Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Second Amendment Challenge Triggers The Left

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Monday the US Supreme Court declined to dismiss a Second Amendment challenge to a firearm regulation in New York City after Democrats threatened the justices with "court packing."

Now the anti-gun people are scrambling.

My grandmother used to say, "Be careful what you pray for." I doubt the Left has prayed about this, but the Court's response has triggered high anxiety.

Be informed.

The case.

The case involves a New York City system that set up two types of licenses for handgun possession: one that allowed carry outside the home, and the other that only authorized possession at a home or business.

The city had an ordinance that prevented those with the home-only license from transporting their guns to second homes or shooting ranges outside the city.

Gun rights groups challenged the ordinance, but lower courts sided with the city's anti-gun position.

However, the gun rights people took their case to the US Supreme Court and the Court announced Monday that they will hear the case.

And they'll hear it right away. December 2.

This triggered the anti-gun Left.

Why the Left was triggered by the Court's decision to hear the case.

First, they are fearing that once the light is turned on their ordinance, the Court could very well side with the gun owners and the whole thing could turn into a major pro-gun precedent.

The city had been scrambling to "undo" the ordinance before the High Court made their decision regarding hearing it. They've been saying it's was now a moot point because they are changing the ordinance.

Although this case has to do with NYC, it will have an effect on federal laws. The anti-gun people know that.

The Court said in agreeing to hear the case that "The respondents' suggestion of mootness is denied. The question of mootness will be subject to further consideration at oral argument, and the parties should be prepared to discuss it."

The Court has generally ruled in favor of gun owners and the Second Amendment over the past 12 years. Usually by a 5-4 vote.

Sen Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) argued in a brief, joined by other Democrats, that "a series of similar rulings with 'bare partisan majorities' has damaged the public trust in the federal judiciary."

He noted a poll taken in May that found 55% of Americans said the court was "mainly motivated by politics."

Angry Democrats are now threatening to "pack the Court," or "restructure" the Court.

Several 2020 Democrat presidential candidates are suggesting they would propose expanding the high Court to as many as 15 justices if they won the White House, then fill those seats with liberal members to counter the current 5-4 Republican majority.

Sen. Whitehouse is on his high horse because he notes that Justice Brett Kavanaugh was backed by the National Rifle Association.

Could they actually expand the Court to 15 members?

Yes, they could---if they were in power.

The case against packing the Court.

Thomas Jipping with the Heritage Foundation wrote a brief article earlier this year on the subject---a bit of history about the idea of "packing" the court, why it has been rejected in the past, and why it should be rejected now. It takes about 2 minutes to read his article.

No to packing the Court.

Rarely has a single word created so much buzz as the recent revival of “court-packing.” It refers to the notion of expanding the size of the Supreme Court so that its composition, and its decisions on key issues, will quickly change.
There is no valid reason to expand the Supreme Court, and this invalid one has been rejected before — court-packing would destroy the independence of the judicial branch.
Presidents have always appointed judges guided by a view of the power and proper role of the judiciary in our system of government. The opportunity to do so, however, depends largely on attrition, that is, on judges choosing to leave their life-tenured positions.
The ordinary course of attrition-and-appointment can have a big impact. When President Barack Obama took office, for example, 10 of the 13 U.S. Court of Appeals circuits had a majority of Republican appointees and two others were evenly split. When he left, nine of those circuits had Democratic-appointed majorities.
Beyond attrition, vacancies also arise when Congress creates new judgeships. In the past, Congress has done so when caseloads become too heavy. The goal is to increase the capacity of the judiciary, often based on recommendations from the Judicial Conference.
“Court-packing” is different. The Supreme Court has had nine justices since 1869. Today, it hears half as many arguments, and decides half as many cases, as it did in the 1980s. There is no capacity problem.
Those who urge expanding the size of the Supreme Court seek not to increase its capacity but to change its output: they want to alter the actual decisions the court makes.
We’ve been here before. President Franklin Roosevelt was first elected in 1932, promising that the federal government would lead America out of its economic desert. The Supreme Court, however, stood in the way of his plans. Based on a traditional view of the federal government’s constitutional authority, the court repeatedly struck down New Deal legislation. The 1936 election not only gave Roosevelt a landslide victory it gave him overwhelmingly Democratic majorities in the Senate and House.
On Feb. 5, 1937, just two weeks after taking his second oath of office, Roosevelt recommended legislation to add a new judgeship “where there are incumbent judges of retirement age who do not choose to retire or to resign.” That retirement age was 70. Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court’s “Four Horsemen” who had consistently opposed Roosevelt’s economic legislation were each more than 70 years old.
The Judiciary Committee, dominated by Democrats, issued its report on S.1392 on June 7, 1937, “with the recommendation that it do not pass.” Everyone knew that “the object of this legislation” was “a change in the decisions of the Court,” to “increase the number of Justices for the express purpose of neutralizing the views of some of the present members.”
But don’t presidents appoint Supreme Court justices with the hope that they will take a particular approach to deciding cases? Yes, but not only does that gamble not always pay off, but the president can do nothing once that judicial life-tenure begins.
The suggestion that Congress might, at any time, retaliate against certain judicial appointments or decisions by manipulating the structure of the judiciary itself is a radically different proposition. It is, the Judiciary Committee said, “nothing more than the declaration that when the Court stands in the way of a legislative enactment, the Congress may reverse the ruling by enlarging the Court.”
The Judiciary Committee had the answer in 1937: “Even if every charge brought against the so-called ‘reactionary’ members of this Court be true, it is far better that we await orderly but inevitable change of personnel than that we impatiently overwhelm them with new members.”
We should follow that example today. The committee argued that preserving the “American system” of three independent branches is “immeasurably more important” than any current political objective.

In other words, the ends do not justify the means.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful. Vote.