Johnny Rotten Is An American!

Today I learned that John Joseph Lydon or, Johnny Rotten as he is better known, became an American citizen back in 2013. Not only that but he said, “Yes, of course I’m voting for Trump”, in an interview with the BBC.

For those that don’t remember their music history, Johnny Rotten was the front man of the British punk band The Sex Pistols.

One of their most famous songs was God Save the Queen which got banned by both the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority. Nonetheless, it became the number two single in the UK.

Here are some of the lyrics from the song:

God save the queen
We mean it man
There’s no future
In England’s dreaming

God save the queen

No future
No future
No future for you

Given this country was founded by dissidents and those rebelling against the Crown, it seems only natural that a rebellious London kid born of Irish parents became an American.

Moreover, with the hold that the progressive left holds on the media, the education establishment, the universities, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and the Deep State, isn’t it the most punk thing to do to support a guy who is anathema to the progressives?

Trump’s Short, Short SCOTUS List

Back when President Trump was planning to fill the seat of Justice Anthony Kennedy, I published short bios of all the people on his short list. He has since added to that list and it becomes important again as he plans to replace the late Justice Ginsburg with another woman.

I had planned to do a post on the five women that were on the “short, short” list. However, news broke this evening that the pick will be Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Amy Coney Barrett

48 y.o., married to Jesse Barrett, an AUSA for Northern Indiana, 7 children. Roman Catholic. 

Current Position:Judge, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, appointed by Pres. Donald Trump, confirmed Oct. 31, 2017 

Rhodes College, BA, 1994
Univ. of Notre Dame Law School, JD summa cum laude, law review, 1997 

Judge Laurence Silberman, US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, 1997-1998
Justice Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court of the United States, 1998-1999 

Previous Positions:Associate, Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, Washington, DC., 1999-2001
Adjunct Prof., George Washington University Law School, 2001-2002
John M. Olin Fellow in Law, 2001-2002
Prof. of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School, 2002-2017
Visiting Prof. of Law, University of Virgina Law School, 2007

Congressional Insiders and Outsiders, U.Chi. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2017).
Originalism and Stare Decisis, 92 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1921 (2017).
Congressional Originalism, 19 U. Penn. J. of Const. L. 1 (2017) (with John Copeland Nagle)
Countering the Majoritarian Difficulty, 31 Const. Comm. 61 (2017).
Statutory Interpretation in The Encyclopedia of American Governance (2016).
Federal Court Jurisdiction in The Encyclopedia of American Governance (2016).
Substantive Canons and Faithful Agency, 90 B.U. L. REV. 109 (2010).
Federal Jurisdiction in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Introduction: Stare Decisis and Nonjudicial Actors, 83 Notre Dame Law Review 1147 (2008).
Procedural Common Law, 94 Virginia L. Rev. 813-88 (2008).
The Supervisory Power of the Supreme Court, 103 Colum. L. Rev. 324 (2006).
Statutory Stare Decisis in the Courts of Appeals, 73 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 317 (2005).
Stare Decisis and Due Process, 74 U. Colo. L. Rev. 1011 (2003).
Catholic Judges in Capital Cases, 81 Marquette L.Rev. 303 (1998) (with John H. Garvey) 

Judicial Opinions: In the short time Judge Barrett has been on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (written in 2018), she has authored eight majority opinions and one dissent. None of these had to do with issues surrounding either the First or Second Amendments. 

Opposition:Judge Barrett, a practicing Roman Catholic and mother of seven, is loved by evangelicals and hated by the Left. The former hopes she’ll vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and the latter expect her to do that and thus find her objectionable. According to the left-wing Alliance for Justice, she decried Roe due to the Supreme Court “creat[ed] through judicial fiat a framework of abortion on
demand.” “

Some updates from my original post on Judge Barrett in 2018. Since she has been on the 7th Circuit, she actually had participated in a Second Amendment case. The case was Kanter v. Barr and Judge Barrett dissented.

From the SCOTUS Blog:

In a story in the National Review in August 2020, conservative legal activist Carrie Severino described Barrett as a “champion of originalism” during her short tenure so far on the 7th Circuit. In the 2019 case Kanter v. Barr, the court of appeals upheld the mail fraud conviction of the owner of an orthopedic footwear company. He argued that federal and state laws that prohibit people convicted of felonies from having guns violate his Second Amendment right to bear arms. The majority rejected that argument. It explained that the government had shown that the laws are related to the government’s important goal of keeping guns away from people convicted of serious crimes.

Barrett dissented. At the time of the country’s founding, she said, legislatures took away the gun rights of people who were believed to be dangerous. But the laws at the heart of Kanter’s case are too broad, she argued, because they ban people like Kanter from having a gun without any evidence that they pose a risk. Barrett stressed that the Second Amendment “confers an individual right, intimately connected with the natural right of self-defense and not limited to civic participation.”

From Damon Root at about Barrett’s dissent in this case:

The categorical ban on gun possession by people with felony records is therefore “wildly overinclusive,” Barrett noted, quoting UCLA law professor Adam Winkler. “It includes everything from Kanter’s offense, mail fraud, to selling pigs without a license in Massachusetts, redeeming large quantities of out-of-state bottle deposits in Michigan, and countless other state and federal offenses,” she wrote. The ban is also underinclusive, she added, since people may reasonably be deemed dangerous even when they have not been convicted of a felony—for example, when they commit certain violent misdemeanors (another disqualification under federal law).

Given the poor fit between the ban’s scope and its ostensible purpose, Barrett said, it is not “substantially related to an important government interest”—the test under the “intermediate scrutiny” that the majority said it was applying in this case. “Neither Wisconsin nor the United States has introduced data sufficient to show that disarming all nonviolent felons substantially advances its interest in keeping the public safe,” she wrote. “Nor have they otherwise demonstrated that Kanter himself shows a proclivity for violence. Absent evidence that he either belongs to a dangerous category or bears individual markers of risk, permanently disqualifying Kanter from possessing a gun violates the Second Amendment.”

Barrett closed with a warning that will alarm gun control advocates but reassure people dismayed by the failure of federal courts to follow up on Heller and the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago (which made it clear that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments) by taking the right to arms as seriously as other constitutionally protected rights. “While both Wisconsin and the United States have an unquestionably strong interest in protecting the public from gun violence, they have failed to show, by either logic or data, that disarming Kanter substantially advances that interest,” she wrote. “On this record, holding that the ban is constitutional as applied to Kanter does not ‘put[] the government through its paces,’ but instead treats the Second Amendment as a ‘second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.'”

All I can say here is that if Judge Barrett had been Justice Barrett at the beginning of the year, we would not have seen the Supreme Court deny certiorari in the multitude of Second Amendment cases before it. Chief Justice John Roberts and his potential negative vote would have been mooted.

Groups, both liberal and conservative, have quickly sent out releases both anti-Barrett and pro-Barrett.

From Aimee Allison of “She The People” which is a San Francisco-based “national network connecting women of color to transform our democracy.”:

“Today’s news is devastating. Judge Amy Coney Barrett in no way fills the immense void Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left on our highest court. She is favored among Trump-loyal conservatives, and her judicial record makes it clear she would be solidly opposed to abortion rights and inclined, even eager, to reverse Roe v. Wade, and the Affordable Care Act.

“If confirmed, right-wing judicial activist Barrett would reshape the law and society for generations to come. She is a detriment to our democracy.

Conversely, the Club for Growth is quite pleased.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh praised President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. 
“In the coming years, the Supreme Court will decide many critical cases on issues that will shape America’s economy. Either the Supreme Court will let the free-market operate without excessive government interference, or it will give the administrative state power it should never have. Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an excellent selection who has shown a rock-solid commitment to originalism and the Constitution.” McIntosh said. 
“Yet again, President Trump has nominated an extraordinary judge to the Supreme Court. This choice will shape America’s future, as the Court considers cases relating to issues like the constant unconstitutional growth of government and whether federal agencies should have free reign to enact arbitrary rules without Congressional approval. Judge Barrett is a principled originalist, and we have every confidence that she will rule appropriately on these vital issues. We urge the U.S. Senate to move quickly to confirm Judge Barrett.” 

It is going to be a war but a war I think we will win.

One last tidbit that I gleaned this evening from a little research. Judge Barrett and former NRA-ILA Director Chris Cox are both graduates of Rhodes College. I wondered if their times there overlapped and they did. Barrett was a 1994 graduate and Cox was a 1992 graduate. If Rhodes was anything like my alma mater Guilford, they may have had some classes together and most certainly would have seen one another on campus as both are small, liberal arts colleges.

Women On Trump’s SCOTUS List, Intro

With the death from cancer of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18th, President Trump will have the chance to nominate her successor to the Supreme Court. The left has gone bonkers, the Democrats are promising court packing a’la FDR, and some progressives are mad that Justice Ginsburg didn’t retire sooner.

In remarks made yesterday, President Trump has indicated he will announce his choice either Friday or Saturday. He also has said it has come down to one of five women.

Or as the Babylon Bee humorously illustrated:

There are 12 women on President Trump’s short list of nominees. This includes those just named to the 2020 list and those on the earlier lists.

They are:

  • Judge Bridget Bade, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Judge Allison Eid, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Judge Britt Grant, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Judge Barbara Lagoa, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Judge Joan Larsen, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Judge Martha Pacold, Northern District of Illinois
  • Judge Sarah Pitlyk, Eastern District of Missouri
  • Judge Allison Jones Rushing, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Judge Margaret “Meg” Ryan, Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • Judge Diane Sykes, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Kathryn “Kate” Todd, Deputy White House Counsel

Rumor has it that the five on the short, short list are Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa, Allison Jones Rushing, Joan Larsen, and Kate Todd with Barrett and Lagoa being the leading contenders.

As an aside, Allison Jones Rushing is from Hendersonville, NC which is just a few miles away. She is also the youngest on the list.

President Trump Adds 20 To Supreme Court List

President Donald Trump announced 20 new people to his list of potential Supreme Court nominees. These 20 join the existing list of potential nominees. He also challenged former VP Joe Biden to release his list.

The list is a mix of sitting Federal judges, three US Senators, an ambassador, a state attorney general, a state supreme court justice, two former Solicitors General, and a couple of attorneys in the White House.

The list in the order that I wrote them down with hopefully few misspellings.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
  • Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
  • Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO)
  • Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron
  • Paul Clement, former Solicitor General
  • Noel Francisco, former Solicitor General
  • Judge Allison Jones Rushing, 4th Circuit, NC
  • Judge Bridget Bade, 9th Circuit, AZ
  • Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, 5th Circuit, LA
  • Stephen Engle, Trump Administration
  • Judge James Ho, 5th Circuit, TX
  • Judge Gregory Katsas, DC Circuit,
  • Judge Barbara Lagoa, 11th Circuit, FL
  • Amb. Christopher Landau, US Amb to Mexico, MD
  • Justice Carlos Muniz, Florida Supreme Court
  • Judge Martha Picold, N. Dis. of IL
  • Judge Peter Phipps, 3rd Circuit, PA
  • Judge Sarah Pitlyk, E. Dis. of MO
  • Kate Todd, Trump Administration
  • Judge Lawrence VanDyke, 9th Circuit, NV

I will be providing short vignettes about each potential nominee in the days ahead as I did earlier for the original list. There are several really good picks on the list in terms of the Second Amendment. I don’t think you’d have the denial of cert if a Justice Cruz or a Justice Clement or a Justice Ho were added to the Court.

You can see the announcement below. His reading of the names starts at approximately 4:15.

New Jersey Backs Down

News comes this afternoon that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) has backed down from his order that all gun stores are non-essential and must close. His order led to a lawsuit from the Second Amendment Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition entitled Kashinsky v. Murphy.

SAF provides more info in this release:

The Second Amendment Foundation declare victory today when New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy backed away from his earlier position on gun shop operations in the state during the current COVID-19 panic, and will now allow operations by appointment.

SAF sued Murphy and acting State Police Supt. Col. Patrick Callahan in U.S. District Court last week, seeking a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. They were ultimately joined by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, Legacy Indoor Range and Armory LLC and the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Racing Rails LLC d/b/a Legend Firearms and several private citizens. Plaintiffs were represented by noted civil rights attorney David Jensen of New York and Adam Kraut of California.

“We’re delighted that Gov. Murphy has reversed course on this matter, even if it took a lawsuit to get him to do it,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Our lawsuit cut right to the heart of what the Second Amendment is all about, which is personal protection during emergency situations like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the nation.”

Murphy found himself in the uncomfortable, and untenable, position of having to defend his armed protection detail while having closed down Garden State gun shops, making it impossible for average citizens to by even ammunition, much less a firearm.

“While we pursue litigation elsewhere,” Gottlieb said, “we’re happy that the situation in New Jersey has changed. Regardless what some politicians might think, the Second Amendment is not subject to emergency orders, same as the First, Fourth, Fifth or other constitutional protections.

“This is one more example of SAF’s ongoing mission to win back firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time,” he concluded.

While I might have liked to say it was ScotShot’s guest editorial that convinced him to change his mind, I think it is more likely the combination of the lawsuit and President Trump declaring the firearms industry including gun stores as essential businesses.


The ultra-progressive group Demand Justice released a list of 32 potential nominees for the Supreme Court. They want Democrat presidential candidates to adopt this list or to release one of their own. This is what then-candidate Donald J. Trump did in 2016 to good effect.

I agree. Release the list! If the list(s) adopted by any of the Democrat candidates is anything like the Demand Justice list, it will be full of radicals, with little judicial experience, chosen to appease constituent groups.

Professor Josh Blackman provides a convenient grouping on The Volokh Conspiracy.

Academics: Michelle Alexander (Union Theological Seminary),  James Forman, Jr. (Yale), Pamela Karlan (Stanford), M. Elizabeth Magill (Virginia), Melissa Murray (NYU), Bryan Stevenson (NYU), Zephyr Teachout (Fordham), Timothy Wu (Columbia),

Progressive Litigators: Brigitte Amiri (ACLU), Nicole Berner (GC SEIU), Deepak Gupta (Gupta Wessler), Dale Ho (ACLU), Sherrilyn Ifill (NAACP LDF), Shannon Minter (National Center for Lesbian Rights), Nina Perales (MALDEF), Thomas A. Saenz (MALDEF), Cecillia Wang (ACLU),

Current/Former Government Officers: Xavier Becerra (California AG), Sharon Block (one of the three NLRB appointments at issue in Noel Canning), Vanita Gupta (Former Obama DOJ), Lawrence Krasner (Philadelphia DA), Catharine Lhamon (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights), Katie Porter (House of Representatives), Jenny Yang (Former EEOC Chair)

Federal Judges: Richard F. Boulware (D. Nev.), Jane Kelly (8th Circuit), Cornelia Pillard (D.C. Circuit), Carlton Reeves (S.D. Miss.)

State Judges: Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar (California Supreme Court), Anita Earls (North Carolina Supreme Court), Leondra Kruger (California Supreme Court), Goodwin Liu (California Supreme Court)

Let’s look at the sitting judges first. All of the Federal judges were appointed by President Barack Obama. They have between five and nine years of experience and only one of them is on a Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pages: 1 2

GOA Supports Kavanaugh Nomination

This is one endorsement from a gun right group I didn’t see yesterday morning. It is from Gun Owners of America. There endorsement is a bit more tempered than that of the NRA or SAF. In my opinion, it is like that of some of us in the gun rights community or that of social conservatives. We had favorites other than Kavanaugh but can live with him as he will help solidify the conservative majority on the Supreme court.

From GOA:

Erich Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America (GOA), issued the following statement on Pres. Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court:

“Gun Owners of America is optimistic that Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be a huge improvement over the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on many constitutional issues, including the Second Amendment.

“Initial reports suggest that Judge Kavanaugh deeply respects the Second Amendment, even though he was not the strongest of the finalists.

“Nevertheless, Judge Kavanaugh filed a pro-gun dissent in Heller II, arguing that Washington, DC’s ban on semi-automatic firearms was arbitrary and unlawful.

“In fact, his dissent was so well argued that GOA’s subsequent legal briefs have repeatedly held up his dissent as the model to follow.

“In another case, Kavanaugh correctly interpreted the Firearm Owners Protection Act to find that a defendant could not be sentenced to 30 years in prison for use of a fully-automatic firearm if he was unaware that the gun fired automatically.

“Kavanaugh also supported the prevailing opinion in the Citizens United case, which affirmed GOA’s voice in the political arena.

“GOA hopes that the Senate will confirm Kavanaugh — and that the Supreme Court will take up more Second Amendment cases, thus repealing the onerous and unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms that exist throughout the country.”

Trump Played It Safe With Kavanaugh

As you may have heard a few minutes ago, President Trump will nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed. I think Trump played it safe by going with the insider.

If you read my mini-bio on Kavanaugh, you know he is a Yale and Yale Law graduate who clerked for Justice Kennedy. He worked in both the Solicitor General’s Office and the White House under President George W. Bush. The only really controversial thing about Kavanaugh is that he is considered to be the principal author of Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s report on President Clinton that led to his impeachment.

Kavanaugh, a Catholic, grew up in the DC area and attended Georgetown Prep before going to Yale. As a Catholic myself, I think for the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, we need to look to someone other than Catholics or Jews to sit on the Supreme Court. While Catholicism is the largest individual religious denomination, Protestants do make the majority of the Christians in the US.

Kavanaugh does have an OK record on reining in the administrative state as you might expect for a judge on the DC Circuit. While he dissented on Heller II which was good, I’m afraid as Professor Nelson Lund has pointed out, he doesn’t quite get Heller and McDonald.

I thought Judge Amy Coney Barrett would have been the more controversial choice and that Judges Hardiman and Kethledge were much better on the Second Amendment. Moreover, none of those three attended Harvard or Yale schools of law which I saw as a big plus.

I read somewhere today that Trump thought Kethledge was “low energy” which might be how an extrovert tends to think of an introvert. As an introvert myself, I consider this bullshit and that Trump was grossly mistaken.

It is not that Kavanaugh is a bad choice but as a Second Amendment supporter above all else I just want to say, “Meh”.  Another freaking Ivy League law school grad insider just doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

President Trump’s SCOTUS List, Part 5

These are the final five potential nominees for the Supreme Court to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. Of the five, Thapar seems to be the one who may or may not be on the finalist short list. He has been interviewed in the last week or so by President Trump and is reported to be a favorite of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Amul  R. Thapar


49 y.o, married to Kim Schulte Thapar, and has three children. Raised culturally Hindu but converted to Catholicism as an adult.

Current Position:

Judge, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nominated by Pres. Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate on May 25, 2017.


Boston College, B.S., 1991
University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D., 1994


Judge S. Arthur Spiegel, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 1994-1996
Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1996-1997

Previous Positions:

Adjunct professor, University of Cincinnati College of Law, 1995-1997, 2002-2006
Private practice, Washington, D.C., 1997-1999
Trial advocacy instructor, Georgetown University Law Center, 1999-2000
Assistant U.S. attorney, District of Columbia, 1999-2000
General counsel,, 2000-2001
Private practice, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2001-2002
Assistant U.S. attorney, Southern District of Ohio, 2002-2006
U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, 2006-2007
Judge, US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, 2007-2017


(With Benjamin Beaton) The Pragmatism of Interpretation: A Review of Richard A. Poser, the Federal Judiciary, 116 Mich. L. Rev. 819 (2017-2018)

Judicial Opinions:

Thapar’s questionnaire for the Senate Judiciary Committee lists 10 of his most important cases in his opinion. A number involved drug trafficking of opiates. The one that got the most attention in the media, US v. Walli, had the jury convicting pacifists including a Catholic nun on charges of destruction of government property and harming the national defense. The nun wanted to get life in prison but Thapar sentenced her to 35 months. The 6th Circuit threw out the convictions on harming the national defense but affirmed the destruction of government property convictions.


The Alliance for Justice accused Thapar of being “a narrow-minded elitist who would protect corporations, the wealthy, and the powerful over all Americans.” I presume this is because some of his cases involved coal companies as would be expected in eastern Kentucky. There were critical of him in one of his more notable cases, US v. Walli, where antiwar pacifists broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN and threw blood on enriched uranium. His decision was reversed in part and affirmed in part by the 6th Circuit.

Timothy M. Tymkovich


61 y.o., married to Western novelist Suzanne Lyon, and has two sons, Michael and Jay. Tymkovich is a third generation Coloradan.

Current Position:

Chief Judge, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nominated by Pres. George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate on April 1, 2003. Chief Judge since 2015.


Colorado College, B.A., 1979
University of Colorado Law School, J.D., 1982


Justice William H. Erickson, Colorado Supreme Court, 1982-1983

Previous Positions:

Private practice, Colorado, 1983-1991
Solicitor general, State of Colorado, 1991-1996
Private practice, Denver, Colorado, 1996-2003


Colorado Survey: Recent Legislation and Colorado Supreme Court Decisions Referendum and Rezoning, 53 U. Colo. L. Rev. 745, (1982)
William H. Erickson, 63 Denv. U. L. Rev. 11 (1985-1986)
(With John Dailey and Paul Farley) A Tale of Three Theories: Reason and Prejudice in the Battle over Amendment 2, 68 U. Colo. L. Rev. 287 (1997)
The Law Review and the Judiciary, 75 U. Colo. L. Rev. [i] (2004)
The Problem with Pretext, 85 Denv. U. L. Rev. 503 (2007-2008)
Are State Constitutions Constitutional, 97 Minn. L. Rev. 1804 (2012-2013)
William H. Erickson (1924-2010), 47 Colo. Law. 72 (2018)

Judicial Opinions:

Tymkovich wrote a dissenting opinion in Bonidy v. USPS in which he argued that post office parking lots were not sensitive places and that the Second Amendment applies outside the home. Tymkovich also wrote the 10th Circuit’s opinion in the Hobby Lobby case in finding that they were not obligated to provide certain forms of birth control due to their religious objections under ObamaCare.


The Alliance for Justice accuses Tymkovich of being hostile to LGBTQ rights and women’s reproductive rights. They also said he opposed Denver’s efforts to ban “assault weapons” which is OK in my book.

Don R. Willett


51 y.o., married to Tiffany Willett (also an attorney), and has three children. Willett is the first in his family to attend, much less graduate, college. Adopted father died when Willett was 6 and his mother had to become a truck stop waitress to support the family. Death of his father without a will is what planted the seed in his mind to become a lawyer. Was named Texas Twitter Laureate by Texas House of Representatives.

Current Position:

Judge, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nominated by Pres. Donald Trump. Confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 13, 2017.


Baylor University, B.B.A., 1988
Duke University School of Law, J.D., 1992
Duke University, M.A., Political Science, 1992
Duke University School of Law, LL.M., 2016


Judge Jerre S. Williams, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1992-1993

Previous Positions:

Associate, Haynes & Boone, Austin, Texas, 1993-1996
Director of research and special projects, Office of Gov. George W. Bush, Texas, 1996-2000
Domestic policy and special projects advisor, George W. Bush presidential campaign and transition team, 2000-2001
Special assistant to President George W. Bush, White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, 2001-2002
Deputy assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Policy, U.S. Department of Justice, 2002-2003
Deputy attorney general for legal counsel, State of Texas, 2003-2005
Justice, Supreme Court of Texas, 2005-2017. Appointed by Gov. Rick Perry.


(With T. Vance McMahan) Hope from Hopwood: Charting a Positive Civil Rights Course for Texas and the Nation, 10 Stan. L. & Pol’y Rev. 163 (1998-1999)
Book Reviews – An Inconvenient Truth: Conservatives Acting Charitably, 12 Tex. Rev. L. & Pol. 181 (2007-2008)
Foreward, 64 S.M.U. L. Rev. 1 (2011)
Pre-“Originalism”, 36 Harv. J. L.& Public Pol’y 277 (2013)
Don’t Stop the Presses: Texas High Court Justices Help Revitalize a Revered Judicial Journal, 78 Tex. B. J. 628 (2016)
(With John Browning) Rules of Engagement: Exploring Judicial Use of Social Media, 79 Tex. B. J. 100 (2016)
As A Texas Justice, I Know Antonin Scalia Was A Giatn in American Law and Culture, Indep. J. Rev., (Apr 2016)

Judicial Opinions:

Willett served as an Associate Justice on the Texas Supreme Court for over 12 years. In that time he has authored hundreds of opinions. Google Scholar has a list of them here. Interestingly, the first one I read, Tanner v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Ins. Co, found for the injured and against the insurance company. Imagine that. Willett’s first opinion on the 5th Circuit included his usual brand of humor including the conclusion that, “Maturino’s plan for live grenades fell short, but close counts in horseshoes and hand-grenade cases.” How can you not love that?


Let’s face it and conclude that Don Willett’s up from the poor by his own bootstraps background must stick in the craw of his opponents. That plus his sense of humor seems to be off-putting to his opponents on the left. As such, the Alliance for Justice is throwing everything plus the kitchen sink at him. Anti-women’s rights. Check. Anti-gay. Check. Anti-worker. Check. Anti-square cornbread. Check. Oh wait, that last one wasn’t on their list but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t.

Patrick R. Wyrick


37 y.o., married to Jamie Talbert Wyrick, and has twin sons and a daughter. Played baseball for the University of Oklahoma. Drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1999. Wife Jamie is a physical therapist who played basketball for OU, is a physical therapist, and is an ovarian cancer survivor.

Current Position:

Associate Justice, District 2, Oklahoma Supreme Court. Nominated by Pres. Donald Trump to be US District Court Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma in April 2018. Passed out of Judiciary Committee and waiting for Senate confirmation.


University of Oklahoma, BA, 2004
University of Oklahoma School of Law, JD, 2007


Judge James H. Payne, US District Court for Districts of Eastern, Northern, and Western Oklahoma, 2007-2008

Previous Positions:

RH Relief Pitcher, GCL Marlins and Jamestown Jammers, Minor League Baseball, 2002
Associate, Gable Gotwals, Oklahoma City, OK, 2008-2011
Solicitor General, Oklahoma Attorney General’s office, 2011-2017


(With Dale Cottingham) “Schedules of Use” for Appropriated Streamwater – What Every Municipality Should Know, 81 Okla. Bar J. 1867 (2010)

Judicial Opinions:

Wyrick has only served on the Oklahoma Supreme Court for about a year and a half. Thus, he has had limited opportunity to establish a long record of judicial opinions. However, as his Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire makes clear, he has authored both majority opinions and dissenting opinions. He has found in favor of both insurance companies as well as the injured. Wyrick did dissent in a case involving a claim of permanent disability where the person had never had an actual adjudication of his disability and thus wasn’t entitled to payments from a special fund. He also authored an opinion regarding the constitutionality of an OK law that levied “smoking cessation fees” on cigarettes. He found that it was a revenue bill and its method of passage without a super-majority violated the state constitution.


The Alliance for Justice is strongly opposing Wyrick for both the SCOTUS and to be a US District Court judge. They accuse him of being too close to former Oklahoma AG (and former EPA Administrator) Scott Pruitt among other things. On gun rights Wyrick signed an OK AG Opinion saying that Oklahomans can carry concealed or openly if they have a permit from another state. That is anathema to the AFJ. The bulk of their criticism of Wyrick comes from his tenure as Solicitor General and not on his work on the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Robert P. Young Jr.


67 y.o., married to Dr. Linda Hotchkiss, a psychiatrist, and has two grown children.

Current Position:

Partner, Dickinson Wright, Lansing, MI
Adjunct Professor, Michigan State University School of Law


Harvard University, AB, 1974
Harvard University Law School, JD, 1977

Previous Positions:

Associate and Partner, Dickinson Wright, Detroit, MI, 1978-1992
General Counsel, AAA of Michigan, 1992-1995
Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals, 1995-1999
Associate Justice, Michigan Supreme Court, 1999-2011
Chief Justice, Michigan Supreme Court, 2011-2017


Co-Editor, Michigan Civil Procedure During Trial, 2d Ed. (1989)
Co-Editor, Michigan Civil Procedure (1999)
State Jurisprudence, the Role of the Courts and the Rule of Law. 8 TEX. REV. LAW & POL. 299 (2004)
A Judicial Traditionalist Confronts Justice Brennan’s School of Judicial Philosophy, 33 Okla. City U. L. Rev. 263 (2008)
“Active Liberty and the Problem of Judicial Oligarchy,” in The Supreme Court and the Idea of the Constitutionalism (2009) Co-Editor, Michigan Civil Procedure, 2d Ed. (2012)

Judicial Opinions:

A year before the US Supreme Court decided the Kelo case, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in an opinion authored by Justice Young that the Michigan constitution placed strong restrictions on the use of eminent domain for private purposes and the cases in questions did not meet those restrictions. In another case, he authored an advisory ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court saying that requiring voter identification was a “reasonable, nondiscriminatory” requirement to ensure fair elections. He concluded that the right to vote also include the assurance that one’s vote will not be cancelled out by fraudulent votes. Young angered environmentalists when he wrote that in clean water cases under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act plaintiffs must suffer a concrete injury that is actual or imminent in order to have standing and not some hypothetical injury.


The Alliance for Justice mentions both the voter ID and the clean water cases in their muted opposition to Young. I presume it is muted because he is 67 years old and out of the expected age range for Kennedy’s replacement. 

President Trump’s SCOTUS List, Part 4

This group of judges includes the only Article I judge, Judge Margaret Ryan of the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, who unlike the others does not serve a life term of office. The other judges on this list – Newsom, Pryor, Stras, and Sykes – are Article III Court of Appeals judges with a liftetime appointment.

Kevin C. Newsom


46 y.o., married to Deborah Wilgus Newsom, and has two sons. Raised by a single mother as his alcoholic father was mostly absent. Sister has a rare genetic disorder called Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome which left her physically and mentally disabled.

Current Position:

Judge, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Appointed by President Trump in 2017 and confirmed on August 1, 2017


Samford University, B.A. summa cum laude, 1994
Harvard Law School, J.D. magna cum laude, 1997


Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1997-1998
Justice David H. Souter, Supreme Court of the United States, 2000-2001

Previous Positions:

Associate, Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, D.C., 1998-2000, 2001-2003
Adjunct professor of law, Georgetown University Law Center, 2002
Solicitor general, State of Alabama, 2003-2007
Partner, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Birmingham, Alabama, 2007-2017
Adjunct professor, Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, 2009-2011
Adjunct professor, Vanderbilt University Law School, 2011


Suspicionless drug testing and the Fourth Amendment: Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 115 S. Ct. 2386, 19 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 209 (1995)
Constitutional Law. Establishment Clause. Seventh Circuit Invalidates Illinois Law Mandating Good Friday School Closure. Metzl v. Leininger, 57 F.3d 618 (7th Cir. 1995), 109 Harv. L. Rev. 693 (1996)
The Supreme Court, 1995 Term – Leading Cases, 110 Harv. L. Rev. 277 (1996)
Setting Incorporationism Straight: A Reinterpretation of the Slaughter-House Cases, 109 Yale L.J. 643 (2000)
Discrimination, Retaliation, and Implied Private Rights of Action, 6 Engage: J. Federalist Soc’y Prac. Groups 50 (2005)
(With MJ Ayers) A Brave New World of Judicial Recusal? – The United States Supreme Court Enters the Fray, 70 Ala. Law. 369 (2009)
(With Anna Manasco Dionne) Commentary: Practice trumps theory in McDonald v. City of Chicago, Nat’l Law J. July 21, 2010
(With Jack Wilson) Commentary: The Court on class arbitration, Nat’l Law J. Oct. 18, 2010
The State Solicitor General Boom, 32 App. Prac. 6 (2013)
(With Anna Manasco) On the Merits: Brown v. Electrolux Home Products, Inc., Wash Legal Found., Wash. D.C., Sept 11, 2015

Judicial Opinions:

Newsom’s first opinion after joining the 11th Circuit involved a tax case dealing with the deductibility of expenses for in vitro fertilization by a gay man. The unanimous court panel said no and also it didn’t deny him due process because hetrosexual couples using IVF weren’t allowed the deduction either. He opened his opinion stating, “This is a tax case. Fear not, keep reading.” In another case, Newsom joined the majority for a 2-1 decision against a prisoner in Brevard County, FL who claimed inhumane and unconstitutional conditions. The People for the American Way (sic) highlighted this per curium decision in their blog (and it should be noted they opposed his confirmation from the get-go). In another case, Newsom joined in the unanimous decision in favor of a female LEO who was demoted by an Alabama police department for seeking to breastfeed her child.


To say that the Alliance for Justice doesn’t like Newsom is an understatement. They accuse him of being anti-civil rights because he has criticized substantive due process which they claim would be bad for women’s and LGBTQ rights and Title IX cases. They also castigate him for his defense of Alabama death penalty cases while serving as Solicitor General of Alabama which was, you know, kinda his job. What they and the People for the American Way are really mad about is that Alabama’s then senators refused to sign a blue slip for Judge Abdul Kallon, an African-American, to be on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and Newsom got the job instead.

William H. Pryor, Jr.


56 y.o., married to Kristan Wilson Pryor, and has two daughters. Catholic.

Current Position:

Judge, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Recess appointment on Feb. 20, 2004. Appointed by Pres. George W. Bush and confirmed on June 9, 2005.


Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana at Monroe), B.A., 1984
Tulane University Law School, J.D.  Magna Cum Laude, 1987


Judge John Minor Wisdom, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1987-1988

Previous Positions:

Associate, Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O’Neal, Birmingham, AL, 1988-1991
Partner, Walston, Stabler, Wells, Anderson & Bains, Birmingham, AL, 1991-1995
Adjunct professor, Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, 1989-1995
Deputy attorney general, State of Alabama, 1995-1997
Attorney general, State of Alabama, 1997-2004
Visiting Prof., University of Alabama Law School, 2006-Present


Note, The Single Incident Inference of Municipal Liability Under Section 1893: City of Oklahoma City v. Tuttle, 60 Tul. L. Rev. 874 (1986)
(With Benjamin Rowe) A Survey of Alabama Law Pertaining to Improper Closing Arguments, 50 Ala. Law. 9 (1989)
Applying Batson in Civil Trials: The Greatest Sideshow on Earth, 22 Cumb. L. Rev. 49 (1991-1992)
A Comparison of Abuses and Reforms of Class Actions and Multigovernment Lawsuits, 74 Tul. L. Rev. 1885 (1999-2000)
“Comment,” 31 Seton Hall L. Rev: 604 (2001)
(With Francis McGovern & Ronald Rychlak) Regulation through Litigation – Panel, 71 Miss. L.J. 613 (2001-2002)
Madison’s Double Security: In Defense of Federalism, the Separation of Powers, and the Rehnquist Court, 53 Ala. L. Rev. 1167 (2001-2002)
The Demand for Clarity; Federalism, Statutory Construction, and the 2000 Term, 32 Cumb. L. Rev. 361 (2001-2002)
Christian Duty and the Rule of Law, 34 Cumb. L. Rev. 1 (2003)
Lessons of a Sentencing Reformer from the Deep South, 105 Colum. L. Rev. 943 (2005)
The Murder of Father James Coyle, The Prosecution of Edwin Stephenson, and the True Calling of Lawyers, 20 Notre Dame J. L. Ethics & Pub. Pol’y 401 (2006)
The Religious Faith and Judicial Duty of an American Catholic Judge, 24 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 347 (2006)
Foreign and International Law Sources in Domestic Constitutional Interpretation, 30 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 173 (2006-2007)
Judicial Independence and the Lesson of History, 68 Ala. Law. 389 (2007)
Not-So-Serious Threats to Judicial Independence, 93 Va. L. Rev. 1759 (2007)
The Perspective of a Junior Circuit Judge on Judicial Modesty, 60 Fla. L. Rev. 1007 (2008)
Moral Duty and the Rule of Law, 31 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 153 (2008)
Federalism and Sentencing Reform in the Post-Blakely/Booker Era, 8 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 515 (2010-2011)

Judicial Opinions:

Given that Pryor has served on the 11th Circuit for over 14 years, he has served on a lot of cases and rendered a number of opinions. Here is a list of his notable decisions. None of these seem to implicate the Second Amendment. With regard to the Second Amendment, Pryor has always indicated his strong support for an individual right to keep and bear arms and was very critical of the Clinton Administration’s attempts at lawfare against the firearms industry.


Angered some social conservatives because while serving as Alabama’s Attorney General he removed Chief Justice Roy Moore from office for violating a Federal court order. As might be expected, he is hated by the left because he characterized both Miranda and Roe “as the worst cases of judicial activism”. He also ruled in a 2009 case that requiring a voter ID as in Georgia placed an “insignificant burden” on voters.

Margaret A. “Meg” Ryan


54 y.o., married to Michael Collins. No children. Attended law school under the Marine Corps Legal Education Program. Deployed with II & III MEF to Philippines and Saudi Arabia (Desert Storm)

Current Position:

Judge, Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Nominated in 2006 by Pres. George W. Bush for a term of 15 years. Confirmed by a Senate voice vote on Dec. 9, 2006.


Knox College, BA Cum Laude, 1985
University of Chicago, 1985-1986, no degree
USMC Communications Electronics Officers School, Honor Graduate, 1988
University of Notre Dame Law School, JD, Summa Cum Laude, 1995
Naval Justice School, Graduated with honors, 1995


Judge J. Michael Luttig, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, 2000-2001
Justice Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court of the United States, 2001-2002

Previous Positions:

Enlisted, US Marine Corps Reserve, 1986-1987
Major (final rank), platoon/company commander, staff officer, operations officer, and Judge Advocate, US Marine Corps, 1987-1999
Aide de Camp, Commandant of the Marine Corps Charles Krulak, 1997-1999
Associate, Cooper Carvin & Rosenthal, Washington, DC, 1999-2000
Partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, Denver, CO, 2002-2004
Partner, Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP, Washington, DC, 2004-2006

Judicial Opinions:

In US v. Wilcox, she found that for a service member to be charged under Article 134, UCMJ, for speech discrediting the military, that the speech must be shown to have a clear and palpable connection to the military mission or environment. In US v. Elespuru, she found that the lower court’s conviction on multiple charges brought due to the “exigencies of proof” constituted double jeopardy. More of her decisions can be found here.


There seems to be no opposition to Judge Ryan which may indicate that while she is on Trump’s SCOTUS list she isn’t considered likely to get the nod.

David R. Stras


44 y.o., married to Heather Stras, and has two children. Jewish. Paternal grandparents are Holocaust survivors.

Current Position:

Judge, 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nominated by Pres. Donald Trump in 2018. Confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 30, 2018. Originally nominated on May 8, 2017; no Senate vote.


University of Kansas, B.A., 1995
University of Kansas School of Business, M.B.A., 1999
University of Kansas School of Law, J.D., 1999


Judge Melvin Brunetti, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1999-2000
Judge J. Michael Luttig, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, 2000-2001
Justice Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court of the United States, 2002-2003

Previous Positions:

Associate, Sidley Austin, Washington, D.C., 2001-2002
Hugo Black faculty fellow, University of Alabama School of Law, 2003-2004
University of Minnesota Law School, 2004-2011

  • Associate professor of law, 2004-2010
  • Co-director, Institute for Law and Politics, 2007-2010
  • Associate professor of political science (through affiliation), 2008-2010
  • Vance K. Opperman research scholar, 2009-2010
  • Adjunct professor, 2011

Visiting professor of law, Washington University School of Law, 2008
Of Counsel,Faegre & Bensen, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2009-2010
Associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court, 2010-2018. Appointed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Visiting professor, Vanderbilt University Law School, 2012
Adjunct professor, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, 2013
Adjunct faculty member, University of Iowa College of Law, 2014-


Comment, An Invitation to Discrimination: How Congress and the Courts Leave Most Partners and Shareholders Unprotected from Discriminatory Employment Practices, 47 U. KAN. L. REV. 239 (1998)
(With Ryan Scott) Retaining Life Tenure: The Case for a “Golden Parachute”, 83 Wash. U.L.Q. 1397 (2006)
(With Karla Vehrs) Foreward: The Future of the Supreme Court: Institutional Reform and Beyond, 90 Minn. L. Rev. 1147 (2006)
(With Ryan Scott) Are Senior Judges Unconstitutional?, 92 Cornell L. Rev. 453 (2007)
The Supreme Court’s Gatekeepers: The Role of Law Clerks in the Certiorari Process, 85 Tex. L. Rev. 947 (2007)
(With Ryan Scott) An Empirical Analysis of Life Tenure: A Response to Professors Calabresi & Lindgren, 30 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol. 791 (2007)
Why Supreme Court Justices Should Ride Circuit Again, 91 Minn. L. Rev. 1710 (2007)
Understanding the New Politics of Judicial Appointments, 86 Tex. L. Rev. 1033 (2008)
(With Ryan Scott) Navigating the New Politics of Judicial Appointments, 101 NW. L. Rev. 1869 (2008)
Pierce Butler: A Supreme Technician, 62 Vand. L. Rev. 695 (2009)
(Stephen Burbank, Charles Cooper, and James Lindgren) Showcase Panel II: Judicial Tenure: Life Tenure or Fixed Non-renewable Terms?, 12 Barry L. Rev. 173 (Spring 2009)
(With Arthur Hellman and Lauren Robel) Federal Courts: Cases and Materials on Judicial Federalism and the Lawyering Process (Ed. 1 – 4, 2009-2017)
(With Lauren Robel et al) Judicial Code Supplement: Title 28 and Related Statutes (2010,2013, 2015, & 2016)
(With Shaun Pettigrew) The Rising Caseload in the Fourth Circuit: A Statistical and Institutional Analysis, 61 S. C. L. Rev. 421 (2010)
The Supreme Court’s Declining Plenary Docket: A Membership-Based Explanation, 27 Const. Comm. 151 (2010)
(With James Spriggs), Explaining Plurality Opinions, 99 Georgetown L. J. 515 (2011)
(With Ryan Owens and David Simon) Explaining the Supreme Court’s Shrinking Docket, 53 William and Mary L. R. 1219 (2012)
(With Diane Sykes and James Wynn Jr) Panel Discussion: Judges’ Perspectives on Law Clerk Hiring, Utilization, and Influence, 98 Marq. L. Rev. 441 (2014)
Keynote Address: Secret Agents: Using Law Clerks Effectively, 98 Marq. L. Rev. 151 (2014)
(With Timothy Johnson and Ryan Black) Advice from the Bench (Memo): Clerk Influence on Supreme Court Oral Arguments, 98 Marq. L. Rev. 21 (2014)
(With Aaron Caplan et al) How the First Amendment Procedures Protect First Amendment Substance, 65 Cath. U. L. Rev. 185 (2015)

Judicial Opinions:

While on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, Stras has authored only one opinion in his short time on the court. In Brazil v. Arkansas Dept of Human Resources, a case involving claims of employment discrimination, the matter was whether the plaintiff was entitled to injunctive relief regarding a transfer. Given she had already accepted a transfer, the case was remanded with instructions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Stras has heard 22 cases on the court since his confirmation. The only Second Amendment case involved a person convicted of having unregistered silencers and unregistered short barreled rifles in violation of the NFA. In a per curium unpublished opinion, the court found that the District Court had made no errors and thus denied the appeal.


The Alliance for Justice opposed Stras’ nomination to the 8th Circuit and continues to oppose Stras. They have called him an “ultra-conservative” who votes against persons with disabilities and voting rights. I think they are also mad at him for disparaging Sonia Sotomayor’s testimony at her confirmation hearings as wooden and describing her as a “mediocrity”. I can’t disagree.

Diane Sykes


60 y.o., divorced, formerly married to Charlie Sykes, political commentator and talk show host from 1980-1999. Has two children with Sykes.

Current Position:

Judge, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nominated by Pres. George W. Bush and confirmed on June 24, 2004.


Northwestern University, B.S., 1980
Marquette University Law School, J.D., 1984


Judge Terence T. Evans, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1984-1985

Previous Positions:

Journalist, Milwaukee Journal, 1980-1981
Associate, Whyte & Hirschboeck, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1985-1992
Judge, Wisconsin Circuit Court, Milwaukee County, 1992-1999
Justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court, 1999-2004


Reflections on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, 89 Marq. L. Rev. 723 (2005-2006)
Of a Judiciary Nature: Observations on Chief Justice’s First Opinions, 34 Pepp. L. Rev. 1027 (2006-2007)
Religious Liberties: The Role of Religion in Public Debate, 20 Regent U. L. Rev. 301 (2007-2008)
Citation to Unpublished Orders under New FRAP Rule 32.1 and Circuit Rule 32.1: Early Experience in the Seventh Circuit, 32 S. Ill. U. L.J. 579 (2007-2008)
Independence v. Accountability: Finding a Balance Amidst the Changing Politics of State-Court Judicial Selection, 92 Marq. L. Rev. 341 (2008-2009)
Gender and Judging, 94 Marq. L. Rev. 1381 (2010-2011)
The New Federalism: Confessions of a Former State Supreme Court Justice, 38 Okla. City U. L. Rev. 367 (2013)
Minimalism and Its Limits, 2014-2015 Cato Sup. Ct. Rev. 17 (2014-2015)
(With David Stras and James Wynn Jr) Judges’ Perspectives on Law Clark Hiring, Utilization, and Influence, 98 Marq. L. Rev. 441 (2014-2015)

Judicial Opinions:

The key case for our purposes involving Judge Sykes was Ezell v. City of Chicago (2011) where Sykes wrote the opinion. She found that Chicago’s ban on gun ranges violated the Second Amendment. The follow-on Ezell II case also featured an opinion by Sykes who said Chicago’s zoning of ranges was so restrictive that only 2.2% of the area qualified and none in places where they would commercially viable.


Sykes was criticized by the Alliance for Justice for her decision in Ezell (no surprise!), for refusing an en banc hearing for a discrimination case involving AutoZone, for reinstating Wisconsin’s Voter ID law, and finally for saying that for-profit companies could challenge the contraception mandate of ObamaCare.