearm discharge indoors is a Class 4 or 6 felony in Virginia (depending on whether malice is involved), respectively carrying up to ten and five years in prison. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that Virginia -- compared to other states -- has particularly favorable laws for possessing and carrying handguns/firearms. Nonetheless, that does not mean that the Virginia law tolerates unsafe use of firearms.

Alcohol and guns do not mix. Inside defendant/appellant Marvin Hines's home, Wayne Hudson -- drunk since the previous afternoon -- was in "the heat of this out-of-control temper tantrum," while having a gun in his hand. Hines walked away to obtain Hines's own handgun and to return in the hopes that doing so would de-escalate the tense situation.