Pennsylvania Anti-Gun Advocates Come Out in McDonald

Previously, 13 Representatives and both Senators from Pennsylvania signed on to the pro-McDonald Congressional brief. Only two members out of the other six of the Pennsylvania delegation have decided to formally stand on the wrong side of history.

It isn’t a shock that Congressmen Bob Brady (D, PA-01) and Chakah Fattah (D, PA-02) joined Carolyn McCarthy’s brief filed in favor of upholding Chicago’s gun ban. In it, the Congressmen made the bizarre arguments that federal restrictions on fully automatic firearms dating from the 1930s clearly show that the current handgun ban is constitutional. To further their “evidence,” they cite previous federal laws that merely acknowledge the existence of state firearms laws – such as those banning the use of firearms by violent felons – as reason to consider an outright ban to be legal. In fact, the entire premise of their brief seems to be that the existence of some laws that pertain to guns clearly means that gun bans are fine and dandy. They seem to forget the Court made clear inHeller that bans are not merely legally debatable restrictions. While I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on tv, I do have to wonder how any attorney could write that brief with a straight face.

The following Pennsylvania Representatives were too scared to take any side in the case:

  • Kathleen Dahlkemper (D, PA-03)
  • Joe Sestak (D, PA-07)
  • Allyson Schwartz (D, PA-13)
  • Mike Doyle (D, PA-14)

I started to wonder if old Joe Sestak finally realized he was far too left-wing for Pennsylvania. Then I realized that he probably never saw the memo to sign up for McCarthy’s brief since he is campaigning full-time (literally).

6 Responses to “Pennsylvania Anti-Gun Advocates Come Out in McDonald

  1. While I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on tv, I do have to wonder how any attorney could write that brief with a straight face.

    It’s part of the job: client has completely unwinnable case that the law is incontrovertibly clear on. Client insists on taking it to court. Draw up _something_ to say in front of the Justices, and cash the check.

  2. Bitter says:

    Oh I understand the motivation to write it for a paycheck. I just imagine that they would have to be cracking jokes the entire time. I almost imagine the effort to find quotes from pro-gun lawmakers that they could twist around and edit was a bit of a game. Perhaps a drinking game? That could be fun.

  3. I don’t doubt it. There are probably a dozen lawblogs out there devoted to stupid client tricks. In any case, a body could probably _start_ one with the next half-decade or so of states and cities trying to defend their gun laws. :)

  4. Mike w. says:

    While I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on tv, I do have to wonder how any attorney could write that brief with a straight face.

    Easy. They’re getting paid. It’d be great if lawyers could only participate in cases they personally agreed with, but most don’t have that luxury.

    • Bitter says:

      Actually, for a case like this, I would imagine this was pro bono work. From what I understand, there’s often been a lean toward more left-wing causes when firms are deciding what kind of pro bono work to allow their employees contribute to each year. Stephen Poss gave a great little speech about the the trend and how he convinced his firm to help out on Heller (and now McDonald) by simply pointing out that it makes them more competitive to talent who might be more right-leaning politically and would be excited to work somewhere that does pro bono work for some of their favored causes, too. Crazy concept!

  5. Verra innerestin’. Sort of like how Fox News captures the big ratings by being the only game in town that caters to one half of the customers, while the rest of networks all fight over the other half.


  1. NJ Reps who Support Sen McCarthy’s McDonald Brief « Cemetery's Gun Blob - [...] who Support Sen McCarthy’s McDonald Brief 2010 January 7 by Cemetery's Gun Blob Over at Snowflakes in Hell, Sebastian gives…
  2. New Jersey Pols Against McDonald | Snowflakes in Hell - [...] Cemetery points out some New Jersey pols that have signed up to oppose McDonald, in response to Bitter’s list…