Rendell Vetoes Castle Doctrine

Saying it promotes a “shoot first and ask questions later” mentality, Rendell has vetoed HB1926, Castle Doctrine. He’s also awfully disappointed the Senate rejected the “Florida Loophole” amendment. We’ll have to go through this all next year folks. The fat man has quacked on this one.

24 thoughts on “Rendell Vetoes Castle Doctrine”

  1. In addition to my concerns with the substantive provisions of this bill, there are issues with the procedure by which it was passed. Article III, Section 3 of our Constitution provides that “No bill shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.” This bill as introduced and subsequently amended four times dealt with amendments to our statute related to the registration of sex offenders. However, the Senate later expanded the bill to include amendments to our statute related to one’s duty to retreat when faced with an aggressor and amend Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine. It created an untenable burden on legislators who were against the expansion but were fearful of voting against the positive amendments to Megan’s Law. That is just what the Supreme Court intended to prevent by its decision in Pennsylvanians Against Gambling Expansion Fund, Inc. v. Commonwealth.
    Pennsylvania Courts have held time and time again that the matters contained in a single bill must bear a “proper relation” to each other. It is not enough for the subjects to be linked by a broad and general topic. The issues in House Bill 1926, though they may have to do with “crime” generally, do not have anything to do with each other. The duty to retreat or the right to stand one’s ground when confronted has nothing in common with sex offender registration requirements. House Bill 1926, therefore, is clearly unconstitutional and should not be enacted into law for that reason as well.

  2. I hate to admit it, but Eddie makes a good point in his final objection to the bill. It is a bit of a stretch to make the claim that Megan’s Law and Castle Doctrine should rightly be contained in one bill. It would have been open to challenge if it were to pass, and could have set a very bad precident even if it were upheld as constitutional.

    Imagine the sort of crap that could be attached to good bills in the future. I would go as far as to say that even anti-gun amendments are not germane to pro-gun bills, if the amendment does not have a direct relation to the original object of the original bill.

    I understand that the SCPA has already broadened the limits of what is germane, but it should be defined as narrowly as possible and a further broadening is not what we need for the future.

  3. One thing I would like to see in the future is a requirement that the general assembly have the opportunity to overide a veto at the start of the next session, should the clock run out in this session.

  4. I agree with Mobo. Megan’s Law and Castle Doctrine should not have been combined into one bill. That was just asking for trouble even if Rendell signed it.

  5. I do not know the ins and outs of your legislature so I might be talking out of place here.
    If Rendell had problems with the structure of the bill, he could have vetoed earlier with a note that would explain the procedural issue and ask to have it corrected. Instead he waited till the last possible moment and killed both bills thus ensuring that Law Abiding Citizens cannot properly defend themselves and helping child molesters continue their deeds.

  6. Laying aside the structural issues with the bill, which we we all concerned with from the beginning, seriously, is anyone surprised? Fast Eddie’s always been a shit to the armed citizens of PA, and this was his last chance to launch a big FU in our general direction. Why on earth wouldn’t he?

  7. Rendell was just looking for reasons to justify his veto. There are going to be a lot of Democrats who will be pissed at him for this. He vetoed it because he’s a true believer in civilian disarmament. Don’t forget Fast Ed was the architect of the strategy to sue gun makers out of business.

  8. hey, at least you folks have a sympathetic governor and senate coming in…and you get to try, us Virginians don’t have a solid Castle Doctrine…

  9. Expected. I have certain angry things to say but I think that’s more the bushmills than me.

    I’m happy I’m in Arizona but it pisses me me when other states get screwed like this.

    At least you won’t have this idiot around next year. Right?

  10. While I don’t dispute that Rendell was looking for excuses, that does not change the fact he’s right and the two separate issues should not have been in one bill. That was dumb.

  11. Jacob: dumb or deliberate?

    Those of you who followed the twists and turns of its path in the Legislature: does it look like it was deliberately “poison pilled” in this way to give Fast Eddie a valid excuse, and barring that, leaving it open to being zapped by your Supreme Court?

    You’ve really got to watch closely this procedural stuff. E.g. a whole lot of propaganda is generated this way through a compliant press that highlights certain votes but not the ones that really count.

  12. We all knew going into this that Rendell was the final rule trigger. I know I asked if anyone thought he would sign it back months ago. The way it was set up, with the delay and transition into another house bill, we added time to the passage and that never left us time for the house to override Eddies veto. So we learned a lesson in politics, they are the teachers, we are the students. So learn the lesson and hope that we can accelerate our newly found power to get new legislation in the 2011 year, and have the same passion to get it passed.

    Try to keep on the pressure and not lose the folks who took their time to e mail, snail mail, fax and call. We can not lose the TEAM!!

    I stay optimistic. We got their attention, now let them know we are NOT going away!!

  13. It wasn’t ideal to attach CD to the Megan’s Law bill, but there wasn’t a path forward for a clean bill. The Courts are the final arbiter of constitutionality, and as I analyzed here, Rendell’s assertion is far from certain.

    It’s mostly a moot issue now. If he was willing to veto with Megan’s Law attached, he was willing to veto the clean bill just as readily. Castle Doctrine wasn’t going to become law this year no matter what. But having succeeded in getting it through the legislature this year, will make it easier to get through next, and hopefully we’ll have a Governor’s Office willing to display some leadership in demanding his party send him a clean bill.

  14. Your guess is as good as mine. I would hope the House and Senate will take it up rather quickly at the start of the next session, and get it done. But there’s no guarantees in this process.

  15. We pro gunners were shafted by the NRA. Had they never entered the fray, HB40, the Castle Doctrine, would have gone to the Governor long ago, likely been vetoed, and would have been law on an over-ride vote. I wrote a very pointed letter to the NRA, asking them to sack the current rep, John Hohenwater, and replace him with someone who is not so self serving and self aggrandizing. Had Pennsylvania grassroots organizations been allowed to handle this issue by themselves, we’d have the improvements in both Megan’s Law (HB1926) and Castle Doctrine (HB40). Anyone who wishes to see the letter can find it posted on PAFOA’s website. You need only to look at WOP2’s few posts to find it.

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