No Cert for Woollard

The Supreme Court has, once again, opted not to weigh in on the issue of carry in regards to the Second Amendment. It would seem like they really don’t want to go there at this point, or perhaps they don’t have the votes in our favor. From SCOTUSBlog:

The Court also granted review of a second case: on the legality under federal law of the owner of a gun selling it to someone else, if the new owner can have a gun legally. That case is Abramski v. United States (12-1493). However, the Court followed its recent pattern of refusing to hear constitutional challenges to gun control laws under the Second Amendment, turning aside a Maryland case seeking to expand the personal right to have a gun beyond the home (Woollard v. Gallagher, 13-42).

The fact that the Supreme Court is completely unwilling to protect your right to actually bear the arms instead of just keeping them should motivate gun owners to get involved in the political fights. It is absolutely clear that you cannot count on the courts, and elections have consequences.

25 thoughts on “No Cert for Woollard

  1. Yes, elections have consequences. For example, if Romney had won we would now have criminalized private sales. He, on his record, would have caved and taken enough Republicans with him to pass it.

    1. Well this sucks. How brazen an assault on our liberties must something be to warrant judicial review?

      As for “elections having consequences,” I could see Richard’s hypothesis easily being the case with Romney.

      However, to play devil’s advocate, the last two Republican presidents we had also supported an AWB while in office and it did not happen under their watch.

      The next GOP candidate for president will need to be openly pro-gun to be anywhere close to winning a primary nationally. This is why Romney had to backpedal on his gun record publicly, terribly as he did with nearly every pisspoor stance of his that he held while governor.

    2. How? Exactly.

      I keep hearing this “Romney would have done such and such” from folks who seem to forget he couldn’t sign anything that didn’t make it to his desk.

      Romney would not have had his VP pushing gun control, nor would he have invested as much personal political capital as Obama did in calling for it.

      Since even -with- Biden pushing in Congress, an absolutely sycophantic press willing to reprint White House propaganda unedited, and Obama personally leading the charge couldn’t get gun control past the House and Senate it is puerile to claim anything at all, particularly anything -worse- would have passed to be signedunder Romney.

      1. I’m not a huge Romney fan, but I’m not a big Romney basher either.

        Its my personal opinion that we actually have an advantage with Obama pushing gun control because he’s so incompetent at getting his pet legislation passed.

      2. If Romney had signed onto the criminalization of private sales, as say his predecessor as Republican nominee did, it would have given cover to enough Republicans to have passed it in the Senate at least. Not sure about the House. And I am not sure how effective Biden was. He repeatedly inserted foot in mouth. Obama would have been better served keeping him home.

        The election was lost the day Romney was nominated. Not only was he an inept candidate who couldn’t credibly campaign on Obama’s most unpopular policy, even if he had somehow stumbled to victory we would have just had Obama-lite.

        1. There is no evidence Romney ever did anything as Governor that he said he wouldn’t do as candidate, as far as I am aware.

          The expectations of Massachusetts’ voters in terms of what they want, vis-a-vis gun rights, from their elected leadership are different than what the national electorate wants. Romney didn’t get elected stating he would go against the wishes of Massachusetts’ citizens on gun control, as reflected by the votes of their elected legislative representatives, so the fact that he abided by those wishes and signed legislation proffered by those legislators is no kind of “betrayal.”

          In contrast, Romney as -Presidential- candidate came out in favor of gun rights as favored by a majority of Americans, and stated he would not support further gun controls. I have yet to see any evidence that President Romney would have been any more likely to act contrary to his statements as a candidate than Governor Romney was.

          For good or ill he seems to be/have been a man of his word, and his word about gun rights as Massachusett’s gubernatorial candidate was -different- than his word as Presidential candidate. Which makes neither one a “lie”, merely appropriate for the job being sought.

          1. Understood and agree, Matthew, but I am uncomfortable that he takes his stand on populism rather than principle, especially regarding a God-given right guaranteed by the Constitution. All it would take is a shift in mood by the electorate and he would turn on us and support the restriction or removal of our unalienable right. Although I think he’d have been better than Mr. Obama, I would still have preferred a man of bedrock principle than one with his finger in the political wind.

            Respectfully, Arnie

            1. I would call it pragmatism more than populism. You simply can’t get elected Governor in Mass, then anyway, on a strong pro-gun platform. The option is run more or less neutral on the topic and focus on economics, which is a winner, or lose.

              Romney was running as a businessman out to “shake up the establishment” on economic issues, nothing more. Talking about gun rights in that environment means you don’t get the chance to make a difference on economics or anything else, cause you aren’t elected Governor.

              Anyway, my point is the “Romney would have been Obama-lite” doesn’t hold up to rational scrutiny. There’s nothing in his record that suggests he would -push- anyt gun control, nor go back on his word and sign anything that did pass. He certainly wouldn’t be out there calling for additional ATF regulations and he wouldn’t have appointed an AG Holder, there’s no political upside for him for any of that. He loses his base and doesn’t pick up enough Dem votes to counter-balance for a second-term run.

              1. Pragmatism for the sake of making a difference where he can in a blue State does make sense, sir. Thank you! – Arnie

  2. Guess the wait to get a case to SCOTUS was good strategically. NRA was scared to death the case would go against us. We need to get our legal theories in line and make sure that we win pro 2a candidates. Losing 4 states this winter and spring was a terrible loss.

    Plus the in your face open carry has been hurting us. I am pro open carry but we must make sure that it look non threatening. Rifle slung over shoulder at political rallies and in cities is a bad idea.

  3. Part of our strategy should be, not to allow any faction to become so secure that they believe they can (finally) abandon us. Anyone who thinks that those who seek power, and would deign to rule, are happy with an armed populace, is living in a fantasy world.

    For now the RKBA is a useful decoy issue for one faction, to lure us to support their candidates and thus their expansions of power and their other issues, but that’s all it is. They’d be happy to be rid of us for the PITAs we tend to be.

    1. I love your insight! I think you are right on target about the people in power, regardless of party, not wanting the people under them to have sufficient power (arms) of their own to resist the former people’s tyranny. It’s human nature! And I think that nature has intensified as government has grown larger and more powerful.

      But you said it much better than I!

  4. Its unfortunate they didn’t grant cert, but I would not read too much into it. 99% of all cases are denied cert. Denying cert could mean they simply didn’t like the case facts, they didn’t feel there is enough of a split between lower courts yet, or they didn’t feel the lower court case law is sufficiently developed. The Supremes generally prefer to have a large body of case law before making a decision, as they can draw upon the experience of all the lower court judges.

    It still sucks though. :(

    1. While I recognize those facts of the situation to be accurate of the description of any case going to SCOTUS, don’t you think the fact that they haven’t been interested in any of the carry cases is just teeny bit relevant? We’re not talking a lone case where all circuits are either in agreement or only one circuit has ruled and the others have not. These have also been cases where the abuse is pretty widespread for the average citizen.

      There certainly could be many, many reasons that have nothing to do with guns that they denied cert. On the other hand, they’ve now made it much, much harder to solve this issue through courts since circuit precedents are now largely set. It’s hugely relevant in how any court strategy is developed.

      1. For lack of a better explanation (and being unwilling to sit quietly and just wonder ;) ), I think they are waiting on the ever so over-turnable 9th to rule for the two Cali cases, “Peruta” and “Richards”, and the one in Hawaii, “Baker”. That will close out the challenges in all the big population “May-Issue” states -and- the only other state (HI) with “carry in name only.”

        I think that will actually finish out all the Circuits too, at least the Circuits which include states that aren’t all “Shall-Issue” already (from where basic carry challenges are unlikely to arise).

        Once the 9th rules they can settle the issue “once and for all” with all parties essentially having had their say. Taking Woollard before Perutawould

        1. If the Supreme Court was waiting on the circuits to complete their adjudication of pending discretionary carry issue cases, then they would have held both Woollard and Kachalsky rather than rejecting them.

          The simple truth is that there are not currently five votes on the Supreme Court for a “shall issue” interpretation of the Second Amendment’s bear clause.

      2. Judges get to carry almost everywhere. Why would they care about the rest of us.

  5. What bugs me is that after over a decade of gun rights consistently proving a political winner–not all pro-gun candidates win, but they ALWAYS do better than if it isn’t a big issue–the GOP still doesn’t like to get too close to this issue. I mean, fuck. Right after Newtown, the NRA had a 54% approval, and the latest GOP score was 28%. Republicans, ESPECIALLY establishment Republicans, ought to be demagoguing this issue to death. Want to marginalize the Tea party? (I don’t, but they do). Steal their most effective issue and pick up millions of moderate Democrats in the process. But instead they try to rebrand their party by distancing themselves from a cause that’s twice as popular as they are.

    1. “the GOP still doesn’t like to get too close to this issue.”

      You mean there are two who’ve noticed?

      See my comment above about “decoy issues,” and how much power-seekers value and armed population.

  6. Just talked to a reporter about this who says the “other side” was claiming our steam had run out on the Second Amendment. I laughed and told him to ask them to find me any fundamental right affirmed by SCOTUS – in entire history of the USA – that resulted in overnight social change. Not Miranda, not Roe…

    We got two back-to-back huge fundamental rulings in two years. That is about as fast-paced as the big court gets, especially under Roberts.

    Yes, I would have liked to see this answered now. But it seems it will have to ruminate a bit more, first.

    1. From the Beltway perspective, gun bans are inevitable, because high tech means nerds are the future! and no one can ever imagine Urkel with a gun. Yes, these guys really do get their ideas about social change from Family Matters.

  7. This was obvious. Roberts is a liberal. It’s really that simple. Further, the national Republicans had the Presidency and 60 votes in the Senate during Bush’s presidency. They could have repealed the 1968 GCA, 1986 Hughes Amendment, instituted national carry reciprocity, but chose not to. They just pretend to support gun rights so we vote for them. Well, not anymore. I’m not voting for another Republican until after this country collapses.

  8. SAF and their related organizations (most notably The Calguns Foundation) have made a huge strategic mistake by focusing nearly 100% of their litigation efforts on discretionary public carry laws. There are many other areas of Second Amendment law where the Supreme Court might be inclined to rule favorably; for example, the Court conspicuously chose to hold over another SAF/Gura case (Lane v. Holder) at the same conference when it rejected Woollard.

    No doubt these organizations have been responding to the wishes of their constituents: the right to bear arms is effectively null in many states. But it is incumbent upon good litigators to do much more than simply follow their client’s orders. Instead, both SAF and Calguns have repeatedly misled their constituents with overly optimistic forecasts of success.

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