ConstitutionIn California on August 20, U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel denied a request by the federal government in Santa Cruz v. Mukasey to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Santa Cruz city and the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana that accuses the federal government of unconstitutionally trying to nullify California's medical marijuana laws.

Handgun graphicThe Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller struck down a prohibition against handguns but also allowed for more regulation of guns.

Sen. Carl LevinA Senate Armed Services Committee hearing held on June 17 made public several documents from the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including a chart that outlined the use of “coercive management techniques” by military interrogators. Subsequent information revealed by the New York Times on July 2, after the newspaper had been tipped off by “an independent expert on interrogation who spoke on condition of anonymity,” indicated that the chart used at Guantanamo had been copied from a 1957 article, “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War.” The article had been written by Alfred D. Biderman, a sociologist then working for the Air Force. Authorities at Guantanamo dropped the chart’s original title: “Communist Coercive Methods for Eliciting Individual Compliance.”

Dept. of Homeland Security In the face of a widespread rebellion among the states against the unfunded Real ID mandate, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on June 20 demonstration grant awards totaling nearly $80 million to assist states in implementing Real ID for their driver’s licenses.

Randy BrogdonOn March 13 the Oklahoma House passed House Joint Resolution 1089, sponsored by Rep. Charles Key and Sen. Randy Brogdon, “claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over certain powers,” by an overwhelming vote of 92 to 3. Opponents of the measure in the Senate managed to keep it from being debated and voted on before this year’s legislative session ended.