DC Circuit’s April Fools Joke On The Constitution

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia released its decision in the combined cases of Guedes et al v. BATFE et al and Codrea et al v. Barr. It was a per curiam decision with Judge Karen Henderson dissenting in part and concurring in part. The court sided with the District Court in denying the preliminary injunction of the bump stock rule.


: In October 2017, a lone gunman armed with
bump-stock-enhanced semiautomatic weapons murdered 58
people and wounded hundreds more in a mass shooting at a
concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the wake of that tragedy, the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
(“Bureau”) promulgated through formal notice-and-comment
proceedings a rule that classifies bump-stock devices as
machine guns under the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C.
§§ 5801–5872.
Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg.
66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (“Bump-Stock Rule”). The then-
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker initially signed the
final Bump-Stock Rule, and Attorney General William Barr
independently ratified it shortly after taking office. Bump-
stock owners and advocates filed separate lawsuits in the
United States District Court for the District of Columbia to
prevent the Rule from taking effect. The district court denied
the plaintiffs’ motions for a preliminary injunction to halt the
Rule’s effective date.
Guedes v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms, and Explosives
, 356 F. Supp. 3d 109 (D.D.C. 2019).
We affirm the denial of preliminary injunctive relief.

 The case was heard by Judges Karen Henderson, Sri Srinivasan, and Patricia Millett. Srinivasan and Millett were appointed to the Court of Appeals by former President Obama while Judge Henderson by President George H. W. Bush.

In reaching their decision, the court found that BATFE was entitled to Chevron deference and that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed in their case as a result.

Judge Henderson parted company with her colleagues and said that the bump stock rule does contradict the statutory definition of a machine gun. As such, she would have granted the injunction.
She examined the history of the National Firearms Act, rulings of BATFE, the previous rulings that the bump stock was NOT a machine gun, the slow motion video evidence submitted to the District Court, and the affidavit of Richard Vasquez who had done the technical evaluation of the bump stock.

She concluded:

If the focus is
—as it must
be—on the trigger,
a bump stock
does not qualify as a “machinegun.” A semiautomatic rifle
shoots a single round
per pull of the trigger and the bump stock
the pull is accomplished. Without a bump
, the shooter
s the trigger with his finger for each shot.
With a bump stock, however, the shooter
—after the initial
—maintains backward pressure on the trigger and puts forward pressure on the barrel with his non-
shooting hand;
these manual inputs cause the rifle to slide and result in the
finger pulling the trigger.

Type Devices
, 83 Fed. Reg.
at 66,533 (“The constant forward
pressure with the non-
trigger hand pushes the firearm forward,
again pulling the firearm forward, engaging the trigger, and
firing a second round.”). T
he bump stock therefore
whether the shooter
finger or keep
s it
. It does not change the movement of the trigger
, which “
must be released, reset, and fully pulled rearward
subsequent round can be fired.” Verified
Declaration of Richard (Rick) Vasquez, former Acting Chief
of the Firearms Tech
. Branch of ATF, at 3–4.

Like countless other Americans, I can think of
a bump stock. That thought
, however
, has
nothing to do with the legality
of the Bump Stock Rule. For
the reason
s detailed
, I believe the Bump Stock Rule
expands the statutory definition of “machinegun” and is
ultra vires
In my view, the plaintiffs are likely to
succeed on
the merits of their challenge and I would grant them
preliminary injunctive relief.

Accordingly, I respectfully dissent

DC Circuit Stays Bump Stock Rule (Updated)

The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has issued a stay on the enforcement of the BATFE’s bump stock ban. It is only temporary and is intended to give the judges on the Circuit Court the time needed to study the expedited appeal. It doesn’t go to the merits of the case but the judges acknowledged that the March 26th deadline was an issue.

From the court’s order:

BEFORE: Henderson, Millett, and Srinivasan, Circuit Judges


Plaintiffs in these three consolidated cases challenge a final agency rule banning
Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (“Bump-Stock Rule”),
which is scheduled to take effect on March 26, 2019. On February 25, 2019, the district
court denied the plaintiffs’ joint request for a preliminary injunction staying the Bump-Stock
Rule’s effective date. On March 1, 2019, this court granted the Appellants’ joint motion for
expedition of this case, in which they sought resolution of the appeal on a highly expedited
basis before the March 26, 2019, effective date. Under that expedited schedule, this case
was argued on March 22, 2019. At oral argument, counsel for the government explained
that it was now its position that the Bump Stock Rule’s March 26, 2019 effective date
should be viewed as the date when the government will cease exercising its prosecutorial
discretion not to enforce federal law against those who possess or trade in bump-stockdevices covered by the Bump-Stock Rule. Oral Arg. 49:00-51:55. Following oral argument, the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc. filed a voluntary motion to dismiss its appeal, or in the
alternative to stay its appeal, and advised that the government opposes the motion to
dismiss. In light of these representations, it is

ORDERED that the motion of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., to dismiss its
appeal, No. 19-5043, be granted. Appeal No. 19-5043 is hereby dismissed. It is

FURTHER ORDERED, on the court’s own motion, that the effective date of the
Bump-Stock Rule, 83 Fed. Reg. 66514 (Dec. 26, 2018), be administratively stayed in its
application only as to the named Appellants in appeals Nos. 19-5042 and 19-5044, pending
further order of this Court.
The purpose of this stay is exclusively to give the Court
sufficient opportunity to consider the disposition of this highly expedited appeal, and should
not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of the appeal. See D.C. Circuit
Handbook of Practice and Internal Procedures 33 (2018).

 As I understand this, it only applies to the individuals and organizations named as plaintiffs in the cases.

UPDATE: The attorneys for the appellants have filed an Emergency Joint Motion to Modify the Stay Order. Since the government refuses to compromise, they are requesting either clarification from the Court saying the stay ” includes their respective members, supporters, and those similarly situated
members of the public” or to stay the Final Rule in its entirety until the DC Circuit has made a decision on the merits. They request either alternative be extended to 48 hours after the Court makes its final determination in order to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The motion can be found here.

UPDATE II: Please see the comment from Brandon Combs of the FPC/FPF below. FPC v. Whitaker was dismissed only insofar as its appeal goes. As Brandon notes, they plan to amend their filing in District Court now that AG William Barr has “ratified” the earlier decision.

UPDATE III: The DC Circuit Court has clarified their stay of the bump stock rule but will not extend the stay to all bump stocks. As a result, the plaintiffs in this case have filed an application for an emergency stay with Chief Justice John Roberts.

From the clarification, in part:

FURTHER ORDERED that the request for clarification be granted in part and be
denied in part. The administrative stay entered on March 23, 2019, applies only to the
named Appellants in appeals Nos. 19-5042 and 19-5044, including any current bona
fide members of the named membership associations.

Thus, if you are a member of the Madison Society Foundation, Florida Carry, or the Firearms Policy Foundation, the stay applies to you and you will not have to turn your bump stock in tomorrow or destroy it by then.

Here is what FPF says about membership:

 This morning the U.S. DOJ filed brief arguing that Members of Firearms Policy Foundation who own/possess bump-stock-type devices are currently protected by the D.C. Circuit’s administrative stay of the ATF’s bumpstock ban Final Rule. To become a member and Join FPF please donate $1 or more at FightATF.com or JoinFPF.org.

If you want to join the Madison Society Foundation, it is $30 for a lifetime family membership. Go here if you’d like to join them.

Finally, the membership page for Florida Carry can be found here.

I don’t have a bump stock but I did join the FPF because I appreciate the work they are doing.

Bumpstock Case Appealed To DC Court Of Appeals

As I reported a week ago, Judge Dabney Friedrich of the US District Court for the District of Columbia denied the motions for a temporary restraining order in the multiple bumpstock ban cases. The plaintiffs including the Firearms Policy Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition indicated they would appeal and they did. On Friday they requested an expedited hearing and briefing before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and it was granted.

More on the case from this joint press release from FPF and FPC:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 4, 2019) — Today, attorneys for Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation filed opening briefs in their consolidated appeals with the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the ongoing federal litigation challenging the confiscatory “bump-stock” ban rulemaking by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Copies of the briefs and related filings are available at BumpStockCase.com.

On February 25, United States District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich denied motions for preliminary injunction in the matters. The ruling came little over one year after President Trump directed the Department of Justice, at the time headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to “as expeditiously as possible” propose “a rule banning all” bump-stock type devices. The challenged Final Rule was signed by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and published December 18, 2018.

Counsel for FPC and FPF filed notices of appeal on February 25, and on February 26, they requested an expedited appeal schedule from the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Last Friday, March 1, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit granted FPC’s and FPF’s joint motion to expedite the briefing and arguments, setting today as the deadline to file the opening briefs. The government’s answering brief will be due on March 13, and the appellants’ reply brief will be due on March 15. Oral arguments will be heard by the Court of Appeals on March 22 at 9:30 a.m.

In its brief, FPC argues that the Rule is invalid because it was issued by then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. FPC explains that the designation of Mr. Whitaker – who was neither in the Department of Justice chain of command nor confirmed by the Senate – to serve in that role was both illegal and unconstitutional.

In the Guedes appeal, FPF argues that the text of the federal statutes at issue in the Final Rule are clear and unambiguous, that the rule of lenity precludes the ATF’s proposed new definition of ‘machinegun’, and that the rule is unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious. The brief also argues that the “district court abused its discretion in finding the statutory language ambiguous and erred as a matter of law in according ATF Chevron deference regarding the terms ‘single function of the trigger’ and ‘automatically’.”

Thomas C. Goldstein, Daniel Woofter, Charles H. Davis, and Erica Oleszczuk Evans of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., are on the brief for the FPC appeal. Attorneys Joshua Prince and Adam Kraut of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., and Erik Jaffe of Schaerr Jaffe LLP are on the brief for the FPF appeal.

Unless the appeals result in a temporary injunction or stay of enforcement, the ATF’s Final Rule will take effect on March 26, when the federal government will consider the affected devices to be illegal “machinguns” and carry severe criminal penalties including large fines and up to ten years in federal prison.

FPC and FPF remain committed to protecting Americans who own and possess bump-stock devices from the ATF’s unlawful Final Rule.

The case of David Codrea et al v. Barr will also be heard at the same time as the Guedes and Firearms Policy Coalition cases.

Stephen Stamboulieh, who is the attorney for Codrea et al, has this to say about the appeal:

This appeal is about an agency action in which a regulation was promulgated which seeks to dispossess hundreds of thousands of Americans from their private property. The ATF expressly acknowledges that “[b]etween 2008 and 2017, however, ATF also issued classification decisions concluding that other bump-stock-type devices were not machineguns . . . .” 83 Fed.Reg. 66514, 2018 WL 6738526 (Dec. 26, 2018). It is also undisputed that ordinary law-abiding individuals have spent, during that time period, millions of dollars of the purchase of such items in full reliance on repeated decisions of the ATF. Id. at 66543 (“This final rule is expected to have an impact of over $100 million in the first year of this regulatory action.”).

Yet, under the ATF’s new rule at issue here, if those Americans don’t surrender or destroy their heretofore legal private property, they will be prosecuted as felons. However, due to political pressure from an incident in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay and an instruction from President Trump to ban bump stocks, the ATF has taken an unambiguous congressional statute and has redefined plain text into something congress did not intend when it passed the National Firearms Act (“NFA”), just at ATF itself acknowledged during this time period. Worse, the district court sustained this agency action by applying the Chevron doctrine in direct contravention of controlling Supreme Court precedent that make plain that the Chevron doctrine has no place in the construction of criminal statutes.

Justice requires an injunction issue in this case. It requires such because the ATF has no authority to rewrite a congressional statute to fit the current agenda. Congress has expressly denied the ATF the authority to issue regulations with retroactive effect. “Congress alone has the institutional competence, democratic legitimacy, and (most importantly) constitutional authority to revise statutes in light of new social problems and preferences. Until it exercises that power, the people may rely on the original meaning of the written law.” Wis. Cent., Ltd. v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 2067, 2074 (2018). This is not merely a suggestion to the agencies, but a mandate from our highest court. While individuals may or may not like bump stocks, that “new social problem[ or] preference[]” is properly left to Congress to declare such and not an unelected agency which has stated over and over in the past that is has no authority to regulate bump stocks.

US Appeals Court Tosses Out DC Concealed Carry Ruling On Procedural Grounds

In a decision today, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated the ruling in Wrenn v. DC.  Sr. US District Court Judge Frederick Scullin, Jr. had issued a preliminary injunction against the new “may-issue” carry law adopted by the District. That ruling had been stayed while the Court of Appeals considered DC’s appeal of the injunction.

Senior Circuit Judge David Sentelle writing for the Court of Appeals said that the case must be overturned on jurisdictional grounds and that they Court was not ruling on the merits of the case. He said based upon a 1937 Supreme Court ruling in Frad v. Kelly that a ruling where the judge did not have jurisdiction was null.

The controlling fact in this case is the identity of the
judge who decided it in the district court – The Honorable
Senior United States District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., of
the Northern District of New York. The difficulty in this case
is evident from the office of the deciding judge. Judge Scullin
is a Judge of the Northern District of New York, not of the
United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
the Constitution and the statutes, the President, with the advice
and consent of the Senate, appoints a judge to the district court
of a particular district, where he exercises the jurisdiction of the

It is possible for a district judge, including a senior judge,
to lawfully adjudicate matters in another district. However, in
order for a judge to exercise this judicial authority in a district
located outside the circuit of his home district, the judge must be
“designated and assigned by the Chief Justice.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 294(c)-(d). See also 28 U.S.C. § 294(e) (“No retired [i.e.,
senior] . . . judge shall perform judicial duties except when
designated and assigned.”).

Before the visiting judge may be designated and assigned
by the Chief Justice, the chief judge of the receiving district
must “present[] . . . a certificate of necessity.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 294(d). Then, and only then, may the Chief Justice of the
United States “designate[] and assign[]” the judge duties in the
receiving district. Id. Although Judge Scullin had served under
a properly issued designation, the difficulty in the present case
is that designation was limited to specific and enumerated cases.
The present litigation is not one of those cases.

The error in this case is quite understandable. The calendar
committee of the district court assigned the matter to Judge
Scullin because it deemed the case to be related to another case
over which Judge Scullin presided. The difficulty is, while the
earlier case was within the Chief Justice’s designation, the
present one is not.

What this means in practical terms is that the Wrenn case must start over from scratch. A new judge must be appointed for the case and briefs submitted. If there is a good thing coming out of the Court of Appeals ruling, it is that no precedent involving the substance of the case was established.

SAF Reaction To DC’s Decision On It’s Appeal Palmer Case

On Wednesday, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine announced that his office would ask the US Court of Appeals to dismiss their appeal of Palmer v. DC. That decision in that case forced the District of Columbia to start issuing carry permits.

“We need to focus our energies not on litigating old laws, but defending new ones that our leaders enacted
in good faith
to comply with court rulings while still protecting public safety,” Attorney General Racine said.
“The Council enacted a law that sets a process by which individuals may apply for gun licenses, which has
superseded the law at issue in Palmer v. District of Columbia. Going forward, our energies are best spent
focusing on defending the current law. We are vigorously defending it in the district court, and we are
confident that it will be upheld.”

The new carry laws that the DC Council “enacted in good faith” (sic) are so onerous and so draconian that the Second Amendment Foundation filed a second lawsuit. DC took as their model Maryland who has a “good cause” requirement.

The Second Amendment Foundation is pleased with their victory but note that it isn’t over yet. They still have pending motions before US District Court Judge Frederick Scullin over the enforcement of his decision in addition to Wrenn et al v. DC.

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation will continue fighting the District of Columbia’s new concealed carry law, while notching a small victory with today’s decision by the city to drop its appeal of SAF’s victory in the Palmer case that forced the city to adopt a carry permitting structure.

“While we’re happy to see the city drop their appeal of our earlier victory,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “we were eager to face them in court, as there was no possible way they could have successfully argued in favor of continuing an outright ban on carry in the District.

“This is one more critical Second Amendment Foundation victory for gun rights,” he added. “But we will continue to keep suing the city of Washington, D.C. over their new carry law that is still an unconstitutional infringement on our Second Amendment rights.”

Under the District’s newly-adopted law, permit applicants must still provide a good reason for carrying a protective firearm outside the home, and the police chief gets to decide whether that reason is valid. So far, only a handful of applicants have been approved, and Gottlieb said that shows a fundamental flaw in such a discretionary permitting scheme.

“No public official should enjoy that kind of sway over a citizen’s right to bear arms,” Gottlieb stated. “It creates a manifestly unfair system that is wide open to abuse and favoritism, as we’ve seen in New York, California and elsewhere that insiders and elitists can get permits, but average citizens are routinely given second-class consideration, or no consideration at all.”

This is not the end of the Palmer case, however. SAF still has outstanding enforcement motions pending before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., who handed down the initial Palmer ruling. His rulings on those motions could produce further appeals, SAF attorney Alan Gura explained. SAF has already filed a lawsuit challenging the District’s current highly-restrictive “good reason” requirement.

“Our intent is to continue our battle for the right to bear arms on behalf of all the citizens, not just a privileged few,” Gottlieb concluded.

One thing I did notice in DC Attorney General’s release was the Congress has until May to disapprove the Council’s permanent legislation concerning concealed carry. I’m not sure where that stands but Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) have introduced the Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015 which would remove the power of the DC Council to enact gun control legislation. The bill also includes shall-issue carry permits, the ability of DC residents to purchase firearms in Maryland and Virginia, and repeal the firearms registration system.

One way or another the District is going to be dragged kicking and screaming into recognizing the Second Amendment just like the South was over civil rights and integration. And just like the South, the District will attempt to do it with all due deliberate speed if their new mayor is any indication.

Obama Nominates Anti-Gun Halligan For Court Of Appeals….Again

Not taking no for an answer on Caitlin Halligan’s nomination to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, President Obama has renominated her today along with Srikanth Srinivasan, principal deputy solicitor general of the United States.

“Caitlin Halligan and Sri Srinivasan are dedicated public servants who will bring their tremendous experience, intellect, and integrity to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,” President Obama said. “This important court is often called the Nation’s second-highest court, and it stands more than a quarter vacant. I remain deeply disappointed that a minority of the United States Senate blocked Ms. Halligan’s nomination last year and urge her reconsideration, especially given her broad bipartisan support from the legal and law enforcement communities. Mr. Srinivasan will be a trailblazer and, like Ms. Halligan, will serve the court with distinction and excellence.”

Halligan now serves as General Counsel for the New York County District Attorney’s Office. In other words, she now advises District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. as he continues his assault on knife rights in New York City.

Halligan has a long history in serving her masters in their assault on the Second Amendment and arms. In addition to her work for DA Cyrus Vance, Jr., she was the Solicitor General under then-NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer when he sought to bankrupt firearms manufacturers. She was also a signatory to an amicus brief that attacked the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act(PLCAA)arguing that it was unconstitutional.

All the major gun rights organizations opposed her nomination last year. As I facetiously commented last December, only she could unite the NRA and GOA. That President Obama would nominate her again so soon after she was turned down is a slap in the face to gun owners. If this doesn’t express his true feelings towards us “bitter clingers”, nothing does.

Only Caitlin Halligan Could Unite The NRA-ILA And The GOA In Opposition

Caitlin Halligan is Obama’s nominee for a seat on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She formerly served as Solicitor General for the State of New York from 2001 until 2007 under then-NY Attorney General Elliot Spitzer. Her nomination is being filibustered in the Senate due to her leftist views on abortion and gun rights. Tomorrow, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling for a cloture (end of debate) vote on Halligan’s confirmation.

Pravda on the Potomac aka the Washington Post has endorsed her. Meanwhile, the Joyce-funded Media Matters for America is trying to say that Halligan’s anti-gun rights actions were in the past and now she supports the Second Amendment. I seem to remember that the “Wise Latina” Justice Sonya Sotomayor made similar comments during her confirmation battle and then dissented on the McDonald case.

Accordingly, the NRA-ILA released this letter that was sent today to every senator.

December 5, 2011

Dear Senator:

I am writing to express the National Rifle Association’s opposition to the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Our opposition is based on Ms. Halligan’s attacks on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Specifically, she worked to undermine the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), enacted in 2005 with strong bipartisan support. This legislation was critically important in ending a wave of lawsuits sponsored by anti-gun organizations and governments, which sought to blame firearms manufacturers and dealers for the criminal misuse of their products by third parties. This bill was an essential protection both for the Second Amendment rights of honest Americans and for the continued existence of the domestic firearms industry as a supplier of arms for our nation’s defense.

Among the governments that sued the industry was the state of New York. This case was pending while Ms. Halligan was New York’s solicitor general, and she strongly supported the litigation both inside and outside the courtroom.

Ms. Halligan represented the state in its 2001 lawsuit against numerous gun manufacturers, in which the state argued that the legal sale of handguns created a “public nuisance” under state law. In a 2003 speech while that case was pending, Ms. Halligan claimed that the PLCAA “would likely cut off at the pass any attempt by States to find solutions—through the legal system or their own state legislatures—that might reduce gun crimes or promote greater responsibility among gun dealers.” That statement was simply wrong. The legislation then under debate—like the version that finally passed two years later—only prohibited lawsuits “resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse” of firearms or ammunition by third parties. It exempted traditional tort actions against gun makers. The bill most certainly did not restrict the actions of state legislatures, as the introduction of numerous anti-gun bills in the New York legislature proves each year.

Ms. Halligan also claimed the PLCAA “would make the gun industry the only industry in the country to be so broadly shielded from lawsuits.” In fact, Congress had previously passed targeted liability protection for many industries and other enterprises, ranging from aircraft manufacturers to food banks to makers of medical implants.

After passage of the PLCAA, Ms. Halligan participated in the legal attack on the PLCAA. The state filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit supporting New York City’s attack on the law’s constitutionality. The arguments in that brief were ultimately rejected by the Second Circuit, as they have been by every other appellate court (and every federal court at any level) that has considered the issue.

Given Ms. Halligan’s clear opposition to a major federal law that was essential to protecting law-abiding Americans’ right to keep and bear arms, as well as an important industry that equips our military and law enforcement personnel, we must respectfully oppose her confirmation, including the vote on cloture.

We greatly appreciate your attention to our concerns. If you have any questions, please contact NRA Federal Affairs at (202) 651-XXXX.


Chris W. Cox
Executive Director
NRA Institute for Legislative Action

The Gun Owners of American is also standing strong against the confirmation of Halligan and has issued an alert to their members that says in part:

As New York’s solicitor general, Halligan was one of the chief lawyers responsible for New York’s baseless and politically motivated efforts to bankrupt gun manufacturers using frivolous litigation. In so doing, Halligan proved that she places liberal political activism above fealty to the law.

Halligan’s public hatred for firearms was only matched by her zealotry inside the courtroom. In a speech on May 5, 2003, Halligan called for “handgun manufacturers [to be held] liable for criminal acts committed with handguns.”

Certainly, no other manufacturer of another item — whether it be cars, baseball bats, or anything else — would be held liable for the criminal misuse of its product. And, as Halligan well knows, the application of that principle to firearms would surely eliminate the manufacture of firearms in America.

After attempts of legal extortion of the firearms industry were repudiated by a bipartisan vote in Congress, Halligan’s office did not let up on attacking gun rights, signing a brief calling for New York courts to declare the federal Gun Makers’ Protection Act unconstitutional.

Finally, Halligan, in written testimony submitted to the Senate in connection with her nomination, attempted to conceal the extent of her anti-gun animus.

Halligan’s failure to provide information that would clarify her statements, thus keeping her testimony from being misleading, constitutes “fraud” against the Senate. As such, the only role she should play in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is the role of a defendant.

But, of course, none of this matter to Harry Reid. He already did his part getting two strident anti-gun Obama judges onto the Supreme Court, and now he’s doing what he can to pack the Appeals Courts with radical leftists as well.

We have to stop this Reid/Obama court-packing scheme. Please act now, as the vote is scheduled for this Tuesday.

To facilitate contacting your state’s senators, GOA has set up a CapWiz letter generator that will send either an email or printed letter to them. It can be found here and I would urge you to select “by email” as the vote is tomorrow.

In an interesting coincidence, Halligan graduated in the same law school class (Georgetown University Law Center, 1995) as Alan Gura. I would have to say that Gura was more successful in his advocacy for the Second Amendment than Halligan was in her attempt to sue the firearms industry out of business and we can all be thankful for that.