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View Full Version : CRPA & NRA legal action: People v. James AW case: requested depublishing


bwiese
07-27-2009, 9:05 AM
Go, Chuck, go!


....taken from www.gunnewsdaily.com: (http://www.gunnewsdaily.com)7-27-09
The California Legal Action Project, a joint venture between the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), today filed a letter with the California Supreme Court urging the Court to order the decision in the case of People v. James to be depublished so that it would not be binding precedent nor citable authority.

The James case held that California’s so-called “assault weapon” law was not unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. The case was not correctly litigated, and much of the factual evidence that should have been introduced to address the issues raised by the United States Supreme Court in its decision from June 2008 in Heller v. District of Columbia was not considered. The Heller case confirmed that the Second Amendment does in fact protect a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms.

For additional information see http:/www.calgunlaws.com (Registration Required)
The California Legal Action Project, a joint venture between the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), today filed a letter with the California Supreme Court urging the Court to order the decision in the case of People v. James (http://www.calgunlaws.com/images/stories/Docs/people%20v%20james%20opinion.pdf) to be depublished so that it would not be binding precedent nor citable authority.

The James case held that California’s so-called “assault weapon” law was not unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. The case was not correctly litigated, and much of the factual evidence that should have been introduced to address the issues raised by the United States Supreme Court in its decision from June 2008 in Heller v. District of Columbia was not considered. The Heller case confirmed that the Second Amendment does in fact protect a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms

“The ruling in People v. James is unfortunate,” said NRA/CRPA civil rights attorney Chuck Michel. “But it does give a very important lesson. If you’re not ready to litigate a Second Amendment case competently and thoroughly, and if you’re not ready to put all the resources into that litigation that it requires and deserves, Second Amendment issues should not be raised. We don’t need anymore bad precedent.”

Hopefully, the California Supreme Court will see that the Court of Appeals did not properly apply Heller and will order the opinion depublished.

To read the James opinion:

To read the Legal Action Project letter to the California Supreme Court:
http://www.calgunlaws.com/images/stories/Docs/ltr%20to%20casc%20re%20depublishing%20james.pdf



The decision to be attacked:
http://www.calgunlaws.com/images/stories/Docs/people%20v%20james%20opinion.pdf


You might remember that this case (broadly) dismissed Heller concerns and essentially said AWs were .mil weapons and weren't in common enough use with which to concern ourselves

bulgron
07-27-2009, 9:07 AM
Charge!

....from www.gunnewsdaily.com (http://www.gunnewsdaily.com)
7-27-09
The California Legal Action Project, a joint venture between the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), today filed a letter with the California Supreme Court urging the Court to order the decision in the case of People v. James to be depublished so that it would not be binding precedent nor citable authority.

The James case held that California’s so-called “assault weapon” law was not unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. The case was not correctly litigated, and much of the factual evidence that should have been introduced to address the issues raised by the United States Supreme Court in its decision from June 2008 in Heller v. District of Columbia was not considered. The Heller case confirmed that the Second Amendment does in fact protect a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms.

For additional information see http:/www.calgunlaws.com (Registration Required)
The decision to be appealed:
http://www.calgunlaws.com/images/stories/Docs/people%20v%20james%20opinion.pdf[/url]


You might remember that this case (broadly) dismissed Heller and essentially said AWs weren't in common enough circulation to be worried about.

So when the California Supreme court blows us off (and they will), can we appeal this to federal court?

IGOTDIRT4U
07-27-2009, 9:14 AM
"CLAP"? Hmmm, could they have tried to pick a better acronym?!? lol.

Anyhow, interesting news.

bwiese
07-27-2009, 9:15 AM
So when the California Supreme court blows us off (and they will), can we appeal this to federal court?

I'm not sure they will. Very legit reasons have been raised.

Note the strategic timing in relation to AG's office supporting incorporation.

gregorylucas
07-27-2009, 9:17 AM
How does this sort of thing work? What's the timeline for something like this?

Thanks,
Greg

IGOTDIRT4U
07-27-2009, 9:18 AM
I'm not sure they will. Very legit reasons have been raised.

Note the strategic timing in relation to AG's office supporting incorporation.

Kind of put's JB into a corner now, but I agree, based upon his AC brief, part of the argument is already done for CGN if an appeal is needed.

ilbob
07-27-2009, 11:24 AM
So when the California Supreme court blows us off (and they will), can we appeal this to federal court?

I don't think you can force a state court to revoke a previous state court decision in federal court. It could be mooted though, but not directly.

hoffmang
07-27-2009, 12:24 PM
NRA/CRPA have asked (http://www.calgunlaws.com/images/stories/Docs/ltr%20to%20casc%20re%20depublishing%20james.pdf) the California Supreme Court to depublish the opinion in People v. James (http://www.calgunlaws.com/images/stories/Docs/people%20v%20james%20opinion.pdf).

People v. James is a criminal case where a California Court of Appeals presumptively assumes that there really is no difference between "assault weapons" and machine guns.

-Gene

hawk1
07-27-2009, 12:32 PM
English translation please Gene? :confused:

Glock22Fan
07-27-2009, 12:36 PM
Is there any way that this can succeed? Is it a precursor to the Supremes getting involved, or will it just get tossed into File Thirteen?

hoffmang
07-27-2009, 12:38 PM
As long as the California Court of Appeals case remains published, it can be cited for the proposition that assault weapons don't receive Second Amendment protection under Heller in California State Court. It has little bearing on Federal Courts.

-Gene

hoffmang
07-27-2009, 12:39 PM
Oops. I duped Bill: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=206870

-Gene

6172crew
07-27-2009, 1:39 PM
Merged em.

Untamed1972
07-27-2009, 3:07 PM
What bothers me about that court ruling is the constant referencees to "legitimate sporting and recreational use" and "arms commonly owned by law-abiding citizens".


Well how is it fair to ban certain weapons so that law-abiding citizens can't own them and then turn around and say they're not commonly owned by law-abiding citizens"?

Before they were ban they prolly were commonly owned by law abiding citizens and are very commonly owned by such citizens in states where they are not ban.

And then their reference to colonial militia seems sill because the personal rifle that a militiaman would report for duty with would have been essentially the same rifle that the regular army issued. So his personally owned rifle that he kept at home for personal defense was no different then the army issued one. Last I check the continental army didn't have assault muskets.

bwiese
07-27-2009, 3:12 PM
What bothers me about that court ruling is the constant referencees to "legitimate sporting and recreational use" and "arms commonly owned by law-abiding citizens".

Let's leave C3/NFA guns out of discussion (though the court, and the appellant, due to their technical ignorance, do not differentiate).

The "arms commonly owned" has to be under Heller standard which is a Federal standard.

Last time I checked, hundreds of thousands of unneutered, semiauto M4geries, AKs, Mini14s and Keltecs were being sold yearly in US.

7x57
07-27-2009, 4:02 PM
Last time I checked, hundreds of thousands of unneutered, semiauto M4geries, AKs, Mini14s and Keltecs were being sold yearly in US.

Isn't the AR currently the best-selling rifle design in America? I have a difficult time imagining how the single best seller could ever be regarded as "not in common use." If it can be, then "common use" protects nothing whatsoever.

Dustin

hvengel
07-27-2009, 4:14 PM
And then their reference to colonial militia seems sill because the personal rifle that a militiaman would report for duty with would have been essentially the same rifle that the regular army issued. So his personally owned rifle that he kept at home for personal defense was no different then the army issued one. Last I check the continental army didn't have assault muskets.

Actually the Brits objected to our side sniping officers with rifles from long range. They only issued smooth bore muskets but many on our side had personal rifles with a much longer effective range. These were basically the "assault rifles" of their day and the British thought that it was unfair for us to use those weapons. In other words many of the personal weapons used by the militia were actually better than what was issued to normal troops.

7x57
07-27-2009, 4:31 PM
Actually the Brits objected to our side sniping officers with rifles from long range. They only issued smooth bore muskets but many on our side had personal rifles with a much longer effective range. These were basically the "assault rifles" of their day and the British thought that it was unfair for us to use those weapons.


Um, no, they weren't. They were basically the sniper rifles of the day--slow rate of fire, accurate, long ranged. The smoothbores were the assault rifles of the day--accuracy and useful range was sacrificed for rate of fire.

7x57

bwiese
07-27-2009, 4:32 PM
Last time I checked, hundreds of thousands of unneutered, semiauto M4geries, AKs, Mini14s and Keltecs were being sold yearly in US.


Isn't the AR currently the best-selling rifle design in America? I have a difficult time imagining how the single best seller could ever be regarded as "not in common use." If it can be, then "common use" protects nothing whatsoever.

Yep, to regard unneutered AR15 (and clones thereof) as 'not in common use' would be to render that phrasing surplusage.

And I don't think we'll need sales records to see if "ARs pass the test, but Galils do not". At least at the Fed level, "series" will include broad design patterns/features set and mean an AR10, AR15, FAL, etc. are all appreciably the same - and protected.

7x57
07-27-2009, 4:39 PM
Explain for us unsophisticated watchers how this fits in with court procedure. Is the case being appealed already, and this asks the court to keep it from being usable precedent while the appeal is being heard?

7x57

hoffmang
07-27-2009, 4:58 PM
Explain for us unsophisticated watchers how this fits in with court procedure. Is the case being appealed already, and this asks the court to keep it from being usable precedent while the appeal is being heard?


The criminal defendant lost his appeal. It looks from the record like the CA Court raised most of the 2A issues on its own, potentially out of unhappiness with the state of Heller and Nordyke. Chuck is asking the CA Supreme Court to depublish the opinion so that it's not binding as it was poorly reasoned and evidence wasn't presented on the actual constitutional issue. This is before appealing it to the California Supreme Court. If the case is depublished it would not be binding on others but would remain binding on the defendant.

-Gene

aileron
07-28-2009, 6:28 AM
Um, no, they weren't. They were basically the sniper rifles of the day--slow rate of fire, accurate, long ranged. The smoothbores were the assault rifles of the day--accuracy and useful range was sacrificed for rate of fire.

7x57

hmmm.... more like the state of the art, or high tech weapon of the day; the sniper rifle while not having really been born yet, couldn't be far behind. Someone probably strapped optics on a rifle back then.


Assault weapon (remember the press made that up) and sniper weapon not only wasn't in the lexicon, but wasn't concepts yet.

7x57
07-28-2009, 8:07 AM
hmmm.... more like the state of the art, or high tech weapon of the day; the sniper rifle while not having really been born yet, couldn't be far behind. Someone probably strapped optics on a rifle back then.


It had been done, but I don't think any were in practical use. However, there were practical optical sights at least by the time of the Civil War. I'm not sure at what point they can be said to have moved out of the lab, as it were.

"High tech" is not part of the definition of an assault rifle, so it's irrelevant in the context.


Assault weapon (remember the press made that up) and sniper weapon not only wasn't in the lexicon, but wasn't concepts yet.

Fine, but about as relevant here as the term "dwarf planet." I said "assault rifle," which is a well-defined term. As for AW, unfortunately gunnies probably invented it first (I suspect as a marketing gimmick meaning "looks black and evil") and the gun control crowd just used the opening we handed them. I doubt Gun Digest published a book of "assault weapons" because the press invented the term. They'll probably try to do something similar with "tactical knife" or "tactical folder."

As for whether it was in the lexicon, go talk to the OP. He applied modern categories to late eighteenth century weapons, which was fair for a functional comparison, and I responded to that usage.

I suppose I shouldn't have helped derail the thread in the first place, however.

7x57

motorhead
07-28-2009, 9:52 AM
excellent! though we sometimes move in baby steps it's good to see the baby occaisionally deliver a kick to the groin.

wash
07-28-2009, 11:31 AM
Please correct me if I'm wrong:

The incentive for the courts to de-publish is that if they don't and James decides to appeal he's going to have the NRA, CRPA and a whole bunch of other support and will win his appeal. The courts will probably de-publish because they know they can't win that appeal.

If the decision is de-published, James stays in jail or whatever but it gives "The Right People" a better angle to attack the AWB.

If all goes well and there is a successful challenge to the AWB, what parts of the law could go away? Since AR's, AK's and FAL's are common weapons, would they be legal but a less common gun with AW features might not be, or will the whole feature based AW designation go away? Will the listed AW's ever become legal again?

If the list goes away I'll celebrate by buying a nice Belgian FN FAL.

Python2
07-28-2009, 3:13 PM
Please correct me if I'm wrong:

The incentive for the courts to de-publish is that if they don't and James decides to appeal he's going to have the NRA, CRPA and a whole bunch of other support and will win his appeal. The courts will probably de-publish because they know they can't win that appeal.

If the decision is de-published, James stays in jail or whatever but it gives "The Right People" a better angle to attack the AWB.

If all goes well and there is a successful challenge to the AWB, what parts of the law could go away? Since AR's, AK's and FAL's are common weapons, would they be legal but a less common gun with AW features might not be, or will the whole feature based AW designation go away? Will the listed AW's ever become legal again?

If the list goes away I'll celebrate by buying a nice Belgian FN FAL.

Please read Gene's post, he said the criminals appeal has already been made and thrown out. De-publish simply meant "it cannot be used as a precedent case law" as I understand it. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

wash
07-28-2009, 3:35 PM
I thought that appeal was pre-Heller and Nordyke.

Now that those two rulings are on the books, another appeal would win, that's how I read it.

Am I correct about the motivation for the courts to de-publish?

I'm still interested in what kind of outcome is possible if we can attack the AWB.

yellowfin
07-28-2009, 3:46 PM
I guess "I'm Rick James, b****!" didn't work too well for him.

aileron
07-29-2009, 6:07 AM
It had been done, but I don't think any were in practical use. However, there were practical optical sights at least by the time of the Civil War. I'm not sure at what point they can be said to have moved out of the lab, as it were.


Fine, but about as relevant here as the term "dwarf planet." I said "assault rifle," which is a well-defined term.

7x57

My bad... I managed to assume I read AW not AF.... Yesterday was a string of such misses. My attention to detail is slipping worst than normal, and its been slipping for awhile now. :(

Theseus
07-29-2009, 11:26 AM
Am. so if a case is not published it can not become precedent...Interesting.

GuyW
07-29-2009, 1:43 PM
Am. so if a case is not published it can not become precedent...Interesting.

Well, can't be cited as precedent in another case....

....but a lawyer can cut-n-paste and include the exact same arguments for a new court to consider....

....not that such is a worry here....

.

gregorylucas
11-18-2009, 9:14 AM
Are there any status updates in regard to this action?

-Greg

navyinrwanda
11-18-2009, 3:01 PM
If anyone doubts how hostile California courts are to Second Amendment rights, they should read this opinion.

The California Court of Appeals when out of its way to vilify an entire class of firearms.

bwiese
11-18-2009, 3:04 PM
If anyone doubts how hostile California courts are to Second Amendment rights, they should read this opinion.

The California Court of Appeals when out of its way to vilify an entire class of firearms.

And without technical, statistical or factual basis.

chuckdc
11-18-2009, 9:21 PM
As for AW, unfortunately gunnies probably invented it first (I suspect as a marketing gimmick meaning "looks black and evil") and the gun control crowd just used the opening we handed them.



In this case, it was more likely those evil Nazi folks with the word "Sturmgewehr", which means,not too loosely translated, "Assault Rifle". That gets us back to late WWII as the time frame. If there is an earlier usage, I don't know of it.

CHS
11-18-2009, 11:07 PM
If you look at a lot of the firearms literature from the 80's, terms like "assault rifle" were tossed around like nothing by OUR SIDE. We definitely came up with those terms, embraced them, and used them with reckless abandon.

Hell, who do you think invented the term "Street Sweeper"?

The bottom line is, it shouldn't matter what we call them. Just as porn is and should be protected by the 1stA, my choosing to call an AR "Baby-slaughterer 5000" is and should be protected by the 2ND. Edit: As well as the 1ST.

7x57
11-18-2009, 11:17 PM
In this case, it was more likely those evil Nazi folks with the word "Sturmgewehr", which means,not too loosely translated, "Assault Rifle". That gets us back to late WWII as the time frame. If there is an earlier usage, I don't know of it.

You miss the simple point I was making. "Assault rifle" is a well-defined term of art, and yeah it's the German Storm Rifle filtered through, I think, the French. But "Assault weapon" is a different animal--it has no clear meaning and thus means whatever the user wants it to mean, and that's the source of the continuing mischief with AW bans--they expand.

Because of that, many people complain that the antis invented "assault weapon" for that purpose, and I simply pointed out that they didn't, they apparently just lift terms from our literature. It was our marketing people who coined the term to get some reflected glory from "assault rifle" on products that were not assault rifles.

I'd advocate leashing the marketers for our own good, but then I remember that would be asking the government to solve a non-problem and further regulate the formerly-free market so I immediately repent. :rolleyes:

7x57

gregorylucas
11-20-2009, 1:46 PM
Any takers as to if anyone knows the status of this? Or is this one of those nifty calguns surprises that the right people have up their sleaves?

I kinda feel like I'm talking into a cave... echo...echo. :D

-Greg

gregorylucas
04-14-2010, 10:38 PM
Echo, echo, echo.... :D

-Greg

bsim
04-15-2010, 10:37 AM
Deja vu all over again. :)

Glock-matic
04-15-2010, 6:46 PM
I think I'm gonna spooge....

Gray Peterson
04-15-2010, 7:24 PM
I think I'm gonna ...

TMI

SimpleCountryActuary
04-15-2010, 7:58 PM
Am. so if a case is not published it can not become precedent...Interesting.

That's the legal term. I was an expert on a Federal case (and whooped the other expert). The case was appealed to the 9th circuit which upheld the decision but said that the decision was not to be published, essentially because one they had to hold their noses to decide on one issue (not mine) and did not want bad facts to result in bad case law. The decision was still put out for the public to read, it just wasn't "Published".

So to sum up what Gene said:

Bad facts;
Bad law;
Bad Court;
Time for the Supremes to make sure a lower Court won't use this as an excuse to doodoo on the carpet again.

Shotgun Man
04-15-2010, 8:33 PM
Are there any status updates in regard to this action?

-Greg

My review of this thread indicates that this query was never answered.

The CA Supreme Court denied review and denied an order requesting depublishing on 9/17/09.

On 2/22/2010, SCOTUS denied review.

This case is absolutely dead.

The People v. James
Case Number C057995 (http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov/search/case/mainCaseScreen.cfm?dist=3&doc_id=1198349&doc_no=C057995) Filed in trial court on 01/23/08. Possession of Assault Weapon.

[...]
09/17/2009 Petition for review denied in Supreme Court. The request for an order directing depublication of the opinion is denied. GEORGE, CJ.
09/21/2009 Remittitur issued.
09/21/2009 Case complete.
09/28/2009 Record returned from Supreme Court. 1 vol.
11/03/2009 Received letter from: CCAP, re: application of appellant's appointed attorney to expand the appointment to assist appellant in preparing a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.
11/03/2009 Filed request to expand scope of appointment to include FILING a petition for writ of certiorari in forma pauperis in the United States Supreme Court.
11/09/2009 Filed order granting expansion of appointment The request of Laurie Wilmore, court appointed counsel, to expand the scope of her appointment to include the filing of a petition for writ of certiorari in forma pauperis in the United States Supreme Court is granted. Counsel will be reimbursed for no more than seven hours. The claim for reimbursement for such work is to be submitted as part of the claim for compensation. A copy of the petition must be submitted with the claim. SCOTLAND, PJ
12/02/2009 Received copy of Petition for writ of certiorari for filing in U.S. Supreme Court.
12/11/2009 Received letter from: US Supreme Court advising that a petition for writ of certiorari was filed 12/08/09, case number 09-7933.
01/21/2010 Galley proof Sent to Reporter of Decisions on 02/05/10.
02/25/2010 Received copy of U.S. Supreme Court notice that an order denying the petition for writ of certiorari was entered 02/22/10




http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov/search/case/dockets.cfm?dist=3&doc_id=1198349&doc_no=C057995

kcbrown
04-15-2010, 8:48 PM
My review of this thread indicates that this query was never answered.

The CA Supreme Court denied review and denied an order requesting depublishing on 9/17/09.

On 2/22/2010, SCOTUS denied review.

This case is absolutely dead.


*Snicker*

What an amazing surprise, coming from the CA Supreme Court and all. :rolleyes:

I'd bet good money that we're going to have to send nearly every single 2A related case (I'd guess at least 75% of them) all the way up to the Federal District Court at a minimum in order to get anywhere. :mad:

Shotgun Man
04-15-2010, 8:52 PM
*Snicker*

What an amazing surprise, coming from the CA Supreme Court and all. :rolleyes:

I'd bet good money that we're going to have to send nearly every single 2A related case (I'd guess at least 75% of them) all the way up to the Federal District Court at a minimum in order to get anywhere. :mad:


Well, on this one we tried to avail ourselves of the federal courts by requesting cert with the United States Supreme Court and they denied review.

I can't say I blame them as they first have to decide MacDonald.

I wonder if they could have put the case on hold. Perhaps better not and let a better-prepped AW case come under review.

ETA: can someone post the dupe? Where was the CA supreme court decision to deny review and the denial of SCOTUS for cert previously discussed on CGN? I want to read the commentary.

kcbrown
04-15-2010, 8:59 PM
Well, on this one we tried to avail ourselves of the federal courts by requesting cert with the United States Supreme Court and they denied review.

I can't say I blame them as they first have to decide MacDonald.

I wonder if they could have put the case on hold. Perhaps better not and let a better-prepped AW case come under review.

Well, I was commenting more about the CA SC's refusal to depublish this case. That of course didn't need federal court intervention. But I regard the CA SC's refusal to depublish the case as indicative of its overall demeanor with respect to 2A, which is why I strongly suspect we'll see the majority of 2A-related cases having to be punted into federal territory in order to get any reasonable rulings.

Which means I fully expect Sykes to have to go up to that level as well, if not all the way to the USSC.

BigDogatPlay
04-15-2010, 11:23 PM
Which means I fully expect Sykes to have to go up to that level as well, if not all the way to the USSC.

Sykes is a federal court case. (http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/sykes/Sykes-v-McGinness-Complaint-2009-05-09.pdf) It was first filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

kcbrown
04-16-2010, 12:13 AM
Sykes is a federal court case. (http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/sykes/Sykes-v-McGinness-Complaint-2009-05-09.pdf) It was first filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

So it is! I stand corrected.

I didn't think it was possible to go directly to federal court without passing through the state supreme court first when challenging a state law...

Purple K
04-16-2010, 6:55 AM
Once again, waiting on McDonald.......

HowardW56
04-16-2010, 6:59 AM
So it is! I stand corrected.

I didn't think it was possible to go directly to federal court without passing through the state supreme court first when challenging a state law...

It depends on the basis for the challange....

kcbrown
04-16-2010, 10:39 AM
It depends on the basis for the challange....

How so? Where can I read about how this works?

HowardW56
04-16-2010, 1:49 PM
How so? Where can I read about how this works?

Start here.... :)

TITLE 28, Section 1331. Federal question

The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.
Title 28, Section 1343. Civil rights and elective franchise


(a) The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action authorized by law to be commenced by any person:
(1) To recover damages for injury to his person or property, or because of the deprivation of any right or privilege of a citizen of the United States, by any act done in furtherance of any conspiracy mentioned in section 1985 of Title 42;

(2) To recover damages from any person who fails to prevent or to aid in preventing any wrongs mentioned in section 1985 of Title 42 which he had knowledge were about to occur and power to prevent;

(3) To redress the deprivation, under color of any State law, statute, ordinance, regulation, custom or usage, of any right, privilege or immunity secured by the Constitution of the United States or by any Act of Congress providing for equal rights of citizens or of all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States;

(4) To recover damages or to secure equitable or other relief under any Act of Congress providing for the protection of civil rights, including the right to vote.
(b) For purposes of this section—
(1) the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a State; and
(2) any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.

You could just Google Title 28, Part IV [Jurisdiction and Venue] of the US Code and do a little light reading...