Earls V. North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission, The Et Al

Summary: This legal case involves Associate Justice Anita S. Earls of the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission, including its members. Justice Earls contends that the Commission's investigation into her comments on the state's court system's lack of diversity infringes on her First Amendment rights. She maintains that her remarks, which critique the operation of the North Carolina judicial system, are safeguarded as essential political speech. The Commission, created under Article 30 of Chapter 7A of the North Carolina General Statutes, holds the responsibility of investigating and resolving inquiries about the conduct of any judge or justice of the General Court of Justice. The Commission's disciplinary measures vary from a private "letter of caution" to a "public reprimand," "censure," "suspension," or "removal," each necessitating a "finding by the Supreme Court." The investigation was initiated following an interview Justice Earls conducted with Law360. In the interview, she highlighted the North Carolina Supreme Court's lack of diversity, attributing it to implicit bias and the court's hiring practices. She further criticized the court's conservative majority for their ideological bias and for dissolving an equity committee established to address these issues. Justice Earls maintains that her comments do not pertain to any specific case decisions, but rather to the wider public policy implications of court administration. She argues that her speech is protected under the First Amendment and Canon 4(A), which allows judges to comment on matters concerning the legal or governmental system. The lawsuit aims to secure a judicial declaration that any attempt to investigate or penalize Justice Earls for expressing her views on matters of public concern infringes on the First Amendment. Additionally, she is seeking an injunction to prevent the Commission from further suppressing her right to voice her opinions on matters of public interest.

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United States of America v. Robert Hunter Biden

Summary: Hunter Biden is currently embroiled in a lawsuit, accused of purchasing a Colt Cobra revolver in October 2018 while allegedly using illegal substances. Despite denying drug use on the necessary paperwork, if found guilty, he could face a maximum of 25 years in prison along with substantial fines. Biden's defense team contends that the charges are politically driven, asserting that Biden's temporary possession of an unloaded firearm did not constitute a public safety risk. They intend to contest the charges, leveraging an agreement with the prosecution, recent federal court decisions, and potential Second Amendment defenses. This case could potentially ignite wider discussions about Second Amendment rights, especially as the Supreme Court is poised to deliberate on a related issue concerning gun ownership for individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders. Opinions are divided among political and legislative figures, with some speculating that advocates of the Second Amendment might oppose the law that prohibits gun ownership for drug users.