Alan Gottlieb On Denial Of Cert In 2A Cases

Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation issued a strongly worded statement today on the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in virtually every Second Amendment Case before it. The only case that touches on the Second Amendment remaining is Rodriguez v. San Jose. Given that property was taken by the police and not returned, you could easily make the argument that it was a takings case and not a 2A case.

“The Supreme Court’s refusal to take a Second Amendment Foundation case falls squarely at the feet of Chief Justice John Roberts.

“He owes every gun owner in the United States an explanation about why the high court declined to hear a number of important Second Amendment cases.

“Given the fact that the Supreme Court had a cafeteria-style menu of cases from which to choose, there is no excuse why the court at this time chose to ignore the need to rule on any of these cases, and send a message to lower courts that they can no longer thumb their noses at the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions affirming the individual right to keep and bear arms.

“There is still one more case pending cert before the high court that was filed by the SAF. It is known as Rodriguez v. San Jose, a firearms confiscation case out of the State of California.”

Alan is 100% correct. This needs to be laid at the feet of John Roberts. One does wonder what sort of blackmail material that the Obama Administration and/or the liberal wing of the Court has on him that he has gone so wobbly. It is either that or a pathetic need to be loved by the mainstream media elites.

He wants the “Roberts Court” to be respected. However, the Chief Justice should remember that respect is earned and not given. He sure as hell didn’t earn any respect today.

In a time when there is unrest in our streets and the pandemic has led to an increase in crime in many locations, the need for the Court to reaffirm its rulings in Heller and McDonald was now.

They had 10 chances and they blew every bloody one of them.

Supreme Court Decides To Be A Doormat

In the face of numerous US District and Appeals Courts flat out ignoring its rulings in Heller and McDonald, the Supreme Court has obviously decided they preferred to be a doormat. In today’s Orders of the Court, virtually every single case dealing with the Second Amendment had certiorari denied. The only remaining case is Rodriguez v. San Jose which involves the confiscation of firearms from a non-prohibited person. (Last sentence is a correction from the original post)

With the exception of Rogers v. Grewal, a New Jersey carry case, all the other cases were denied certiorari without any comment or dissent. I don’t count the granting of permission to file an amicus brief and then denying cert as the Court did with Mance and Cheeseman as a comment.

The across the board denial of certiorari could mean a number of things. First, it could be a strategic move by Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh to not bring a case where they weren’t sure they had the vote of Chief Justice John Roberts. He seems more interested in his own legacy as it will be written by the Washington elite and liberal academia. The man has lost all semblance of a spine. You saw it with clarity in his decision in the ObamaCare case. Roberts either sees himself as the successor to Justice Kennedy’s man in the middle or has decided to go full-Souter.

Second, it could mean the more conservative justices are waiting until such time as Justice Ginsberg is off the Court in hopes that President Trump will appoint someone would vote to respect the Second Amendment. This, too, has risk as the presidential election appears to be a toss-up right now and Ginsberg keeps hanging on (and on and on) despite her health issues.

Third, a number of the justices find the Second Amendment “icky” and any attempt to go beyond Heller and McDonald is a bridge too far. Certainly the liberal four are in this camp and they are depending upon the lower courts to continue to emasculate those rulings. They consider the Second Amendment a second-class civil right.

Fourth, it means that the Roberts Court has no self-respect and doesn’t give a big rat’s ass if their rulings are roundly ignored by the lower courts. We all know that if it a lower court ignored a ruling on abortion or some other most favored “right”, the Court would have been all over it and swatted the lower court down like flies.

I will examine Justice Thomas’ dissent on the denial of certiorari in Rogers v Grewal in which Justice Kavanaugh joined in part in a subsequent blog post. There is a lot there. I do find it instructive that the only justice to actually face racial discrimination is the primary supporter on the Court of the Second Amendment.

WSJ Editorial Board Gets It Right

The Wall Street Journal published a scathing editorial today on the Supreme Court deciding to moot NYSRPA v City of New York. I think they got it right. For a co-equal branch of government to cower before the threats of senators like Sheldon Whitehouse should be unthinkable. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

What an enormous abdication. The Supreme Court ducked its first Second Amendment case in a decade on Monday, and the only plausible explanation is that Chief Justice John Roberts wanted to avoid becoming a target of vengeful Senate Democrats.

The editorial then takes note of Justice Alito’s dissent which was joined by Justice Gorsuch in whole and by Justice Thomas in part.

The majority buckled and ignored previous rulings to do it. As Justice Alito writes, the Court’s precedents hold that “a case ‘becomes moot only when it is impossible for a court to grant any effectual relief whatever to the prevailing party.’” Plaintiffs want to transport their firearms without worrying about getting arrested if they stop somewhere along the way. The city even admitted in oral arguments that it’s unclear whether this is allowed. Justice Alito says this and more make the rule’s violation of the Second Amendment “not a close call.”

On the mootness point, Justice Alito also pokes his colleagues with this hypothetical: “A State enacts a law providing that any woman wishing to obtain an abortion must submit certification from five doctors that the procedure is medically necessary. After a woman sues, claiming that any requirement of physician certification is unconstitutional, the State replaces its old law with a new one requiring certification by three physicians. Would the court be required to dismiss the woman’s suit?” You know the answer.

Looking at Justice Kavanaugh’s concurrence, the editorial board found it “curious”.

Justice Kavanaugh’s role here is curious because, while he joined the majority on mootness, he wrote a concurrence agreeing with the dissent on the Second Amendment merits. This looks to us as if he is trying to protect the Chief Justice from being the fifth vote, and the sole “conservative,” providing a liberal victory while making clear he’s still a solid vote himself for gun rights. The phrase for this is too clever by half.

They note that the Supreme Court has been timid on the Second Amendment and is treating it as a second class right. Moreover, if shrill threats from the Whitehouses of the world and the media can sway the Court, then we can expect it to escalate on this and other issues.

They conclude on the role of Chief Justice John Roberts.

The Chief Justice is carving out a reputation as a highly political Justice whose views on the law can be coerced with threats to the Court’s “independence.” The danger for the Court is that, in bending to these threats, the Chief is compromising the very independence he claims to want to protect.

I wish Kavanaugh was more like his fellow Georgetown Prep classmate Justice Gorsuch. I said back when Kavanaugh was selected that he wasn’t my first choice. I much preferred Tom Hardiman and Raymond Kethledge. Both had better backgrounds on the Second Amendment. Moreover, neither were Ivy League law grads which I found to be a big plus.

My only hope is that the Court does take one or more of the Second Amendment cases that are still out there awaiting cert. Ideally, they would take one of the carry cases, Mance v. Barr, and Pena v. Horan. That threesome with the correct decision would allow carry outside the home, poke holes in GCA68, and do away with the California handgun roster.