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.

#ReleaseTheList

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

Personal:

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.

Education:

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

Clerkships:

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, Equalfooting.com, 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

Scholarship:

(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.

Opposition:

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

Personal:

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.

Education:

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

Clerkships:

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

Scholarship:

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.

Opposition:

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

Personal:

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.

Education:

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

Clerkships:

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.

Scholarship:

(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?

Opposition:

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

Personal:

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.

Education:

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

Clerkships:

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

Scholarship:

(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.

Opposition:

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.

Personal:

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

Education:

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

Scholarship:

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.

Opposition:

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

Personal:

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

Education:

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

Clerkships:

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

Scholarship:

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.

Opposition:

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.

Personal:

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.

Education:

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

Clerkships:

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

Scholarship:

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.

Opposition:

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

Personal:

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.

Education:

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

Clerkships:

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.

Opposition:

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

Personal:

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.

Education:

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

Clerkships:

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-

Scholarship:

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.

Opposition:

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

Personal:

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.

Education:

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

Clerkships:

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

Scholarship:

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.

Opposition:

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.

President Trump’s SCOTUS List, Part 3

These next five potential nominees include the only non-judge on the list – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and the only District Court or non-appellate level judge on the list – Federico Moreno of the Southern District of Florida. My gut feeling is that only Sen. Mike Lee might make the short list if President Trump rolls the dice and takes the chance that a few Democrats will support one of their own colleagues.

One thing I have noticed is that both Joan Larsen and Mike Lee were associates at Sidley Austin at the same time period that our favorite 2A attorney, Alan Gura, was an associate there.

Joan L. Larsen

Personal: 

49 y.o., married to Adam Pritchard who is a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, and has two children.


Current Position: 

Judge, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nominated by Pres. Donald Trump and confirmed Nov. 1, 2017.

Education: 

University of Northern Iowa, B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1990
Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1st in class, 1993

Clerkships: 

Judge David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1993-1994
Justice Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court of the United State, 1994-1995

Previous Positions: 

Associate, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, DC, 1995-1997
Visiting Asst Prof., Northwestern University School of Law, 1998
Visiting Prof of Law, University of Michigan School of Law, 1998-2001
Dep. Asst. Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, US Department of Justice, 2002-2003
Lecturer in Law & Adjunct Prof., University of Michigan School of Law, 2003-present
Visiting Asst Prof., University of Iowa School of Law, 2006
Associate Justice, Michigan Supreme Court, 2015-2017

Scholarship: 

Of Propensity, Prejudice, and Plain Meaning: The Accused’s Use of Exculpatory Specific Acts Evidence and the Need to Amend Rule 404(b), 87 Nw. U. L. Rev. 651 (1993)
One Person One Office: Separation of Powers or Separation of Personnel, 79 Cornell L. Rev. 1045 (1993-1994)
Constitutionalism without Courts, 94 Nw. U. L. Rev. 983 (2000)
Importing Constitutional Norms from a Wider Civilization: Lawrence and the Rehnquist Court’s Use of Foreign and International Law in Domestic Constitutional Interpretation, 65 Ohio St. L.J. 1283 (2004)
Ancient Juries and Modern Judges: Originalism’s Uneasy Relationship with the Jury, 71 Ohio St. L.J 959 (2010)
Incompatibility Clause in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, 2nd Ed. (2014)

Judicial Opinions: 

For a review of her judicial decisions, see this the blog post from The Vetting Room and this profile from the SCOTUSBlog. Her record on the Michigan Supreme Court tends to be conservative but has voted with the more liberal justices. Since Larsen has been on the 6th Circuit, she participated in eight cases with a published opinion and 28 cases with an unpublished opinion. The cases involved a variety of criminal issues, disability cases, immigration appeals, and financial transactions. None involved any issue concerning the Second Amendment.

Opposition: 

The opposition from the Alliance for Justice is centered on Larsen’s scholarship and her time with the Office of Legal Counsel. They accuse Larsen of siding with the wealthy and powerful over the rights of workers while on the 6th Circuit. Interestingly, they ignore a case where she found for a union instead of the non-union worker along with another case where she found the administrative law judge had improperly denied disability benefits. I’d say they engaged in cherry-picking to come to their conclusion. People for the American Way (sic) say in a letter opposing Larsen when she was nominated for the 6th Circuit accused her of being someone who would “diminish the rights of ordinary Americans and enable dangerous abuses of power by the president.”

Michael S. “Mike” Lee

Personal: 

47 y.o., married to Sharon Burr Lee, and has three children. Mormon. His father, Rex Lee, was US Solicitor General during the Reagan Administration and later was the 10th President of BYU. Is the younger brother of Thomas R. Lee. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) is a second cousin.

Current Position: 

United State Senator representing Utah. First elected in 2010. 

Education 


:
Brigham Young University, BA, 1994
Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark School of Law, JD, 1997

Clerkships: 

Judge Dee Benson, US District Court for the District of Utah, 1997-1998
Justice Samuel Alito, Supreme Court of the United States, 1998-1999

Previous Positions: 

Associate, Sidley Austin, Washington, DC, 1999-2002
Asst. US Attorney, District of Utah, 2002-2005
General Counsel, Office of Gov. Jon Huntsman, Salt Lake City, UT, 2005-2006
Partner, Howrey LLP, Salt Lake City,UT, 2006-2010

Scholarship: 

The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government (2011)
Why John Roberts Was Wrong About Healthcare: A Conservative Critique of The Supreme Court’s Obamacare Ruling (2013)
Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document (2015)
Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government (2017)

Opposition: 

The National Review said if Mike Lee was picked he would be hard to “Bork” as he has a long record of bipartisanship. He has co-sponsored bills with 36 out of the 49 sitting Democrats in the Senate including Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Dick Durbin, and Elizabeth Warren. If selected, Lee would be the 16th senator to sit on the Supreme Court and the first since Hugo Black. Lee has a solid conservative record from all the usual sources which upsets the opposition. The Alliance for Justice says, “Senator Lee’s views of the Constitution are radically conservative, even when compared with the record of his former boss Justice Alito. Like D.C. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown, Lee is part of a movement of the wealthy and powerful to restore the “Lochner era” and use the Constitution as pretext to roll back progress made on economic and social rights throughout the 20th century.”

Thomas R. Lee

Personal: 

53 y.o., married to Kimberly Lee, and has six children. Mormon. His father, Rex Lee, was US Solicitor General during the Reagan Administration and later was the 10th President of BYU. Is the younger brother of Sen. Mike Lee. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) is a second cousin.
Current Position:
Associate Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court. Appointed to the court by Gov. Gary Herbert in 2010.

Education: 

Brigham Young University, BA Summa Cum Laude, 1988
University of Chicago Law School, JD, 1991

Clerkships: 

Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1991-1992
Justice Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court of the United States, 1994-1995
Previous Positions:
Shareholder, Kimball, Parr, Waddoups, Brown & Gee, Salt Lake City, UT, 1995-1997
Of Counsel, Howard Phillips & Andersen, Salt Lake City, UT, 1997-2004, 2005-2010
Rex and Maureen Rawlinson Professor of Law, Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark School of Law, 1997-2010 (on leave 2004-2005)
Dep. Asst. Attorney General, Civil Division, US Department of Justice, 2004-2005
Distinguished Lecturer, Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark School of Law, 2010- Present

Scholarship: 

Comment: The Standing of Qui Tam Relators Under the False Claims Act, 57 U.Chi. L.Rev. 542 (1990)
Pleading and Proof: The Economics of Legal Burdens, 1997 BYU L. Rev. 1 (1997)
Stare Decisis in Historical Perspective: From the Founding Era to the Rehnquist Court, 52 Vand. L. Rev. 647 (1999)
Stare Decisis in Economic Perspective: An Economic Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Doctrine of Precedent, 78 N.C. L. Rev. 643 (2000)
In Rem Jurisdiction in Cyberspace, 75 Wash. L. Rev 97 (2000)
The Anastasoff Case and the Judicial Power to “Unpublish” Opinions, 77 Notre Dame L.Rev. 135 (2001)
Preliminary Injunctions and the Status Quo, 58 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 109 (2001)
The Original Understanding of the Census Clause: Statistical Estimates and the Constitutional Requirement of an ‘Actual Enumeration’, 77 Wash. L. Rev. 1 (2001)
“To Promote the Progress of Science”: The Copyright Clause and Congress’s Power to Extend Copyrights (with Orrin Hatch), 16 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 1 (2002)
Demystifying Dilution, 84 B.U. L. Rev. 859 (2004)
Abercrombie Unveiled: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Trademark Distinctiveness, Working Draft, SSRN 1319409 (2008)
Sophistication, Bridging the Gap, and the Likelihood of Confusion: An Empirical and Theoretical Analysis, https://ssrn.com/abstract=1319188, (2008)
Trademarks, Consumer Psychology, and the Sophisticated Consumer, 57 Emory L.J. 575 (2008)
Judicial Activism, Restraint, & the Rule of Law, 26 Utah Bar J. 12 (2013)
Corpus Linguistics & Original Public Meaning: A New Tool To Make Originalism More Empirical (with Stephen C. Mouritsen), 126 Yale L.J. Forum 21 (2016)
Judging Ordinary Meaning, 127 Yale L.J. 788 (2018)
Data-Driven Originalism, U. Pa. L. Rev. (forthcoming)

Judicial Opinions: 

With regard to Lee and the Second Amendment, the SCOTUSBlog had this to say:

During Lee’s time on the Utah Supreme Court, he has had only few cases dealing, albeit indirectly, with the rights of gun owners, and it is difficult to glean much about his position on the scope of the Second Amendment from those cases. The case most directly on point is Herland v. Izatt, a 2015 lawsuit against a gun owner who allowed an intoxicated woman to hold his loaded handgun. The woman then accidentally, but fatally, shot herself in the head. Lee joined the other members of his court in holding that the lawsuit could go forward. The court, in an opinion by Chief Justice Matthew Durrant, acknowledged that the “right to bear arms is enshrined in both the United States and Utah Constitutions. But with that right,” the court continued, “comes responsibilities,” and the state legislature has placed some restrictions on gun use and ownership – for example, by enacting a bar on supplying guns to children and people with mental illnesses. For that reason, the court concluded, gun owners have a duty “to exercise reasonable care in supplying their guns to intoxicated individuals.” However, the court cautioned, that duty “does not mean that” gun owners “will necessarily be liable for damages when those individuals injure themselves, because in most cases the intoxicated individual’s negligence will likely exceed that of the gun owner as a matter of comparative negligence.”

Lee also takes a narrow view of the deference courts should give to agency interpretations of laws and regulations. He said that the courts have the prerogative of interpreting the law. Lee is also a very strong originalist

Opposition: 

Last year when President Trump was deciding on the replacement for Justice Scalia, a group of academics did an empirical study as to which potential nominee would be the closest to Scalia in judicial philosophy. They said it was Lee. If you look at his body of scholarship above, I think you can see why. The SCOTUSBlog said Lee had a “storied legal background”.  As to opposition, the Alliance for Justice, not surprisingly, thinks he’s a bad choice based on Utah Supreme Court decision dealing with reproductive rights, criminal justice, employee rights, and the environment. I’m surprised they didn’t go after him for just being a Mormon.

Edward M. Mansfield

Personal: 

61 y.o., married to Elizabeth Hall-Mansfield, and has three children. 

Current Position: 

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Iowa. Appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad in 2011 to replace a justice recalled by Iowa voters. Returned to the court by voters in 2012. 

Education: 

Harvard University, AB, 1978
Yale University Law School, JD, 1982 

Clerkships: 

Judge Patrick Higginbotham, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1982-1983 

Previous Positions: 

Private Practice, undisclosed law firm, Phoenix, AZ, 1983-1996
Partner, Belin McCormick, Des Moines, IA, 1996-2009
Iowa Court of Appeals, 2009-2011
Adjunct Prof of Law, Drake University, 1997 – present. 

Judicial Opinions: 

To my knowledge, Mansfield has not ruled on a gun rights case. He did rule in 2015 against the Iowa State Patrol in an asset forfeiture case and remanded the case back to district court. The person involved did get his money returned. His perhaps most controversial case involved a dentist firing an assistant for being “too attractive”. The dentist fired the assistant when his wife learned the two, both married, were texting back and forth after hours and demanded she be fired. He found that the assistant had not been fired because of her gender but to save his marriage. There was no claim of a hostile work environment or sexual harassment. Mansfield said they weren’t asked to determine if the dentist treated the assistant badly in firing her but only whether it was unlawful sexual discrimination and it wasn’t under Iowa or Federal law. Mansfield dissented in a case this past Friday where the Iowas Supreme Court struck down a law that required a mandatory 72 hour waiting period before having an abortion. 

Opposition: 

There seems to be no real opposition to Mansfield by the Alliance for Justice. I’m guessing that they don’t consider him to be that likely to be picked by Pres. Trump.

Federico Moreno

Personal: 

66 y.o, married to Maria Cristina Morales, and has three children. His daughter Christina is an Asst US Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. Moreno was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Catholic. 

Current Position: 

Judge, US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Nominated by Pres. George H.W. Bush and confirmed July 16, 1990. 

Education: 

University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1974
University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 1978 

Previous Positions: 

Private practice, Miami, Florida, 1978-1979
Assistant federal public defender, Southern District of Florida, 1979-1981
Private practice, Miami, Florida, 1982-1986
Judge, Dade County [Florida] Court, 1986-1987
Judge, Circuit Court of Florida, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, 1987-1990 

Judicial Opinions: 

Moreno has heard more that 5,000 cases in his time on the bench. One of his most notable ones involved ruling against the Coast Guard who had returned 15 refugees to Cuba under the “wet foot-dry foot” policy. The 15 were found standing on the piling of a former bridge in the Florida Keys. The USCG and the government argued that the pilings were “rooted in the water” and not part of Florida. Moreno disagreed and ordered the government to do what was necessary to allow these 15 to return to the US as refugees. As to Second Amendment cases, I really didn’t find any. 

Opposition: 

The Alliance for Justice doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about Judge Moreno. I believe his age – 66 – and his position as a District Court judge make it highly unlikely that he’ll make the final short list.

Guess Who Will Be In Dallas On Friday

President Trump didn’t think the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was worth attending. From what I heard about it, he was right. However, a number of reports say that he will be attending the Leadership Forum at the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas on Friday. A number of politicians from VP Mike Pence to Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had already been scheduled to appear. My thought was that Pence was to be the stand-in for the President Trump at the event.

I’m sure this will guarantee that there will be protesters at the Annual Meeting. I’ve heard that Alyssa Milano will be leading the Holly contingent and I guess Shannon Watts will be there with the Demanding Moms for Illegal Mayors. However, this leaves open the question as to whether everyone’s favorite (sic) David “Camera” Hogg will be there to lead the Children’s Crusade Against Enumerated Rights.

GRNC: TELL PRESIDENT TRUMP: NO GUN CONTROL!

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In response to the conflicting and confusing messages regarding gun control coming from the White House and @realdonaldtrump’s Twitter account, Grass Roots North Carolina issued an alert yesterday asking for members and supporters to call the White House, email the White House, and email their Senators and Representatives. They want the message delivered loud and clear that no new gun control is acceptable.

From GRNC:

REMIND PRESIDENT TRUMP WHY WE VOTED FOR HIM
See below, under ‘Immediate Action,’ to sign the petition against gun control.
  
“Dance with the One That Brought You”  is always good advice – especially in politics.

The nation’s Left (and now it appears President Trump) is hoping to use the emotion of the moment to to chip away at our rights with the false promise that it will solve the problem.  They will then walk back the promises as being “A good first step”.   After which they will patiently await for the next mass killer to show up and do it all again.

The proposed ‘Bump Stock’ ban has nothing to do with the mass murder in Parkland, Florida but is being pushed under the guise of“Doing Something, anything”.  It could change the meaning of a machine gun from trigger pull to firing rate and be applied to anything that could increase this rate and used to cover every semi-automatic firearm under the odious rules of the National Firearms Act [NFA].

Support for President Trump came from many of the 2nd amendment community because he pledged to protect these civil rights.  Now is the time to remind him (even if you have done so already) of this commitment, and that the gun grabber Left is only cuddling up to him in order to score some wins against the cause of Liberty.

It is critical that we remind President Trump that pro-gun voters like you elected him to stand firmly in support of the Second Amendment!


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
    • SIGN OUR PETITION: Please visit our website athttps://www.grnc.org/trump to sign our petition to President Trump to stand firmly with the Second Amendment, and to oppose the latest round of corporate-funded gun-grabbing hysteria.
    • PHONE AND EMAIL THE WHITE HOUSE: Let’s light up the White House switchboards. The phone number is 202-456-1111. 
      Deliver the following message:
      Hello. I am calling to tell President Trump that, as a law-abiding gun owner, I oppose any of the gun control efforts currently being discussed. This includes banning bump stocks or any other devices to modify rate of fire, raising the minimum age of any firearms purchases, expansion of any “gun free zones” that continually put our citizens at risk, or so-called universal background checks. Thank you for your time.
    • EMAIL THE WHITE HOUSE AND NC REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS: Remind the President, NC’s U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative that we supported them during election season, and we insist that they protect our Second Amendment rights.   Use the links provided below to access their contact pages. Use the copy/paste text provided under ‘Deliver This EMAIL Message’ (adjust the opening salutation as necessary).
    • DONATE TO GRNC: Unlike the billionaires that create astroturf gun control lobbies, Grass Roots North Carolina is run by volunteers and funded by people like you; regular, law-abiding Americans that value their rights and freedoms. Please consider making a donation to GRNC by visiting this link: https://www.grnc.org/join-grnc/contribute. 
D.C. CONTACT FORMS
President Trump (the White House):https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Your U.S. SenatorsSenator Burr: https://www.burr.senate.gov/contact/email
Senator Tillis: https://www.tillis.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me

NC’s Republican U.S. *Representatives

Representative Contact Page
George Holding (2nd) https://holding.house.gov/contact/
Walter Jones (3rd) https://jones.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Virginia Foxx (5th) https://foxx.house.gov/contact/
Mark Walker (6th) https://walker.house.gov/contact/email
David Rouzer (7th) https://rouzer.house.gov/contact/email
Richard Hudson (8th) https://hudson.house.gov/email-me/
Robert Pittenger (9th) https://pittenger.house.gov/contact/
Patrick McHenry (10th) https://mchenry.house.gov/contact/
Mark Meadows (11th) https://meadows.house.gov/contact/
Ted Budd (13th) https://budd.house.gov/contact/
* Due to zip code limitations, it’s likely  you will only be able to contact your own rep. If you don’t know who your rep. is, click here, use the zip code search positioned at the top right corner corner of the page. 

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Dear [Mr. President / Senator Representative]:
I am a law-abiding citizen, and I am contacting you to voice my strong opposition to any of the gun control schemes currently being discussed. This includes banning bump stocks or any other devices to modify rate of fire, raising the minimum age of any firearms purchases, expansion of any “gun free zones” that continually put our citizens at risk, and so-called universal background checks.
Rather than pushing for infringements on the civil rights of the peaceful law-abiding citizen in order to  quiet a very loud, but small group of anti-gun extremists, you ought to be examining true solutions, such as eliminating gun-free zones, areas that are soft targets, sitting ready for the criminally insane to exploit.
I demand that you end this talk about gun control.  I will be monitoring your actions on this matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.
Respectfully,

GRNC Alert – Call The White House Comment Line

I’m not sure given what we’ve been hearing out of President Donald Trump’s mouth if this is too late or not. Nonetheless, it is important to go on record and make the call.

From GRNC:

REMIND PRESIDENT TRUMP WHY WE VOTED FOR HIM
The recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, underscores the continued failure of “gun-free” zones. Creating target-rich environments, and then relying on government ineptitude to “secure” those environments has proven time and time again to be a recipe for failure. Unfortunately, the anti-gun movement is seizing this moment (as they do with every other tragedy) to push an agenda that will turn your Constitutionally-protected right into a narrowly carved out privilege.

Grass Roots North Carolina stands firm with Gun Owners of America,who recently noted that “If President Donald Trump’s goal is to ban bump stocks, then that is a gross infringement of Second Amendment rights. GOA has long warned that such a ban can easily be applied to triggers, magazines, or semi-automatic firearms.”

It is critical that we remind President Trump that pro-gun voters like you elected him to stand firmly in support of the Second Amendment!


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
    • SIGN OUR PETITION: Please visit our website athttps://www.grnc.org/trump to sign our petition to President Trump to stand firmly with the Second Amendment, and to oppose the latest round of corporate-funded gun-grabbing hysteria.
    • PHONE AND EMAIL THE WHITE HOUSE: Let’s light up the White House switchboards and remind them that pro-Second Amendment voters like you voted for President Trump for a reason. The phone number is 202-456-1111 and the email link is https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
  • DONATE TO GRNC: Unlike the billionaires that create astroturf gun control lobbies, Grass Roots North Carolina is run by volunteers and funded by people like you; regular, law-abiding Americans that value their rights and freedoms. Please consider making a donation to GRNC by visiting this link:https://www.grnc.org/join-grnc/contribute


DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Hello. I am calling to tell President Trump that, as a law-abiding gun owner, I oppose any of the gun control efforts currently being discussed. This includes banning bump stocks or any other devices to modify rate of fire, raising the minimum age of any firearms purchases, or the expansion of any “gun free zones” that continually put our citizens at risk. Thank you for your time.