Duncan Confirmed!
LFF Commentary | April 2018

LFF 's Gene Mills presenting the
2011 Gladiator Award to Kyle Duncan,
then La. Asst. Attorney General.

Congratulations to Kyle Duncan, the newly confirmed Judge for the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, by a vote of 50-47!

LFF especially thanks Louisiana’s two U.S. Senators, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, for their ardent support in stewarding this important nominee through the Senate confirmation process.

Life, liberty and limited government are essential principles, and ones we treasure at LFF with a certain energetic flair. Louisiana’s heritage, families, and impassioned faith compel us to be a living witness to the providential goodness of those values! America’s very foundation and framework of essential liberty is being deconstructed by activists in each branch of government - none more so than the judicial branch! America’s restoration will necessitate solid constitutional constraint coupled with unsullied judicial integrity throughout our federal court system. For this reason, LFF enthusiastically advocated the nomination and confirmation of Kyle Duncan, LFF’s 2011 Gladiator Award recipient. We anticipate U.S 5th Circuit Judge Duncan very soon!

A Baton Rouge native and a graduate of both Louisiana State University and LSU Law Center, Duncan is supremely qualified. He is highly esteemed, in Louisiana and throughout the nation, for his long-term commitment to upholding the law and preserving our freedoms. The Advocate reported that Kyle is “widely regarded as a sharp litigator and rising star in conservative legal circles. He’s built a lengthy and high-profile record of battling gay, transgender and abortion rights, including defending abortion restrictions on behalf of the state of Louisiana. He also defended highly controversial voter ID laws in Texas and North Carolina and fought against gay marriage.” The newspaper even opined that “we see no reason that [he] should not be confirmed.”

Kyle has demonstrated a mastery of the law at the state and federal level and he has not flinched from the complex legal engagements which impact essential liberty. We are confident that Kyle will be a guardian of judicial integrity and constitutional freedom.

Profound gratitude also goes to LFF allies across the nation for their support of Duncan through the process.

 

Louisiana Gambling Opposition Mounts
LFF Commentary | April 2018

(Click to enlarge.)

In a flyer seen floating around the State Capitol this week, riverboat gambling opponents urged lawmakers to consider the facts surrounding the riverboat proposals that will likely come up for a vote this week and the players involved. (LFF is not responsible for the content of this flyer.)

Exhibit A - The del Lago casino in New York is having financial problems and is seeking a better tax deal from the state to address its struggling revenue — slightly over a year since it opened. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has rejected the financial concessions to the failing casino.

Clyde Barrow, a national gaming expert and Texas college professor who has studied and written reports on the Upstate New York casino industry, says the troubled casino “made a mistake.”

The second claim in the flyer is that, in Iowa, two executives of Peninsula Gaming Partners, one of two applicants to manage a casino in Sumner County, have been charged with making illegal contributions to Iowa Gov. Chet Culver's political campaign.

There are connections between the gambling interests in New York, Iowa, and those in Louisiana. See here and here.

Under current law, the Tangipahoa River would not even be eligible for a riverboat casino because it isn’t wide enough. If we allow this, how do we say no to any other riverboat that wants to move?

Next, we will be debating whether to allow a riverboat to move to the Ouachita River in Monroe, or the Pearl River in Slidell, or the Sabine River in Lake Charles or the Amite River in Baton Rouge? That is the signal this would send regarding the position of the Legislature. This could set the precedent for the largest expansion of gaming that Louisiana has seen since the early 1990’s.

These allegations, along with heartfelt accounts of the real cost of gambling addiction, are being shared with lawmakers in hopes of convincing them that these gambling measures are a losing bet for Louisiana families.

Act Now and register your opposition to gambling expansion. Let your voice be heard on this important issue!

 

LFF Supports National Criminal Justice Bill
ERLC Weekly | April 2018

Early next week the U.S. House of Representative will be considering the Prison Reform and Redemption Act of 2017. This bipartisan bill, introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R–Ga.) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D–N.Y.), directs the Department of Justice to develop a risk assessment tool, use it to determine each prisoner’s risk of recidivism, and then provide reduction programs and productive activities to reduce that risk.

The “recidivism reduction programs” would include either group or individual activities that have shown, based on research or empirical evidence, to likely be effective in reducing recidivism (i.e., the tendency of a convicted criminal to re-offend). The programs would be designed to help prisoners succeed in their communities upon release from prison, and include such activities as classes on morals or ethics, vocational training, faith-based classes or services, or restorative justice programs.

LFF joined the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Prison Fellowship, and several other organizations in sending a letter to lawmakers encouraging them to “move this legislation forward through the House as soon as possible.”

 

Speculation?
Jeremy Alford - BR Business Report | April 2018

The Louisiana Legislature is quickly heading toward its sixth special session in 29 months, and Jeremy Alford says you shouldn’t be surprised if a seventh special session is called before the end of June.

“No one is actually talking about a seventh special session. Not yet,” Alford writes in his latest column. “Let’s just call that third sentence above what it is: speculation. But, look here, when the Legislature and administration started averaging two special sessions annually, they forfeit any protections from scheduling-related speculation.”

Borrowing an English idiom, Alford says we’re at sixes and sevens, a phrase that suggests a state of disorder or total confusion.

“Do you happen to know any states that fit that description?” he asks. “I thought you might.”

 
 

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." —G. K. Chesterton.

 

Should criminal trials require a unanimous jury verdict?

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