Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012

Holder heading into contempt proceedings over Fast and Furious
by Matthew Boyle
June 28, 2012

It’s expected that Attorney General Eric Holder will be held in contempt of Congress today. Holder would be the first attorney general in the history of the United States to be held in contempt of Congress.

Holder is going to be held in contempt is because he has failed to comply with a congressional subpoena related to the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. House oversight committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa served him the subpoena last October — more than half a year ago — and Holder has only provided Congress with 7,600 pages worth of information of the 140,000 pages he said he has identified internally. Many of the submissions were fully redacted or blacked out.

Fast and Furious began under President Barack Obama’s administration. It was a program run out of the Phoenix, Ariz. office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — which is ultimately overseen by Holder’s Department of Justice.

In the program, the Obama administration facilitated the sale of about 2,000 assault weapons to Mexican drug cartel criminals through straw purchasers — a tactic known as gunwalking. The administration intimidated gun-store owners into selling guns to suspected straw purchasers — people who ultimately trafficked the guns into Mexico. The stated goal was to track the weapons with the ultimate target of bringing down bigger fish in the overall arms-trafficking market.

By congressional Democrats’ and the Obama administration’s own admission, Mexico was never informed of what was going on.

Read more:

Blogger's SCOTUS Prediction: The Court Will Uphold the Mandate
by Allahpundit
June 27, 2012

This isn’t a tea leaf, really, just his gut feeling. But since I seem to be the only other blogger around who’s still expecting the worst — and that’s only because I’m a terrible, terrible eeyore — let’s spare a moment for the considered judgment of an expert who thinks the conventional wisdom is wrong, wrong, wrong.

But in the end, based on the entire mix of information I have, I think the mandate will not be struck down tomorrow. (I don’t have any inside information, nor does anyone else.) My prediction includes the possibility that there will not be a single majority opinion for the theory on which the mandate is upheld, and even the thin possibility that the Court will not have a majority to find the mandate constitutional.

My level of confidence isn’t overwhelming, but it’s good enough to give a concrete prediction. We’ll see.

I’ve always thought that Kennedy’s point during oral arguments about the government needing to meet a “heavy burden of justification” to impose a mandate would be key to the Court’s opinion. He never suggested that mandates were always and forever impermissible; he implied that they’re constitutionally troubling but might be okay if the feds can show a compelling enough reason why they’re needed. Orin Kerr nailed it at the time: If the statute gets upheld, it’ll be because the Court agreed with the government that the health insurance market is “unique” and that regulating it to provide universal coverage is impossible without a mandate to spread the new costs around. In that case, the “heavy burden” would be met notwithstanding the Court’s grave doubts about other types of mandates. In fact, the only thing I’m really confident about is that tomorrow’s opinion will contain lots and lots of anti-mandate language generally. However they end up ruling on the ObamaCare mandate, they’re almost certainly going to make clear that mandates in the abstract are dubious constitutionally, just so that Congress doesn’t get any funny ideas about building on this precedent. That’ll be the consolation prize if we’re crying in our beer Thursday afternoon.


  1. Project Gunrunner began in Laredo, Texas, in 2005 and was expanded in 2006. Operation Fast and Furious was operational from 2009 to 2011.

    And WAS this was the first time the feds had tried this?

    No. In fact, two similar gun-walking operations, including one run out of the same Phoenix-area office that oversaw Operation Fast and Furious, were conducted under President George W. Bush. The first, Operation Wide Receiver, ran from 2006 to 2007, and tried to make use of the same chain of gun buyers, smugglers, and middle men who tossed deadly weapons up the ladder to cartel enforcers. Both Wide Receiver and the 2007 probe allowed guns to make their way across the border in a manner similar to Fast and Furious.

    1. Oh, there may have been a gun-walking program.. but similar? Hmm .. here are 3 critical differences:

      1) The guns that were 'released' in Wide Receiver contained RFID trackers,Fast and Furious Weapons did not.

      2) The Mexican Authorities were not only informed of Wide Receiver, but were working in conjunction with the Phoenix-Based ATF. The Mexican government knew nothing about the Fast and Furious Operation

      3) Last, but certainly not least, there are 200 dead Mexicans and one dead border patrol agency linked to the weapons released in Fast and Furious.. none are linked to the Wide Receiver Weapons.

      And, one final query... if Bush is so 'bad' and the programs are 'similar' ..then why did this DOJ follow their lead?