Posted by 02 December 2019
For 18 years, New York City prohibited licensed gun owners from transporting their guns to most places. Today, the Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to that law which claims it is an unconstitutional infringement upon the rights of gun owners.
Under question is the city ordinance that restricts licensed gun owners from taking their firearms to any places except specified shooting ranges within the city and to designated hunting areas in New York state. The plaintiffs in the case were barred from participating in a shooting competition in New Jersey and were also told they could not take their guns to another home in New York state. They are arguing that these restrictions are an infringement upon their constitutional rights.
New York city has since amended the law to allow wider transport of firearms. The Supreme Court justices could decide that since city legislators have acted, the case is moot. Or they could use this case as a way to recognize a wider individual right to carry a firearm.
This is the first major gun control case considered by the high court since 2010. There have been a handful of cases in the years prior to that which established an individual right to own a gun and said that neither the federal nor state governments could pass laws that prohibited gun ownership. However, the Supreme Court has yet to settle many legal issues over the numerous gun control laws that exist at the federal, state, and local level.
Supporters of this challenge would like to see the court create a clear rule that defines how people may travel with their guns. Opponents fear that the court could undo gun control laws that they contend are necessary for safety.
A ruling in this case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, is expected in June 2020.
Do you think the Second Amendment protects the carrying of a gun outside the home?
Posted by 30 October 2019
With growing evidence linking tackle football to problems later in life, New York legislators are considering a bill that would ban the game for children 12 and younger.
Under legislation being considered by a New York Assembly committee, children in New York who are 12 or younger could not play tackle football. They would be limited to the non-tackle version of the game. A similar bill was introduced in 2017, but it failed to pass the legislature.
This week legislators heard testimony about the bill. Supporters said that it would prevent brain injuries which can take decades to manifest. They point to a recent study showing that the longer someone played tackle football as a child the more likely they are to develop degenerative brain diseases. Opponents say this is not something the government should be dictating. They argue that coaches and youth football leagues are putting safety measures in place to prevent injuries, and that parents should have the right to choose the type of sport that their child plays.
It is unclear if this bill has enough support to advance out of committee and to a full legislative vote this year. However, with studies accumulating that find links between football and brain injuries, there is more momentum behind the bill this year than in the past.
Other states are also considering bills that would ban or limit tackle football for young athletes. No state has passed a ban yet, however.
Do you think that tackle football should be banned for children 12 or younger?
Posted by 08 May 2019
New York legislators are considering a bill that would allow sports betting in the state. Now some lawmakers are pushing to allow New Yorkers to place those bets online.
Governor Cuomo is supporting a bill that would allow casinos operating in the state to take bets on sports events. Casino operators and tribes with casino compact deals are supportive of this effort, but are not enthusiastic. With many casinos located far away from the state’s population centers, this new betting opportunity may not lure new gamblers.
Online sports betting, however, has big potential in New York. Residents anywhere in the state could use an online app or website to place a bet through a service operated by a casino ore one of the tribes who have a casino compact with the state.
In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal ban on sports wagering was illegal. New York passed a law in 2013 permitting tribal casinos. This law allows sports betting, contingent upon federal legalization. Now legislators are considering how to implement such a system.
Some in the state have pushed to allow off-track-betting operations to offer wagers on sporting events, but the Cuomo Administration has resisted this. Under the plan currently being considered, only casinos would be allowed to have such betting operations.
Do you think that states should allow casinos to offer online sports betting?
Posted by 23 April 2019
The Trump Administration wants to ask whether or not someone is a citizen during the 2020 census. New York and other states do not want the federal government to do this. The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in an attempt to determine who will prevail.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has ordered that the 2020 census include a question about respondents’ citizenship status. While census forms used to ask this question, they have not done so for decades. Secretary Ross justified this change as a way to help the federal government enforce the Voting Rights Act.
New York and other states have sued to stop this question from being included. They argue that Secretary Ross violated various federal laws in ordering the question put on census forms. They also say that this question will lead to an undercount of non-citizen residents, something that would negatively affect their states.
During Supreme Court arguments, some justices appeared sympathetic to the states’ arguments against the Trump Administration. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, for instance, noted that the Constitution requires the census to count residents, not citizens. She also agreed that a citizenship question would indeed lead to an undercount of these residents.
Other justices, however, said that the law gives the Commerce Secretary power to determine what questions are included on census forms. They also pointed out that historically the census has asked this question, so there seems to be little reason why it could not ask it again.
The census is set to begin soon, so this case was handled under an expedited review. Lower courts had ruled against the Trump Administration on this issue. The Supreme Court’s decision will determine if the census forms that are set to go out within months will contain this citizenship question or not.
Do you think that a question about citizenship status should be included in the 2020 census?
Posted by 08 April 2019
On Friday a state judge ruled that a New York county could not ban unvaccinated children from public gathering places in light of a measles outbreak there.
In late March, Rockland County Executive Ed Day issued an emergency declaration prohibiting children who had not received a vaccination against measles from attending schools, daycare centers, malls, or other enclosed places where the public gathers. The ban would last for 30 days.
Executive Day issued this ban due to a high number of measles cases confirmed in the county. He said it was necessary to stop the spread of the disease. Last week a judge disagreed, placing an injunction on the order, stopping it for now. Families opposed to the ban argued that it was an improper use of the executive’s emergency power.
Do you think that unvaccinated children should be banned from public places during disease outbreaks?
Posted by 10 January 2019
Mayor Bill de Blasio wants every New York City resident to have health care coverage. He recently pledged $100 million to provide that coverage to uninsured New Yorkers – including any undocumented immigrants who want to sign up.
The program as envisioned by the mayor will be called NYC Care. Uninsured city residents can apply for the program and be assigned a doctor and access to a variety of health care services. It will be offered at no cost to those with lower incomes, but city residents with higher incomes will have to pay on a sliding scale.
In presenting the plan, Mayor de Blasio argued that it is both morally and fiscally responsible to offer this program. He said that everyone, regardless of their immigration status, deserves health care. He also said that providing this coverage would be more cost-effective than when the uninsured use emergency rooms or let serious conditions go untreated.
Critics counter that that taxpayer dollars should not be used to provide services to people in the country illegally. They also say that this program will likely be more expensive than predicted, leading to higher taxes for the city’s residents.
Do you think that New York City should offer health care coverage to all uninsured residents, even those who are in the country illegally?