August 2, 2018

Listen to the Episode

From The Official Website:

Today’s Rapid Response Friday breaks down all of the legal wrangling regarding the Trump Administration’s secret settlement with a self-described “crypto-anarchist” who uploaded material that allows anyone with access to a 3-D printer to make their own plastic, undetectable, untraceable firearm.

We begin, however, with a listener who’s considering coming over to the “dark side” and wants an honest answer about getting electoral help from overseas. What if the Irish want to help elect Liz Warren in 2020? Listen and find out!

The main segment breaks down the “Defense Distributed” settlement and subsequent litigation — and along the way you’ll learn about Cold War arms sales, the Export Control Act, F-15s, Richard Nixon, and… well, let’s just say there’s a lot on the table!

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #87 regarding a state supreme court ruling over whether witnesses must face their accusers.

Show Notes & Links

  1. We most recently discussed election law and the relevant statute, 52 U.S.C. § 30121, back in Episode 116 with Beth Kingsley.
  2. The seminal Foreign Affairs (1982) article referenced by Andrew is here; and you can also verify the current arms sales numbers from this report in Newsweek.
  3. This is the confidential Trump administration’s settlement with Defense Distributed; here is the Complaint filed by 8 states, along with the opposition brief filed by Wilson as well as the one filed by the Government. Ultimately, the Court granted the TRO.
  4. You can read the Arms Export Control Act, 22 U.S.C. § 2751 et seq., and the implementing regulations at 22 C.F.R. § 125.4(b).
  5. The Pentagon Papers case is more formally known as New York Times Co. v. U.S., 403 U.S. 713 (1971).
  6. Here’s a Harvard Law Review article summarizing Wilson’s loss at the 5th Circuit.
  7. Finally, check out the author note for (but please do not buy!) the Anarchist Cookbook, for sale on Amazon.

Law Talkin' Stuff

It's in the Constitution
Law Court Thingies
Magic Law Words






  • [00:00:00] Intro
  • [00:04:07] Listener Questions: Could Trump have legally received the dirt from Russia?
    • [00:05:45] 52 US Code §30121
  • [00:17:50] Main Segment: 3-D printed guns
    • [00:21:00] How does this violate the law?
    • [00:21:40] Foreign Affairs article
    • [00:27:35] Arms Export Control Act
    • [00:29:25] How he could have published the plans legally?
    • [00:31:30] The Pentagon Papers case
    • [00:34:40] The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling
  • [00:39:07] Commercial
    • [00:41:15] Settlement Agreement from the Trump Administration
    • [00:49:00] Governments principle argument
  • [00:58:00] Patron Hall of Fame
  • [01:04:30] Thomas Takes the Bar Exam: A state supreme court ruling over whether witnesses must face their accusers (Question)
  • [01:10:50] Outro

(The time stamps above are derived from the audio provided on the official website; they may vary from audio without ads that are provided through the patreon feed.)

Follow up

  • Episode 200: Electronic Frontier Foundation's take on the 3-D guns
  • Episode 216: Interview with an expert in 3-D printing