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California Court Upholds Ban by Violent Misdemeanants

The rationale sounds pretty weak to me:

While broad restrictions might be judged under a stricter standard, Margulies wrote, Heller makes clear that courts will continue to apply rational-basis review to laws barring possession by “disqualified” persons, including misdemeanants and those on pretrial release.

What if the misdemeanor was non-violent? Does rational-basis apply to prohibitions on people convicted of say, reckless driving? Speeding? Spitting on the sidewalk? This seems to be a very broad reading of Heller, which only mentioned felons.

7 Responses to “California Court Upholds Ban by Violent Misdemeanants”

  1. Ed says:

    Here is an interesting counterpoint to the concept of felon bans, and how they were limited up until the 60’s to felony crimes of violence. It would seem the same logic might apply to the stupid California 10 year ban.

    This decision also begs the question about whether the California offense should then be a felony to start with, rather than a misdemeanor.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_go2782/is_2_32/ai_n31942560/?tag=content;col1

  2. Matthew Carberry says:

    He’s got the appeal basis laid out from two directions. I particularly like using Equal Protection arguments since they take the hot button of “2nd Amendment” off the table and force the inclusion of data from neighboring, less-restrictive jurisdictions.

  3. Ed says:

    He does, but right or wrong he does not present as a sympathetic plaintiff-petitioner before the court. Does that mean he should not have his rights exonerated? No. But his appeal does run the risk of creating bad precedent. It’s a lose-lose situation either way – either he gives up an appeal or he sets a bad precedent, assuming he loses again.

    I think this question will ultimately be before SCOTUS in the next 5 years, perhaps sooner. There are other efforts ongoing in California to challenge the 10 year misdemeanor ban, with proper screening of plaintiffs. Either way, I hope this gets resolved to our benefit.

  4. mikee says:

    Rational basis legislation is the death knell for any individual right. The basis does not have to be factual, just stated as a reason for the infringement of a right.

  5. Ed says:

    I don’t particularly care for the police-power-favoring rational basis test, but to say it’s the death knell of anything is a bit premature.

    At least I think the plaintiffs in Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Plyler v. Doe and Romer v. Evans might disagree. ;-)

  6. BobG says:

    “There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience.
    And then there is California.”
    -Edward Abbey

  7. Ian Argent says:

    Rational Basis isn’t going to last much longer as a reason to uphold; either.

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