The Scalia Family

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

The Scalia Legacy will continue on with Amy Coney Barrett on the high court.

Column: The lasting influence of the legendary Supreme Court justice

“Enough to field a baseball team.” That was the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s response when asked how many children he had. And he and his wife Maureen’s nine children have themselves parented, as of this week, 40 grandchildren. How big is the Scalia family? So big that, at the moment, it would not be allowed to hold an in-person gathering in the justice’s home state of New Jersey.

Even that count might not be accurate. Watching Judge Amy Coney Barrett testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I couldn’t help thinking that the Scalia family is larger than the individuals directly related to him. In both her September 26 remarks at the White House and her October 12 opening statement to the committee, Barrett spoke of the influence Scalia had on her life and identified herself with his approach to the law. “His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were,” Barrett told the senators. “Sometimes that approach meant reaching results that he did not like. But as he put it in one of his best-known opinions, that is what it means to say we have a government of laws, not men.”

Whether it was for the students he taught, or the clerks he hired, or the lawyers he mentored, or the readers of his work, Scalia modeled a form of jurisprudence rooted in the text of the Constitution and in the American political tradition. His approach came to be called originalism (in matters of constitutional interpretation) and textualism (in matters of statutory interpretation). But his legacy is far greater than these contributions to legal terminology and methodology. What this son of an Italian immigrant accomplished was nothing less than a revolution in the law—and the promulgation of a distinctly American conservatism that is needed now more than ever.

It was Scalia who was among the first faculty advisers of the Federalist Society, and who addressed the society’s first national gathering in 1982. Along with his colleagues Robert Bork and Laurence Silberman, Scalia stood for the idea that judges should interpret the Constitution and statutes based on their original public meaning. The clarity of his argument, the force of his intellect, and the charm of his conversation enlarged the audience for his views. That audience exploded in size after President Reagan elevated him to the Supreme Court in 1986. Over time, the strength of originalism’s reputation in legal circles became so overpowering that some liberal judges, such as Justice Elena Kagan, felt it necessary to describe themselves, however ironically, as “originalists.”

Scalia pointed to his decision upholding the constitutionality of flag-burning as proof that originalism is not a mask for conservative politics. And there have been plenty of decisions—most recently Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion in Bostock—where self-described originalists and textualists arrived at places conservatives did not expect. But there is nonetheless an integral relationship between originalism and conservatism. What American conservatism seeks to preserve is the institutional and philosophical inheritance of the American Founding. This inheritance is codified in our enabling documents: the Constitution (as amended), the organic laws of the United States (which include the Declaration of Independence and the Northwest Ordinance), and the Federalist Papers. It is through fidelity to these words, as the Founders understood them at the time, that conservatives defend the constitutional structure and the individual freedom it secures.

Originalism has turned out to be more than a legal doctrine. It is the common ground of American conservatism. For years, the right has tried to define a “constitutional conservatism” that would serve as the political analogue to originalism. That project has been overshadowed by the rise of national populism. But it is worth noting that the current president won his office in no small part because he pledged to nominate judges in the mold of Scalia and approved by the Federalist Society. And his most enduring legacy will be his appointments to the federal courts.

It would be difficult to name other Supreme Court justices who have had such a galvanizing effect on American politics—and who continued to play such important roles after their deaths. What accounts for Scalia’s iconic stature? The latest collection of his writings, The Essential Scalia, edited by Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton and Edward Whelan, offers some clues. “Nino loved ideas—thinking about them, talking about them, arguing about them, as well as writing about them,” Justice Kagan writes in her introduction. “That love may explain why he found it so natural to befriend colleagues with whom he often disagreed (yes, like me).” Scalia’s ability to depersonalize intellectual debate was a function of his self-confidence and sense of humor. His convictions were the result of deep reflection. But he was more than happy to defend them, and to explain why you were wrong.

What comes across most, though, is the quality of Scalia’s writing. It is clear, direct, witty, lapidary, memorable. Scalia’s opinions and dissents are famous for certain lines—”this wolf comes as a wolf”; “What Is Golf?”—but on second reading it is the way he develops his argument that most impresses. And he always makes a perfect landing. “Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem,” he wrote in Heller (2008). “That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”ADVERTISING

These aren’t judicial decisions. They are essays. And like great literature they will reverberate far into the future. As Antonin Scalia’s extended family, biological and philosophical, continues to grow.

New Ad Uses RBG’s Own Words to Argue for Swift SCOTUS Confirmation

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Notorious RBG’s  words haunt the left from the grave.

A new political ad shows Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg supporting full-term presidential power during an election year to support a vote on her potential successor.

“The president is elected for four years not three years, so the power he has in year three continues into year four,” Ginsburg said in September 2016.

Advocacy group 45Committee put that comment in an ad to say the Senate should vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court vacancy left by Ginsburg’s death.

“How do you respect Ruth Bader Ginsburg?” the ad asks. “Remember her wise words on Supreme Court nominees in an election year.”

The ad also shows video of Barack Obama and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arguing that the Senate should vote on any nominee the president puts up. In 2016, Democrats expressed outrage when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) blocked a vote on confirming Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee to replace the late justice Antonin Scalia.

Top Democrats have demanded that Trump and Senate Republicans delay installing a new justice until after the election, arguing that McConnell set a precedent to do so in 2016. But Trump said he will announce a nominee Saturday, and a majority of Republicans have said they favor voting before the election

 

 

The Democrats’ Temper Tantrum, Through the Institutions

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

The DemocRats need to be made to pay for their temper tantrum in November.

Democrats, their media friends want us to know, are furious. If Republicans exercise their constitutional prerogative and fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court, the Democrats are prepared to burn it all down.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) told his caucus on Saturday that if Republicans move forward with a nomination, “nothing is off the table.” Others were more explicit: If the Democrats retake the Senate in 2021, Massachusetts senator Ed Markey vowed to abolish the filibuster; his failed primary challenger, Rep. Joe Kennedy, promised to pack the Court. They’ll bestow statehood on Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., and get rid of the Electoral College, too.

Ginsburg’s death is merely a pretense. Democrats have for years now been talking about adding justices to the High Court; CNN and the Washington Post alike documented the trend last year. The prospect of Democrats doing away with the filibuster has been around just as long. And the bellyaching about the Electoral College has been with us for two decades, ever since the Supreme Court correctly decided Bush v. Gore.

Their claims that the constitutional order itself puts Democrats at a systematic disadvantage don’t take into account Barack Obama’s 2012 victory, with 332 electoral votes, or the Democrat-controlled Senate that greenlighted two Obama SCOTUS appointments. Even now, Joe Biden is favored to win the White House and Democrats have better than even odds of retaking the Senate.

Beneath the high-toned rhetoric about a constitutional crisis is a political temper tantrum, with liberal lawmakers threatening to deface or do away with some of the most cherished institutions of American government if the political winds blow in the wrong direction.

Democrats face dual disappointments. First, their long-promised demographic majority has yet to materialize, as larger-than-expected shares of Hispanic and black voters break for Trump. Second, liberals no longer control the Supreme Court, which helped decide the major cultural issues of the last several decades, from same-sex marriage to abortion, in Democrats’ favor.

Disempowered conservatives spent decades building a legal movement intended to turn the tide. Facing similar circumstances, liberals are insisting the system is rigged and setting about to change the rules.

The people who hold political power have a duty to exercise it. That is what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did in 2016 when he declined to consider Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, and that is what Trump and McConnell will do in the coming months.

 

Democrats will do the same, showing no mercy if they win in November. They are giving us a chilling preview.

BREAKING: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Has Cancer

H/T Town Hall.

Ruth Buzzi(Bader)Ginsburg is a tough old gal don’t count her out.

The Supreme Court revealed Friday Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments for liver cancer since May.

“On May 19, I began a course of chemotherapy (gemcitabine) to treat a recurrence of cancer. A periodic scan in February followed by a biopsy revealed lesions on my liver. My recent hospitalizations to remove gall stones and treat an infection were unrelated to this recurrence,” Justice Ginsburg released in a statement “Immunotherapy first essayed proved unsuccessful. The chemotherapy course, however, is yielding positive results. Satisfied that my treatment course is now clear, I am providing this information.”

“My most recent scan on July 7 indicated significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease. I am tolerating chemotherapy well and am encouraged by the success of my current treatment.  I will continue bi-weekly chemotherapy to keep my cancer at bay, and am able to maintain an active daily routine. Throughout, I have kept up with opinion writing and all other Court work,” she continued. “I have often said I would remain a member of the Court as long as I can do the job full steam. I remain fully able to do that.”

Earlier this week, Ginsburg was hospitalized overnight for an infection. She was released and is doing well.

“Justice Ginsburg was admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland early this morning for treatment of a possible infection. She was initially evaluated at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. last night after experiencing fever and chills,” the Court released in a statement Tuesday. “She underwent an endoscopic procedure at Johns Hopkins this afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August. The Justice is resting comfortably and will stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment.”

Woman Turns to Supreme Court to Get Her Guns Back

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

The way the Roberts Court has punted on the Second Amendment I do not like Lori Rodriguez’s chances of getting her guns back.

Court has declined to hear all other Second Amendment cases this session.

In 2013, Lori Rodriguez called San Jose police to her home because her husband was having a mental health crisis and making violent threats. Seven years later, she is petitioning the Supreme Court to force the city to return her guns.

“It’s not right. I shouldn’t have to do this to get back what’s mine,” Rodriguez told the Washington Free Beacon. “They violated several of my constitutional rights.”

Rodriguez claims police ordered her to open the couple’s gun safe so they could seize all of the weapons in the home after her husband was detained for making threats that the city says included “shooting up schools.” Cops seized not only her husband’s weapons but also the guns that were personally registered to Rodriguez. The city has repeatedly rebuffed her requests to return her property.

The suit is now the sole case with Second Amendment implications remaining before the Court after the justices rejected 10 other gun-rights cases on June 15. Rodriguez’s legal challenge comes as the federal government and a number of states debate “red flag” bills that would allow authorities to deny gun rights to citizens. It has the potential to clarify the extent to which the Second Amendment protects individuals from seizures of firearms.

San Jose city attorney Richard Doyle did not respond to a request for comment. The city defended its actions, saying that authorities were within their rights to confiscate the guns, calling Rodriguez’s claim “borderline frivolous.”

“If the government has lawful authority to effect the forfeiture and observes the requirements of due process in so doing, it has complied with the Constitution,” Doyle said in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday. “The forfeiture does nothing whatever to impair the previous owner’s right to buy, possess, or use firearms, and notwithstanding that the owner may recover the full market value of the guns through their transfer and sale.”

The Supreme Court has been hesitant to take up gun-rights cases in recent years. It has ruled on only one Second Amendment case since 2011. Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh recently rebuked their colleagues for refusing to accept lawsuits tackling gun-rights issues. On June 15, Thomas published a blistering dissent about the Court’s handling of the cases.

“This Court would almost certainly review the constitutionality of a law requiring citizens to establish a justifiable need before exercising their free speech rights,” Thomas wrote. “And it seems highly unlikely that the Court would allow a State to enforce a law requiring a woman to provide a justifiable need before seeking an abortion. But today, faced with a petition challenging just such a restriction on citizens’ Second Amendment rights, the Court simply looks the other way.”

Several of the guns confiscated from Rodriguez by San Jose police have special sentimental value, according to Rodriguez. Police confiscated not only handguns that she and her husband purchased but also a war souvenir inherited from a family member.

“One of them is a gun my great uncle brought back from WWII,” she said. “I really want that one back. You can’t replace that one, obviously.”

Don Kilmer, Rodriguez’s lawyer, said that while the case implicates the 2nd Amendment, in addition to the 4th and even 14th Amendments, it ultimately comes down to an undisputed fact: Lori Rodriguez is not prohibited from owning the firearms San Jose took from her house.

“Her mental health has never been at issue,” Kilmer told the Free Beacon. “The law that the city is holding these guns under says that you can confiscate weapons of people who are mentally ill. Lori is not mentally ill.”

In the years since the initial police call, the Rodriguez family continues to live together, but Lori has taken steps to ensure she can legally own the confiscated firearms. She has transferred all of the firearms into her name and she is the only family member who knows the combination to the gun safe. Her lawyers argue that she is in compliance with all California gun laws—including those for individuals who live with people who can not own firearms themselves. Rodriguez, a lifelong San Jose resident, said that the city is depriving her of her constitutional rights despite all the steps she has taken to secure both her family and the public.

“I’m a law-abiding citizen,” she said. “I want to keep them for myself, you know. I wouldn’t just let him have access. … To me, there shouldn’t be a problem.”

Rodriguez said the same was true of the combination to the gun safe when police told her to open it back in 2013. Not only did the officers pressure her to surrender the guns without a warrant, but they also reassured her that she could get the firearms back later.

“When they were there, the guns that we owned were locked in a safe. He had no access to them,” she said. “They should’ve told me I don’t have to do it if I don’t want to. I wouldn’t have. But they didn’t come at me like that. It was like, ‘You don’t have a choice. You have to open that.'”

The case has attracted the attention of gun-rights activists, including the Second Amendment Foundation and California Gun Rights Foundation, which have both joined as co-petitioners. SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said San Jose police have punished the wrong person and threaten not only gun rights but also constitutional protections against the seizure of property.

“It combines the Second and Fourth Amendment in a way that is very advantageous to expand and further gun rights if the Supreme Court were to take the case,” Gottlieb told the Free Beacon.

Supreme Court and the Second Amendment: Our Best Hope or Worst Nightmare?

H/T AmmoLand.

The Supreme Court is a nightmare at this time for the Second Amendment.

U.S. Supreme Court Image NRA-ILA
U.S. Supreme Court Image NRA-ILA

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Of the three branches of the Federal Government in our federal system, the U.S. Supreme Court is either our best hope for preserving the U.S. Constitution and strengthening the Bill of Rights, or it’s our worst fear realized, if the court endangers the Constitution and weakens the Bill of Rights, abandoning the American citizenry to an awful fate.

In his concurring opinion in the New York City gun transport case, Justice Kavanaugh asserts, inter alia, “I share Justice Alito’s concern that some federal and state courts may not be properly applying Heller and McDonald. The Court should address that issue soon, perhaps in one of the several Second Amendment cases with petitions for certiorari now pending before the Court.”

If Justice Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion is meant to give Americans a modicum of hope, he failed miserably. He has merely raised suspicion as to his true motivations and jurisprudential leanings apropos of the Bill of Rights generally, and of the Second Amendment, particularly.

The word, ‘should,’ that Kavanaugh uses, in his concurring, doesn’t mean ‘shall,’ nor does it even mean ‘may.’

Given the reluctance of the High Court hearing any Second Amendment case, even and especially those infringing the very core of it, the prospect of the Court actually taking up another Second Amendment case in the near future is more improbable than likely. Why is that?

The U.S. Supreme Court Reviews Very Few Cases

First, the Court has limited time, given the number of cases that come before it during any term. As set forth in the SCOTUS Blog:

“In most circumstances, the Supreme Court has discretion whether or not to grant review of a particular case. Of the 7,000 to 8,000 cert petitions filed each term, the court grants certiorari and hears oral argument in only about 80. Granting a cert petition requires the votes of four justices.”

Since the High Court reviews only a fraction of the cases brought to it in any given term, and since the High Court is averse to hearing Second Amendment cases, it will only be on a wing and a prayer that the Supreme Court is likely to take up any Second Amendment case, given the Court’s present composition. And, if it does so at all, it will likely deny cert on any further Second Amendment case this Term because the Supreme Court Term is effectively over in late June, hardly more than one month from now as of the posting of this article.

Note, “A Term of the Supreme Court begins, by statute, on the first Monday in October. . . . The Term is divided between ‘sittings,’ when the Justices hear cases and deliver opinions, and intervening ‘recesses,’ when they consider the business before the Court and write opinions. Sittings and recesses alternate at approximately two-week intervals.”

Moreover, “The Court is, typically, in recess from late June/early July until the first Monday in October. . . . The Court hears oral arguments in cases from October through April [and] All opinions of the Court are, typically, handed down by the last day of the Court’s term (the day in late June/early July when the Court recesses for the summer). With the exception of this deadline, there are no rules concerning when decisions must be released. Typically, decisions that are unanimous are released sooner than those that have concurring and dissenting opinions. While some unanimous decisions are handed down as early as December, some controversial opinions, even if heard in October, may not be handed down until the last day of the term.”

Suppose The High Court Does Secure Four Votes Necessary To Review A Second Amendment Case, What Then?

Second, even if, by some strange happenstance the Supreme Court does grant review in one of the pending Second Amendment cases, in the next few weeks, especially given the impact of the Communist Chinese Coronavirus, one may justifiably ask when will that case be briefed; when will it be argued in oral hearing before the Court; and when might the case be decided? And, most significantly: how will that case be decided?

Given that Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Kavanaugh both sided with the liberal wing of the High Court on the New York City gun transport case, that fact alone is a matter for deep concern.

In any event, all of this—from voting to hear a case, to the releasing of a decision in that case—takes an inordinate amount of time and, with a General U.S. Presidential election coming up in November 2020, an election just around the corner, both the liberal wing and conservative wing of the High Court may have their own good reasons for not taking up another Second Amendment case this Term.

Consider the ramifications of the results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, both on the eventual composition of the Supreme Court and on the manner in which a Second Amendment case would be decided.

Supreme Court Justices, no less than average citizens, do surely manifest deep concern over the outcome of the upcoming U.S. Presidential election. And whom it is that wins the election will be able to actuate one or the other of two alternate, incompatible, radically distinct visions for the Nation.

One vision is grounded on the political and social philosophy of Individualism, championed by the Founders of our Free Republic, and actualized in the Constitution that the States, in existence at the time, had ratified. That Constitution is the blueprint of the structure of our Nation, where the people themselves are sovereign: a notion manifest in no other nation in the world despite talk, for example, by the rulers of the EU, holed up in Brussels, who govern the nations comprising the EU. These “elites” talk endlessly, and disingenuously, and deceptively of the EU’s liberal democratic values. But that is nothing more than flimflam and flummery.

The second vision is grounded on the political and social philosophy of Collectivism—a term that is wending its way more frequently into political discourse, as the Radical Left talks carefully, non-critically, and often glowingly, about the benefits of life in both the EU and in the Autocratic, Communist Collectivist regime of Xi Jinping of China. See Arbalest Quarrel Article, titled, “The Modern Civil War: A Clash of Ideologies, posted October 6, 2018.” Note: In that article, we point to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, which, at the time of the posting of the article, had just occurred.

Would that we knew then what we know now, having seen Justice Kavanaugh’s insipid, seemingly groveling, duplicitous Concurring Opinion in the New York City Gun Transport case. We said, at the time:

“With Brett Kavanaugh now on the high Court, the Individualists’ vision for this Country is now more likely to prevail in the decades ahead than is the vision of the Collectivists. Had Hillary Clinton prevailed in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, and thereupon nominated individuals to the high Court who view the Constitution of the United States as a “Living Document,” susceptible to massive judicial and legislative revision, the direction of this Country would have continued along the path created for it by the Bush and Clinton clans, and by Barack Obama. Americans would have seen the eventual loss of this Country’s independence and sovereignty, and, concomitantly, Americans would have seen the loss of the fundamental, unalienable rights guaranteed to them, as codified in the Nation’s Bill of Rights. The losses would have been drastic, and those losses would have been assured. Thankfully, a dire future for this Nation and its people is less likely to happen now, as the election of Trump has enabled the Nation to pivot back to the path laid out for us by the founders of the Nation. But there is still much work ahead for the American people. We must remain ever vigilant.”

The Most Important U.S. Presidential Election Of The Last Two Centuries Is Upon Us

The principles of Collectivism were anathema to the founders of our Nation; and those principles are wholly incompatible with the Constitution the framers designed, predicated on the tenets of Individualism, the foundation of our Nation. The two political and social philosophies, Individualism and Collectivism, cannot be reconciled. And those who wish to implement the principles of Collectivism in our Nation know this. That is why they talk openly of major amendments to the Constitution.

Indeed, some Collectivists talk of doing away with the U.S. Constitution altogether, as it would be far easier to draft a new Constitution grounded on the principles of Collectivism than to try to reconfigure the original Constitution, grounded as it is on a completely different set of precepts: those of Individualism. And we will be headed in a very disturbing direction if the Collectivists do succeed in taking firm control over the reins of Government.

Gun-Rights Activists Look to Supreme Court to Take Up AR-15 Bans, Confiscation Bills

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Will the Supreme Court take up the case of the assault weapons bans or will they punt once more?

High Court has yet to rule on ‘assault weapon’ bans.

Second Amendment advocates are pursuing multiple lawsuits against gun-control measures in an effort to trigger a Supreme Court challenge that could upend decades of legislation.

The Second Amendment Foundation has filed multiple gun-rights challenges in federal courts across the country. Founder Alan Gottlieb said the muddled nature of state laws, on issues ranging from open carry to the possession of certain weapons, calls out for judicial review from the nation’s highest court.

“Politicians making claims that the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to so-called assault weapons is exactly why the Supreme Court needs to take all of these cases and put this issue to rest,” Gottlieb told the Washington Free Beacon.

The Supreme Court has never heard a legal challenge on either federal or state bans on “assault weapons” and has been largely silent on Second Amendment issues since its landmark rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010)—a pair of decisions that struck down strict gun-control laws in Washington, D.C., and Illinois. Gun-control activists have used the silence from the justices as approval for new bans and confiscation measures. Virginia delegate Mark Levine (D.) told the state Senate Judiciary Committee in February that the constitutionality of his proposed “assault weapons” ban and magazine confiscation proposal was settled law.

“I understand that some people might disagree with the policy here but there should be no question as to the constitutionality of this bill,” Levine said.

The Virginia Senate ultimately voted against Levine’s legislation, but gun advocates say that his rhetoric demonstrates why the Supreme Court should weigh in.

If the Supreme Court is moved to rule on new gun-rights cases—especially the legality of bans like Levine’s—it could change the landscape of gun laws in the United States. Any ruling expanding protections for what categories of guns Americans have a right to own, or where they have a right to take their guns, could strike down laws in heavily Democratic states such as California, New York, and Illinois.

In 2016, the Supreme Court used Heller to toss out a Massachusetts woman’s conviction for possessing a stun gun banned in the state—the ban was later struck down by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. That was the only major gun-rights case that the justices ruled on in the last decade. Gun-rights advocates say the reluctance of the High Court to act has led to a confusing web of lower court decisions that leave the extent of Second Amendment protections an open question.

“There’s confusion across the country on this because of different rulings on it,” Philip Van Cleave, head of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said. “They absolutely should come in and get this straightened out once and for all so this right is protected.”

Second Amendment activists are confident that they would prevail if state or local gun bans reach the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in Heller that weapons “in common use” for lawful purposes are protected by the Second Amendment. The AR-15 and other semiautomatic rifles are some of the most popular guns in the country with more than 17.7 million owned by civilians in the United States, according to a recent industry estimate.

“Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Second Amendment precedent, Gov. Northam’s proposed gun ban is flat-out unconstitutional,” NRA spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen said. “The highest court in the land has repeatedly ruled that banning commonly owned arms violates the Second Amendment.”

Appellate courts have disagreed, but there has been no uniform legal reasoning between circuits affirming the constitutionality of gun bans.

The Seventh Circuit ruled AR-15s and similar firearms banned in Cook County, Illinois, do not have a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia.” The Fourth Circuit ruled the AR-15s banned by Maryland are “‘weapons that are most useful in military service’ — which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment’s reach.” The D.C. Circuit ruled there was a “substantial relationship” between the city’s AR-15 ban “and the objectives of protecting police officers and controlling crime.” The First Circuit ruled Massachusetts “(at most) minimally burdens” Second Amendment rights with its AR-15 ban.

Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said the varied opinions make the issue ripe for the Supreme Court to take up.

“There are no grounds to say it’s settled law. You have circuit courts of appeal that are at disagreement as to why those bans are constitutional,” he told the Free Beacon. “When you have disagreement among the circuit courts that is a reason why the Supreme Court could be weighing in to come to an agreement on what that standard is.”

Levine, the Virginia Democrat, argued that gun-control bans have received the blessing of the Roberts Court. He pointed to the Supreme Court’s decision not to take up an appeal of the Fourth Circuit ruling upholding Maryland’s assault-weapons ban.

“This weapons restriction is clearly constitutional,” he told the state Senate in February. “The [Maryland] case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari. That wasn’t the first time they’ve declined to review such a case. They’ve done so in other cases.”

Gun-rights advocates pointed out that the Supreme Court deciding not to hear an appeal is not tantamount to endorsing the lower court’s decision. There are many reasons the Court might decide not to take a case, from limited docket space to justices waiting for split rulings at the circuit level, or simply wanting a better test case on an issue.

“I think Delegate Levine’s arguments are probably the best defense of his gun-confiscation legislation that he could make, but they don’t stand up to legal precedence on why the Supreme Court does or does not take a case,” Gottlieb said.

There are at least six separate gun-rights challenges from MarylandIllinoisMassachusettsCalifornia, and New Jersey—as well as one challenging a federal ban on interstate handgun sales—waiting for review by the High Court. Not every gun-control advocate shares Levine’s optimism. Ladd Everitt, former director of the gun-control group One Pulse for America, said pro-gun control policymakers should not give the Supreme Court leeway to set new precedents overturning gun-control laws.

“The majority’s decision in Heller led to a torrent of litigation against gun-control laws nationwide,” Everitt said in a 2019 op-ed. “Thankfully, federal courts have rejected most of those challenges. It will become harder to do so in the future, however, if our increasingly pro-gun Supreme Court is allowed additional, unnecessary bites at the Second Amendment apple.”

The District of Columbia declined to appeal a 2017 decision striking down its restrictive gun-carry permit law because city officials feared a Supreme Court decision would strike down similar laws in other states. In 2019, New York City officials attempted to withdraw a bid to defend a law limiting the transportation of legally owned firearms after the Supreme Court agreed to review the case. Local gun-control groups even lobbied for a state law loosening the travel restrictions out of fear of what the Court might rule.

Several Supreme Court justices have publicly spoken out in favor of the Court taking more gun-rights cases. When the Court declined to hear a challenge to a California gun-carry law in 2017, Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch wrote a dissent, telling their colleagues not to “stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right.”

“The Court’s decision to deny certiorari in this case reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right,” Thomas said. “The Court has not heard [an] argument in a Second Amendment case in over seven years—since March 2, 2010, in McDonald…. Since that time, we have heard argument[s] in, for example, roughly 35 cases where the question presented turned on the meaning of the First Amendment and 25 cases that turned on the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.”

The make-up of the Court has changed drastically since McDonald, following the additions of President Trump’s appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. Kavanaugh has previously weighed in on the constitutionality of gun bans, notably dissenting when the D.C. Circuit upheld the city’s assault-weapons ban in 2011.

“In my judgment, both D.C.’s ban on semiautomatic rifles and its gun registration requirement are unconstitutional under Heller,” he wrote. “There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semiautomatic handguns and semiautomatic rifles. Semiautomatic rifles, like semiautomatic handguns, have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses.”

Americans may soon get a preview of which direction the current Court will move on guns when it issues its decision in the New York City gun-transportation case. In December, justices heard oral arguments in the New York City case and will decide whether to allow authorities to drop the case or rule on the merits. No matter the outcome in that case, both sides of the gun-control debate say the Supreme Court has the potential to shake up the entire course of legislative debates moving forward.

Get Ready For Apocalypse Ruth

H/T Town Hall.

When Ruth Buzzi(Bader)Ginsberg dies we need to be prepared for a very ugly fight to fill her seat on the Supreme Court.

It will make the Brett Kavanaugh fight look like an ice cream social.

Progressives’ ghoulish glee over the death of an old man turned into barely constrained panic when, later that day, it was revealed that their heroine Ruth Bader Ginsberg was just treated for pancreatic cancer yet again. Their disgraceful joy at David Koch’s passing was yet another reminder of the harsh truth that leftists want you dead or enslaved. Koch’s sin was that he disagreed with liberals (though, in important ways, also with conservatives). For that, these cretins danced around like idiots celebrating his succumbing. And they’ll celebrate when you die too. Always believe people who tell you they hate you and want you dead.

Oh, and never disarm.

Of course, RBG is eager to disarm you, and she would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling Supreme Court kids who actually read Second Amendment. Her constitutional jurisprudence consists of disregarding what she dislikes that’s in the Bill of Rights and making up stuff that’s not in it but that she feels – not thinks, feels – should be in it. She’s a terrible justice and conservatives would love to see her step down. But our side expressed no delight in her latest suffering comparable to the giddy revelry that greeted Koch’s kicking the bucket. We’re not monsters, though how long that remains true is up in the air. When you establish New Rules they tend to come back and bite you on the Schumer.

Here’s a pro tip, liberal dummies. If you are going to normalize the hatred of political opponents and express open joy at their demise, the savvy play is to be the political faction that possesses and knows how to use AR-15s and not the one that agonizes over its pronouns.

RBG’s latest successful MMA bout with the Grim Reaper is a reminder that we conservatives need to gird our loins for what’s coming when she finally leaves the Supreme Court for good. But our anticipatory loin girding is merely prudent preparation.

In fact, most of us feel a grudging respect for Ginsburg as a worthy opponent and as one tough cookie. She’s like John McCain with a neck doily; he drove us up the wall too, but as a group we did not wish cancer on him.

Not wanting her to die a horrible death is not to sugarcoat the damage she has done with her utterly upside-down vision of our founding document, but to simply reaffirm a point that never should have been an issue but is an issue because of the shameful behavior of liberals like we saw with Koch. We conservatives don’t want people to die simply because they have different political beliefs.

But she’s very old and she’s very sick and facing that reality is not the same as high-fiving it. There’s a more than significant chance that before the 2020 election she will pass on to her reward despite her being the Energizer Bunny of being wrong wrong wrong about constitutional jurisprudence. She just keeps going and going and going, but someday she’s going to run out of juice and join her pal Antonin Scalia on the bench in the great beyond, and if that happens with Trump in the White House, ho boy.

You can relive the shameful saga of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings in Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino’s remarkable Justice on Trial. What will happen next time will pale in comparison. If you thought you saw frothy, mouth-foaming insanity last time — just you wait.

The elite’s message will combine “Trump is illegitimate” with “Cocaine Mitch is breaking precedent” and “They’re going to bring back slavery when they establish The Handmaid’s Tale as the law of the land” with a bit of “This will shred the fabric of the nation we love so much that we support jerks who kneel during the National Anthem.”

The Democrats are already prepping the battlespace with this cheesy narrative. Obama’s brain David Axelrod tweeted: “If there is a SCOTUS vacancy next year and @senatemajldr carries through on his extraordinary promise to fill it-despite his own previous precedent in blocking Garland-it will tear this country apart.” I responded to this tweet by observing – employing terms that were a bit salty and therefore shall not be linked – that the last time Democrats failed to get their way and tore the country apart, we patriots (paraphrasing) handily defeated them. But hey Dems, maybe the second time’s the charm!

It’s not worth the time to dissect the wrong premise about confirming justices during an election year in Axelrod’s wrong tweet. Liberals are disinterested in argument, and the Murder Turtle running the Senate gets this and won’t even play their game. This is about power. On an objective level, perhaps Justice Ginsburg should step down, but she has the power not to and therefore it’s silly to whine about her not doing it. Similarly, we have the power to shove a new conservative Supreme Court justice down the Dems’ throats, so it’s silly to argue with the libs about it (though our objective case for doing it is strong). After a short and dignified interregnum, once the impending RBG vacancy becomes actively vacant, Donald Trump should unashamedly use the power of the office he was elected to and nominate a replacement, and Moscow Mitch should start rushin’ toward confirming him – or her.

The fact is that soon we’re going to have six conservatives on SCOTUS, or actually, five-and-a-half if you count Justice Soft Serve Roberts.

And when this all goes down, the left will freak out in a festival of freaking outness unparalleled in American history. The Dem candidates will go nuts. Big Chief Warren will be on the warpath, Bernie will call for revolution, Harris will say whatever she thinks is useful, Biden will start talking about how JFK visited him in the White House, and Beto will continue to be a furry.

We’ll get lots of the “Orange man bad, orange man not nominate a judge because he bad” babble from the libs and their gimp media. Maddow will cry, Don Lemon will pound an umbrella drink and Tater Stelter will sweat profusely as he reads off the teleprompter about how Trump is literally Hitler. The Fredoconswill weigh in with their patented brand of sissy submission to their elite tops. We’ll be informed how taking back the Supreme Court like the geebos of Conservative, Inc., promised for three decades is actually not who we are and how we’re better than that and how oh well I never. Can you imagine Jeb! or Mitt in this situation? They would eagerly, whole-heartedly buy into the compromise unity candidate ploy to stick some moderate muggle on the bench in order to “repair the heart of our country” and “build bridges” of bipartisan love.

Trump builds victories, and he’s going to blow up that bridge.

My money is on him appointing Amy Coney Barrett, who has the unique ability to be a Scalia-like justice and to own the libs by being a woman. And not just any woman but a female woman who has kids and goes to church and is down with originalism like a boss. It’s going to be hard to paint her as the ringleader of a teen rape gang, and while her beer-appreciation status is yet unknown, it is unlikely she will have to explain to the dummies on the Judiciary Committee her high school clique’s unique flatulence euphemisms.

But they will still try to destroy her. That’s their only move, one not unrelated to the giddy cheer that greeted David Koch’s death. All we conservatives did with whoever Merrick Garland was was tell him “No.” But if you are conservative and you oppose them, they will try to wipe you out, if not literally then at least figuratively. But that’s a desperation tactic and it does not work, not if you hold strong and refuse to back down. Clarence Thomas fought back and won. Brett Kavanaugh fought back and won. And Amy Coney Barrett will fight back and she will win.

And that means our Constitution will win.

Loins, commence girding.

Read a vivid account of what happens if the left establishes its dictatorship in the ruins of the blue states in my action-packed yet hilarious novels, People’s Republic, Indian Country and Wildfire. Due to liberals being terrible, the United States splits into red and blue countries and if you think California is bad now, just wait. The Never Trump weenies hate my books, probably because people actually read my books, and these cruise-shilling losers tried to label them “Appalling” for mocking the Ahoy Boyz liberal masters. That’s a potent validation of my novels’ wokeness!

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Democrats outraged after McConnell vows to fill any Supreme Court vacancy in 2020

H/T Fox News.

The DemocRats still have a major case of butt-hurt because of BathHouse Barry Obama not getting a hearing for Merrick Garland.

When Garland was nominated the Republicans were in charge of the Senate and Obama was in the final year as president.

If an opening comes up before the 2020 election Donald Trump will not be a lame-duck on his way out the door.

George W.Bush was not able to get a nominee to theSupreme Court approved as he was a lame-duck.

Democrats are livid after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stated that Republicans would confirm a new Supreme Court justice in 2020 if given the chance, despite refusing to do so when Barack Obama was president during the last presidential election.

McConnell made the comments during a speech in his home state Tuesday afternoon. Asked what Republicans would do if there was a vacancy on the court in 2020, he replied, “Uh, we’d fill it.” In 2016, McConnell and his fellow Republicans chose not to vote on Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, claiming that the next president should get to make that decision.

As a result, President Trump later successfully nominated the conservative Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland is widely considered more centrist.

Democratic presidential candidates quickly took the opportunity to accuse McConnell of hypocrisy.

“We’ve known all along how hypocritical the @senatemajldr is,” said Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro. “But his shamelessness at stealing a Supreme Court seat is appalling.”

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee also chimed in, claiming McConnell’s remark was evidence that he “is not a man on the verge of an epiphany to work with Democrats.”

Other high-profile Democrats took shots at McConnell as well. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called him a “hypocrite” in a Twitter thread, and said, “Anyone who believes he’d ever allow confirmation of a Dem President’s nominee for SCOTUS is fooling themselves.”

SUPREME COURT DECISIONS EXPECTED ON CITIZENSHIP QUESTION ON 2020 CENSUS, RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said McConnell had admitted that the GOP “stole a Supreme Court seat from President Obama” when they reffused to hold a hearing for Garland.

But McConnell’s communications director pushed back agains the criticism, explaining why McConnell’s position is different now than it was in 2016. He argued that while in 2020 the White House and Senate will be controlled by the same party, that was not the case during President Obama’s last year in office.

Democrats lamented the GOP’s decision to stall in 2016, which ended up giving President Trump the ability to place two conservative justices on the Supreme Court during his first term in office. Conservative justices now have a 5-4 majority over liberals, at a time when Democrats are worried that a string of restrictive abortion laws could result in the overruling of Roe v. Wade.

As recent weeks have shown, however, justices can be unpredictable, with each of Trump’s picks — Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — siding with their liberal colleagues in close decisions.

 

HERE WE GO: Supreme Court Signals Support For Trump’s Citizenship Census Question

H/T Flag And Cross.

If the Supreme Court rules the citizenship question can be on the census the left will go nuts.

This is a big one, folks!

It is looking more and more likely that the Supreme Court will allow the citizenship question to be added to the 2020 census.

Democrats are likely to erupt, while conservatives will stand and clap.

Here’s more information about what’s going down, from Bloomberg:

Key U.S. Supreme Court justices seemed inclined to let the Trump administration add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census in a clash that will shape the allocation of congressional seats and federal dollars.

In an 80-minute argument Tuesday that was both technical and combative, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh directed almost all their questions to the lawyers challenging the decision to ask about citizenship. Kavanaugh said Congress gave the Commerce secretary “huge discretion” to decide what to ask on the census.

Opponents say a citizenship question could result in a census undercount in areas with large non-citizen populations that could shift congressional districts and federal funds away from those communities.

Far-left Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted, “There’s no doubt that people will respond less. That’s been proven in study after study.

Stay tuned…

As most conservatives are well aware, Obamacare was unconstitutional from the start considering it originated in the Senate.

Now, an appeals court has ruled in the Trump administration’s favor on a major issue.

What this means is the Supreme Court may wind up ruling on the Redistribution of Wealth Act’s Affordable Care Act’s legality before the 2020 presidential election.

In other words, it’s kind of a big deal.

CNN Politics

@CNNPolitics

The Supreme Court may get to decide the fate of Obamacare before the 2020 election https://cnn.it/2UttBHg 

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One woman was rumored to be in the running for the SCOTUS seat that went to Brett Kavanaugh.

As it stands, President Trump has nominated two judges to the Supreme Court, both of whom made it through the entire process – Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

Now, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat becomes available 45 knows exactly who he’ll nominate to replace her.

From Daily Wire:

President Donald Trump has reportedly told those close to him that he is “saving” Judge Amy Coney Barrett to take Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat if it becomes available.

According to Axios, Trump has told multiple people: “I’m saving her for Ginsburg.”

Liberals have offered up vital organs to Justice Ginsburg as she recovered from broken ribs and the removal of tumors.

They have a feeling, given her advanced age, that President Trump may soon be appointing his third Supreme Court nominee.

Anti-Trump filmmaker Michael Moore decided to mock Christians by using an RBG doll as his Christmas tree topper in 2018.

You know, because absolutely everything has to be political!

My Christmas Tree Topper this year. Better than an angel or the star over Bethlehem. A nation of millions stand with you…

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Michael Moore

@MMFlint

My Christmas Tree Topper this year. Better than an angel or the star over Bethlehem. A nation of millions stand with you…

6,159 people are talking about this