AHSA Making a Bad Bet

Over at the AHSA Facebook site, Ray Schoenke says:

The truth is the lower courts of appeals are supposed to follow precedent. That is what Sotomayor did. When she’s a supreme court justice, she will follow the precedent set by heller, and hopefully incorporate the right as fundamental to ALL STATES.

Except you’re ignoring evidence that she doesn’t believe in incorporation at all.  Understand Ray, that means something.  Are you really willing to stake the reputation of your organization (not that is has much of one) on Sotomayor ruling in favor of incorporation when the issue comes before the Court?  That seems like a lousy bet to me.

But on the issue at hand, he’s correct.  Sotomayor was bound by precedent to rule the way she did in Maloney.  In Nordyke, the 9th Circuit case, the Court of Appeals had the option of proceeding forward with analysis of the Second Amendment under the due process clause because that path had not been closed by prior circuit precedent.  Now, a circuit court can overturn its own precedent, but only in an En Banc hearing.

If it hadn’t been for Bach vs. Pataki, it might have been possible for the panel in Maloney to take a more detailed look at incorporation, and whether Presser vs. Illinois is still binding, but Bach vs. Pataki shuts the door on how much a panel can do.  Because in Bach, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals did not address the issue of the Second Amendment being an individual right or not, and only focused on application to the states through the 14th amendment, Heller can’t really be seen as overuling Bach.

None of this means that Sotomayor believes the Second Amendment should be incorporated.  We have some evidence that she does not believe this.  It’s a question she will have to answer in her confirmation hearings.  The fact that Ray Schoenke is already jumping on board the Sotomayor train, before we’ve had an adequate opportunity to flesh out her views in a hearing, tells me that AHSA is not a serious gun rights group, but is rather a shill for the Democratic party.  Any real gun rights group would be supremely cautious about Sonya Sotomayor.

3 thoughts on “AHSA Making a Bad Bet”

  1. Eh, the AHSA/Ray (since he seems to be the only real officer of the organization) is nothing if not consistent – they said and did anything necessary to help our Glorious President get elected, because they thought he would help them. Time to try it again.

    You would think they would have learned their lesson from the Obamamessiah, though…

  2. With Respect,

    While your statement follows logic, the argument being made seems like a non-starter.

    The arguments against Sotomayor began by claiming that she is anti-2nd Amendment. However, that argument quickly fell apart mainly due to statements made in meetings w/ elected officials.


    And to a larger extent, gun rights have not been a high profile for Sotomayor, who has assured many senators in private meetings that a 2008 Supreme Court ruling striking down the District of Columbia’s strict gun-control laws is the precedent that she would follow.

    What is troubling about the new switch to arguing over incorporation is that it is nothing more than a conservative
    attack platform with little or no merit.
    1. She cannot answer questions on an issue that is likely to come before the supreme court.
    2. There is absolutely no shred of evidence on how she might rule in a case on incorporation.

    However, if she recognizes Heller as new precedent, gun owners should feel safe. It is likely that the “court” itself would rule favorably on incorporation of the 2nd Amendment as Sotomayor’s confirmation wouldn’t change the balance of power.

    The interesting thing about this appointment is that conservatives always want a judge that follows precedent and rules conservatively – they rail for days against “activist” judges. Now they have a nomination before them of a woman who is clearly not a judicial activist, rules conservatively, and they’re screaming that she should be more “liberal”. (as it applies to overturning precedent at an appellate court level).

    Calling AHSA a shill organization for those reasons or for endorsing Obama (who mind you, has done more for gun-owners in 6 mos than the previous admin did in 8 years by signing into law the right to carry in nat. parks) is disingenuous.

    Prior to the presidential election McCain was publicly called “ENEMY NO 1” by the NRA. Yet they quickly jumped on the Republican band wagon without even asking Obama how he might rule on guns. I mean Grover freakin Norquist is a board member of the NRA??? What org is more of a partisan shill?

    The entire reason AHSA was formed was because Ray felt the NRA no longer represented their member’s interests and ruled completely unfairly in relation to elected officials, and political campaigns. Ray is a Democrat, and a life-long gun- owner, and hunter. Heck, he even joined the NRA at 13!

    I joined the NRA at 13. However, after careful consideration it became clear that the NRA was more content w/ playing political games, and crying wolf so they could up their fundraising, membership, and PAC account.

    Here is what logical people should do. Judge the President on what he’s done on guns – so far – increase rights. Am I wrong to believe that he should be judged on what he’s doing and not the “Obama gun grabbing myth”?

    For instance, when Eric Holder, spoke up about the AWB – Which Schoenke and AHSA wrote a public letter condemning – within 6 hours both Pelosi, and Reid got on stage, and said NO WAY Holder. The laws we have are sufficient.

    Do you think the WH, didn’t organize that response?

    I can promise you one thing, AHSA is pro-2nd Amendment.
    Regardless of your personal political views, we should stop fighting a partisan war about guns – it just makes us spend our money for no reason.

    The gun issue is essentially decided. Yes it will take some time for incorporation, but no one is coming to take your guns, or my guns – AR 15 included.

  3. Alexander, I doubt Schoenke’s letter to Holder had anything to do with Pelosi (especially Pelosi) and Reid saying “no way” on renewing the Clinton Gun Ban. Pelosi is simply trying to protect her majority. She has a lot of members representing conservative districts in red states that she has no interest in putting in danger. And, Schoenke apparently has just come around on the AWB himself, having previously been quoted saying “No one needs an assault weapon.” http://www.dispatch.com/live/contentbe/dispatch/2006/12/24/20061224-G9-02.html

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