2A Groups Praise Barrett Confirmation, Prep SCOTUS Challenges

Second Amendment organizations are hailing the confirmation of Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett as a huge step towards the Court once again taking up a case dealing with the right to keep and bear arms. We discussed a few of the Second Amendment-related cases percolating in the judicial system in a post this morning, but on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, we dig a little deeper into the issue with the Second Amendment Foundation’s executive vice president and founder, Alan Gottlieb.

Gottlieb says that Barrett being on the bench at the Supreme Court should provide the votes necessary to start hearing Second Amendment cases once again, and he says that everything from bans on so-called assault weapons and high capacity magazines to the right to carry to the restoration of rights is currently being litigated in lower courts.

Gottlieb’s not alone in his optimism that Barrett’s confirmation will breathe new life into Second Amendment cases at the Supreme Court. The Firearms Policy Coalition’s president Brandon Combs is chomping at the bit to get before the Court.

“FPC’s legal team, the largest and most impactful of its kind in the nation, is already hard at work on some of the most important Second Amendment lawsuits in the country, and is actively preparing dozens more,” said Combs. “As Justice Thomas has explained, the Second Amendment is not a second-class right. We are eager to see the Supreme Court grant certiorari in an appropriate case, reaffirm that the Constitution’s text means exactly what it says, and once more clarify that recalcitrant lower courts cannot continue to apply the interest balancing tiered scrutiny the Court expressly rejected in Heller.”

Continue reading “”

Washington State Firearm Confiscation Law Found Unconstitutional

The case is State v. Zachary James Marshall, available here.

Earlier this year, in a ruling of first impression in Washington State, the Kitsap County District Court decided that the state’s compulsory “firearm surrender” laws violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments and the analogous provisions in the state constitution. “In our constitutional system of government, individuals have rights that the government and its agents (including courts) must respect. Among those rights are the right to be free from compelled self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment, and their counterparts under Washington’s constitution.”

To appreciate the ruling, it is necessary to understand the underlying statutory framework. Washington State courts issuing certain protection orders in a civil or criminal case have the authority, or are required, to also order that the restrained person retrieve and “immediately surrender” to law enforcement all firearms and dangerous weapons that the person possesses or has control over, as well as any concealed pistol license (CPL). As soon as the order is issued, the restrained person becomes prohibited from possessing, acquiring or accessing firearms and weapons, and is ineligible for a CPL.

Within five days of the order, a restrained person must file with the court a written proof of surrender in a prescribed form, under oath (or alternatively, a declaration that he or she has no guns, weapons or CPL to surrender). The state law directs, further, that the court must “verify timely and complete compliance with orders to surrender weapons” by holding a compliance hearing as soon as possible. At this hearing (or any other hearing where compliance with the order to surrender weapons is addressed), the law demands that the restrained person attend and provide testimony under oath verifying their compliance.

If there is cause to believe that a restrained person is not in compliance, a court may issue a surrender search warrant to search any “locations where the firearms and dangerous weapons are reasonably believed to be” and confiscate this property.

It is a crime to fail to comply with a surrender order, and the offender may also face sanctions for contempt of court. A separate state law makes it a felony for the person to possess a firearm during any period of time that the person was subject to that court order. Noncompliance by an out-of-custody pretrial defendant would also be a violation of release conditions, resulting in revocation of those conditions and confinement until trial.

The challenge to this law arose out of misdemeanor charges for fourth degree assault, the lowest level of assault, brought against Zachary James Marshall. Marshall has no previous criminal history and there is no indication in the ruling that Marshall had used or threatened to use a firearm or other dangerous weapon during the alleged assault. Continue reading “”

I remember reading somewhere that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written at an ‘8th Grade’ level of reading comprehension on purpose. No flowery prose, or high arcane language. It was written so that the plain meaning could be easily understood buy the  -at the time- average, normally educated person without the need for a judge or student of law to provide a translation. It’s to our fault that we’ve let lawyers and judges, many with their own political agendas decide what the clear words of our founding documents ‘really mean’.

 


A Simple Reading of the Law is What Scares Gun-Control Activists

Gun-control extremists oppose Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it is moving forward. Barrett is scheduled to get an up or down vote in the U.S. Senate next week. Gun-control activists are opposed to Judge Barrett because her track record is that of a judge who respects the law.

In 2018, as a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Barrett heard, and gave her opinion on, the Second Amendment case Kanter v. Barr (7th Cir. 2019).

“I spent a lot of time in that opinion looking at the history of the Second Amendment and looking at the Supreme Court’s cases,” Barrett told the U.S. Senators during the committee hearing. “So, the way in which I would approach the review of gun regulation is in that same way: to look very carefully at the text, to look carefully at what the original meaning was.”

When Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) asked Barrett to further explain how she might determine the original meaning of the Second Amendment, Barrett said, the “original public meaning, not the intent of any particular drafter” is what ultimately matters.

“The law is what the people understand it to be, not what goes on in any individual legislator’s mind,” Barrett said. “I respect you, Senator Lee, but what passes both houses, that’s the law, not any private intentions you have.”

In her prepared statement for the first day of her hearings, Barrett wrote: “It was the content of [former] Justice Scalia’s reasoning that shaped me. His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were. Sometimes that approach meant reaching results that he did not like.”

After Barrett said there is a gun in her home, she was asked if she could “fairly” decide a Second Amendment case. Barrett said, “Yes.”

“Judges can’t wake up one day and say I have an agenda—I like guns; I hate guns; I like abortion; I hate abortion and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” she said. “You have to wait for cases and controversies, which is the language of the Constitution, to wind their way through the process.”

The fact that she would read the Second Amendment as it is written is so terrifying to gun-control activists—people who want to read it out of the U.S. Constitution—that 31 anti-gun groups recently sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), “urging them against rushing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee with such radical Second Amendment views,” Mother Jones reported.

“Simply put: pushing through a nominee who may support the adoption of a radically dangerous interpretation of the Second Amendment would undermine the will and safety, health and well-being of all American people, including the constituents you represent,” the letter stated.

It says much about the extremism of these groups (which includes Everytown, Moms Demand Action and the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence) that they feel the clear and obvious right to self-defense protected by the Second Amendment is a “dangerous interpretation.

Thankfully, it appears Judge Barrett in no way shares this extremist view.

One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History.

With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s sudden passing, control of the Supreme Court—and with it the fate of the Constitution—has become the deciding issue for many voters in the 2020 presidential election. And the stakes could not be higher.

With a simple majority on the Supreme Court, the left will have the power to curtail or even abolish the freedoms that have made our country a beacon to the world. We are one vote away from losing the Republic that the Founders handed down to us. Our most precious constitutional rights hang by a thread.

Senator Ted Cruz has spent his entire career on the front line of the war to protect our constitutional rights. And as a Supreme Court clerk, solicitor general of Texas, and private litigator, he played a key role in some of the most important legal cases of the past two decades.

In One Vote Away, you will discover how often the high court decisions that affect your life have been decided by just one vote. One vote preserves your right to speak freely, to bear arms, and to exercise your faith. One vote will determine whether your children enjoy their full inheritance as American citizens.

God may endow us with “certain unalienable rights,” but whether we enjoy them depends on nine judges—the “priests of the robe” who have the last say in our system of government. Drawing back the curtain of their temple, Senator Cruz reveals the struggles, arguments, and strife that have shaped the fate of those rights. No one who reads One Vote Away can ever again take a single seat on the Supreme Court for granted.

Sen. Tom Cotton: Confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The Second Amendment is at stake

Gun owners know their rights are on the ballot this November. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and the rest of the Democrats have committed to banning certain types of guns, restricting private gun sales, and even banning the sale of gun parts over the Internet.

The best way to protect the Second Amendment is by defeating Democrats at the ballot box this fall. The second-best way is by confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Lawful gun ownership is our right as Americans but for many years the courts denied it. Activist judges treated the Second Amendment like a “second-class right,” to quote Justice Alito, ignoring its plain text or else contorting its meaning by claiming the Constitution only protected a vague right to own guns as part of a “well-regulated militia.”

Continue reading “”

Victory for gun rights advocates challenging Seattle’s safe storage law

Gun rights advocates are celebrating after a lawsuit challenging Seattle’s safe storage law got new life in an state appeals court decision Monday.

It’s been over two years since Seattle passed its safe storage law requiring gun owners to safely store their firearms or face fines up to $10,000 should they fall into the wrong hands and be used in a crime, or hurt or kill someone intentionally or otherwise.

The new rules were nearly immediately challenged in court in a lawsuit filed by the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, the NRA and others who claim it violates the state’s pre-emption law. The law bars local municipalities from enacting gun restrictions that go beyond current state law.

A King County Superior Court judge tossed the lawsuit in Oct. 2018, citing a lack of standing on the part of plaintiffs. Because of that, the question of whether the safe gun storage law violates Washington state law remained undetermined in a court of law.

The plaintiffs appealed and the state appeals court heard arguments over a year ago. On Monday, the state appeals court reversed the lower court ruling, finding the plaintiffs did have standing. Continue reading “”

A whine when a well know rule in legal circles rules, that’s been used to the advantage of the proggies for years, gets used by those he disagrees with.


Obscure (no, not really)  court rule sends gun rights cases to one San Diego federal judge, troubling gun control groups

A quirk in a local San Diego federal court rule means one judge is hearing challenges to state gun laws. Gun control groups say that’s wrong

In the past two years U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez has issued sweeping rulings, written in vigorous and sharply-worded prose, in two separate lawsuits challenging California state laws banning high-capacity magazines and mandatory background checks for ammunition purchases.

On Monday Benitez will hold a hearing in his courtroom in the downtown San Diego federal courthouse on another case filed last year that challenges several laws regulating and defining assault weapons in the state.

And he is also overseeing a fourth weapons case — one that challenges the state prohibition on possessing batons, billy clubs and blackjacks — that the plaintiffs say violates the Second Amendment.

In a federal district with more than a dozen judges, Benitez has been able to oversee and rule on a series of challenges to state gun laws. His rulings have wide implications, not only in California but also across the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — a huge section of the nation stretching from Montana to Hawaii and Guam to Alaska.

With a U.S. Supreme Court that is seemingly on the verge of establishing a strong conservative majority where several justices, including current nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, support an interpretation of the Second Amendment more favorable to gun ownership rights, Benitez’s rulings are drawing scrutiny from gun control groups.

That scrutiny also includes the question of how various gun cases have gone to Benitez. In federal courts, cases are assigned randomly to judges when they are filed.

The reason the cases land in front of Benitez lies in an obscure court rule for the federal court district in San Diego that governs “related cases.” Continue reading “”

Gun-owning St. Louis couple plead not guilty to gun and tampering charges

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis couple celebrated in some circles and vilified in others for waving guns at protesters marching on their private street pleaded not guilty to two felony charges at a brief hearing Wednesday.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who are both attorneys in their early 60s, were indicted by a St. Louis grand jury last week on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence. They will appear in court again Oct. 28.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner originally filed the weapons charge in July. The grand jury added the evidence tampering charge. The indictment states that a semiautomatic pistol was altered in a way that “obstructed the prosecution of Patricia McCloskey” on the weapons charge.

The McCloskeys have blamed the “leftist” Democrats in St. Louis for their plight and have become folk heroes among some conservatives. They have received support from President Donald Trump and they spoke on video during the opening night of the Republican National Convention. Continue reading “”

BLUF:
This summer’s civil unrest may be a prelude to a series of increasingly aggressive legislative disarmament efforts, which will call for careful and fearless review by the courts. Neither the Supreme Court nor most of the lower federal courts have recently exhibited much care or much courage in their approach to the Second Amendment. Her Kanter dissent promises that a Justice Barrett would bring both of those virtues to her work, which would be good for the court, good for the Constitution, and good for American liberty.

Like Scalia, Amy Coney Barrett shares an ‘originalist’ view on Second Amendment

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett come as the Supreme Court’s nascent Second Amendment jurisprudence is at an important inflection point. So far, the court has clearly held only that the Constitution protects the right to keep a handgun in one’s home for self-protection. The most practically important questions that have not yet been answered have to do with carrying firearms in public. The justices have hinted that there is such a right, but they have not determined what limits on that right they will recognize, or how far legislatures may go in restricting it.

For the past 10 years, the Supreme Court has been dragging its feet by refusing to hear any cases that raise this issue. Several members of the court have protested against this inaction, and it looks as though the next justice may be able to get the court off the dime. If that turns out to be Barrett, we can expect her to provide an intelligent and faithful interpretation of the Constitution.

Such an approach is particularly important on this issue at this time because America has been experiencing an extraordinary plague of violent political unrest. Most of the riots and other forms of political violence in recent years have been connected to specific allegations of police misconduct and to broader claims about pervasive racial bias in the use of lethal force by police. Continue reading “”

Judge Barrett Picks 2nd Amendment Case as Her “Most Significant” Ruling

The confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, began yesterday, October 12th, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Judge Barrett was previously nominated by President Trump to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and confirmed in that position by the Senate three years ago. During her tenure on that court, she has participated in deciding over 900 cases.

Her choice is a telling one, as the other cases on her top-ten list cover critical issues like qualified immunity, employment disability, and hostile work environment claims, and the interpretation of federal immigration laws.

A review of her dissent in the Kanter case reveals both a thoughtful and considered approach to Second Amendment jurisprudence and a respect for the right to keep and bear arms.

Kanter arose out of a challenge to “felon dispossession statutes,” being federal and state laws that prohibit a person with qualifying criminal convictions from possessing or receiving a firearm. The federal firearm disability is permanent unless the person has been pardoned, the conviction is expunged or set aside, or the person has had their firearm rights restored. However, the mechanism for restoration of rights based on a federal conviction has been unavailable since 1992, when Congress suspended funding for the program. Continue reading “”

This must make Der Gretchenführer apoplectic.


Michigan Supreme Court denies Gov. Whitmer’s request for ‘pandemic executive orders’ extensions
The court’s rulings reverse a lower court’s opinion that supported the governor’s use of executive powers amid the pandemic.

The Michigan Supreme Court on Monday denied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to extend emergency powers that she invoked to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The conservative-majority court rejected the Democratic governor’s request to delay the effect of its decision striking down a law she had used to keep intact sweeping orders amid the pandemic.

The justices voted 6-1 against halting the precedential effect of its Oct. 2 opinion until Oct. 30. They reaffirmed their initial 4-3 ruling that declared unconstitutional her use of the 1945 emergency powers law.

Executive orders issued under the law “are of no continuing legal effect. This order is effective upon entry,” the court wrote.

Whitmer had asked the justices to give her administration, lawmakers and local health departments 28 days to transition in the wake of the major decision. Last week, her administration quickly reinstituted mask requirements, gathering limits and other restrictions with orders issued by the state health department under a different law.

Separately, legislators and Whitmer are negotiating legislation related to other orders negated by the decision, including an extension of unemployment benefits to 26 weeks from 20 weeks.

The ruling caused some confusion because it reached the Supreme Court in an unconventional way. A federal judge overseeing a lawsuit that makes state and federal claims about Whitmer’s powers asked for an opinion on the constitutionality of two laws related to gubernatorial emergency powers.

The Supreme Court ruled in a similar case brought by the GOP-controlled House and Senate and said in an order that the decision is effective immediately.

That’s reason enough to immediately go to a floor vote and confirm her nomination!

I would put it differently as this is the main fault in this line of thinking.
The amendment restricts the government from interfering in the citizenry’s exercise of pre-existing rights.
The rights to Keep and Bear arms exist whether there’s a Constitution, or not.
But I guess we take what small victories we can and proceed on.


Second Amendment protects constitutional right

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Attorney General Derek Schmidt is fighting for Americans to be able to keep their Second Amendment rights.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt says a federal appellate court panel erred by upholding New Jersey’s ban on magazines that hold over 10 rounds of ammunition.

According to Schmidt, on Sept. 1, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a New Jersey law criminalizing the possession of a magazine that carries over 10 rounds. He said he joined 17 other state attorneys general in looking for a rehearing by the entire appellate court.

Schmidt said in August, a different appellate court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, struck down a similar law in California, concluding it was in conflict with the Second Amendment.

“We are talking about an enumerated, fundamental constitutional right,” Schmidt and the other attorneys general wrote in a brief filed last week. “While some may write the Second Amendment off as a relic of a bygone era, in reality, the ability to defend one’s self is extremely important to millions of Americans.”

According to Schmidt, Kansa has an interest in helping courts uniformly apply the proper constitutional standard to protect the right to keep and bear arms.

A copy of the brief can be found here.

The wanna-be gun grabbers go: Reeeeeeeeee!

I say: Yessssssssss.


Gun Control Groups Voice ‘Grave Concerns’ About Supreme Court Nominee’s Record

………”The Supreme Court has been derelict in not fleshing out the scope of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” said Ilya Shapiro, who publishes the Supreme Court Review at the libertarian Cato Institute.

But if Barrett wins Senate confirmation, the court’s approach to the Second Amendment could be in for a big shift.

Kris Brown, president of Brady United Against Gun Violence, said she has “grave concerns” about that prospect.

“There’s a whole host of public safety bills and laws that we’ve had in effect for a quarter century, including the Brady background check system, that we are concerned about with her on the court,” Brown said.

Brown isn’t just speculating.

In 2019, in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Judge Barrett laid out her thinking about gun rights. UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, who wrote a book about Second Amendment jurisprudence called Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, took note.

“The opinion is very revelatory,” Winkler said. “It really shows that she has a very expansive view of gun rights, likely one even broader than Justice Antonin Scalia.”……..

UCLA’s Winkler said he agrees that a categorical ban on felons is “over-inclusive,” but he diverges when it comes to Barrett’s line of reasoning.

He said her originalist approach to the Second Amendment could throw into question a lot of newer laws on the books, from prohibitions on machine guns to so-called red flag laws in at least 20 states that allow authorities or relatives to ask for court permission to remove weapons from people who represent a danger to themselves or others.

“We only started banning machine guns from civilian hands in the 1980s,” Winkler said. “Does that mean that there’s a constitutional right to have machine guns because there’s no strong historical precedent for banning those weapons?”………

Experts Say Barrett Supreme Court Confirmation Could Revolutionize Gun Litigation
Barrett’s ‘text, history, tradition’ philosophy could upend anti-gun lower court rulings.

Legal scholars say Amy Coney Barrett’s judicial philosophy could settle legal stalemates and disagreements that have seen lower federal courts deliver a variety of rulings on gun rights.

Barrett’s adoption of what experts refer to as a “text, history and tradition” philosophy—which relies on the text and historic applications of the Second Amendment, rather than the applications of “balancing tests” of individual rights and government interest to determine whether or not a gun law is constitutional—could be revolutionary for Second Amendment cases.

“In practice, the Court’s adoption of the ‘text, history, and tradition’ test would mean a lot of previously settled circuit precedent gets unsettled,” Jacob D. Charles, executive director of Duke University’s Center for Firearms Law, told the Washington Free Beacon.

In 2019’s Kanter v. Barr, Barrett argued in a dissent that “all people have the right to keep and bear arms but that history and tradition support Congress’s power to strip certain groups of that right.” After studying founding-era documents, Barrett concluded that nonviolent felons should not be subject to the same gun restrictions that apply to violent criminals. Mark W. Smith, presidential scholar and senior fellow in law and public policy at the King’s College in New York City, told the Free Beacon the approach favored by Barrett is in stark contrast to the balancing tests lower courts have employed in the past.

“Balancing tests are favored by the liberal justices and left-leaning lower courts because they serve as an easy excuse for eliminating the right to possess and use firearms,” he said. “It allows liberal jurisdictions to invoke ‘public safety’ without any empirical support and to deny constitutional rights carte blanche. These balancing tests allow judges to pay lip service to the Second Amendment while eroding this most fundamental individual right.”

Gun-rights advocates have complained for years that lower courts have improperly upheld restrictions on assault weapons and magazines, as well as gun registration requirements, despite the Supreme Court’s landmark Heller ruling, which struck down Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban in 2008. The Court expanded that ruling from state to local gun-control measures in 2010, but has only taken one other Second Amendment case since that time, leaving lower courts free to interpret gun-rights protections.

Barrett’s application of the “text, history, and tradition” doctrine, as well as her public comments noting the lack of recent Supreme Court gun cases—which four of the five Republican-appointed members of the Court have complained about publicly—indicate that the Court may finally begin settling open questions about gun rights, according to Cato Institute legal scholar Walter Olson. Continue reading “”

BLUF:
The sum of the above information is that, even if the Democrats do away with the filibuster and pass laws with a bare majority, their laws cannot stand up to constitutional scrutiny. The strict constructionist Court won’t try to re-write the laws to make them work, or find imaginary rights where none exist. Instead, like Roman emperors asked to decide the fate of a gladiator in the Colosseum, the justices will give the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to the laws, based not on their personal moral views, but on the Constitution’s objective standard.


‘The Hill’ inadvertently explains why the left fears Amy Coney Barrett

Since November 9, 2016, the day after Trump was elected, the leftists who now make up the American Democrat party have been in a non-stop tizzy. They have proven incapable of accepting that they lost at the ballot box and have used every underhanded and lunatic tactic available to evict Trump from the White House. For many of these initiatives, they’ve had the Supreme Court helping them out. That will end when Amy Coney Barrett joins the Court. Her presence creates a conservative majority that will be an insurmountable barrier to leftists’ more overreaching demands

I already wrote about Vox’s Ezra Klein saying that leftists need to do away with the filibuster to get any legislation passed. That is an open admission that slightly less than half the country does not approve of what the hard-left Democrat party wants to do. Passing legislation that almost half the country deeply opposes is a recipe for disaster. That’s why we have a filibuster, for it gets a majority of the country – through their representatives – on board with big (and even little) changes.

Now The Hill, which is ostensibly a more centrist publication than Vox (it isn’t really, but that’s its reputation), is admitting that, if Biden wins, and the Democrats take the Senate, Amy Coney Barrett is a problem:

The Supreme Court is looming as a roadblock for Democrats as they plot an ambitious wish list if they gain control of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s ascension to the Supreme Court, which Republicans hope to finalize this month, would lock in a conservative majority likely for decades, setting the courts up as a potential foil for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s agenda and Democratic leadership in the House and Senate.

The result of a 6-3 court, Democrats warn, could lead to the justices striking down a host of top priorities for the party, including health care, voting rights legislation or enacting stricter background checks for gun purchases.

In other words, Democrats understand that their initiatives are almost uniformly unconstitutional. However, since the 1950s, a primarily activist Supreme Court has given these unconstitutional laws a pass. With Barrett on board, though, the Court finally will serve (as it has long been meant to) as a roadblock to ideas that don’t comport with the Constitution. Continue reading “”

Q&A: Gun Rights, The US Supreme Court And Barrett’s Potential Role

The nation’s attention will undoubtedly turn to the U.S. Senate this month, where the Judiciary Committee will begin hearings on President Donald Trump’s latest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Should Judge Amy Coney Barrett be confirmed, as many pundits expect, she may play a key role in cases ranging from health care to gun rights.

ideastream’s Matt Richmond spoke with All Things Considered Host Tony Ganzer about how her appointment could affect gun rights and the Second Amendment.

So what do we know about Judge Barrett’s approach to gun rights?

There’s one case from her time on the Court of Appeals in D.C., the Kanter case, and she wrote a dissent arguing that a felon who was convicted of Medicare fraud should have his right to own a gun reinstated. The rationale was that he wasn’t a violent felon, so there was no good reason to take away his Second Amendment right.

Gun rights supporters have in recent years looked at issues dealing with the core right of being able to access and carry a weapon, including outside the home, out in public. Is there anything in her record on those kinds of rights?

First, she identifies closely with Justice Antonin Scalia, who was the author of the Heller decision, which guaranteed the right to own a gun in the home. The court had never identified that right in the Second Amendment before then.

“I clerked for Justice Scalia more than 20 years ago,” said Judge Barrett at the White House on the day President Trump nominated her to the Supreme Court. “But the lessons I learned still resonate. His judicial philosophy is mine too. A judge must apply the law as written.” Continue reading “”

L.A. Ordered to Pay NRA Six Figures After Losing First Amendment Case
City will pay gun-rights group about $150,000 for lawsuit over unconstitutional ordinance

A federal court ordered Los Angeles to hand over more than $100,000 to the National Rifle Association after ruling that the city had violated the gun-rights group’s First Amendment rights.

Federal district court judge Stephen Wilson struck down a city ordinance aimed at punishing prospective contractors with ties to the NRA as an infringement on the right to free speech and association. On Tuesday, he ordered city officials to pay for the Second Amendment group’s attorney fees, which totaled nearly $150,000.

“In this case, the text of the Ordinance, the Ordinance’s legislative history, and the concurrent public statements made by the Ordinance’s primary legislative sponsor evince a strong intent to suppress the speech of the NRA,” Wilson ruled in December. “Even though the Ordinance only forces disclosure of activity that may not be expressive, the clear purpose of the disclosure is to undermine the NRA’s explicitly political speech.” Continue reading “”