Quote of the Day: Shaneen Allen Edition

Fordam law professor Nicholas Johnson challenges Americans over the Right to Keep and Bear Arms:

A final question, and this one is not rhetorical: Will the people who invoke the power and rhetoric of civil rights to condemn the disparate treatment of heroin and crack dealers, come to the rescue of a law-abiding Black woman whose crime was misunderstanding the multilayered bureaucracies that restrict the federally-guaranteed constitutional right to arms?

Shaneen Allen failed to appreciate that only one piece of the right to keep and bear arms operates in New Jersey. She perhaps concluded that two high-profile Supreme Court opinions affirming the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, plus a Pennsylvania license to carry a concealed firearm, would be enough to secure her right to carry a gun for self-defense, even in New Jersey. She was mistaken, and might be faulted for her slippery grasp of U.S. federalism. But with that as her crime, she is still infinitely more worthy of being rescued than anyone on the recent list of presidential pardons.

So far, there have been no protests or demonstrations seeking justice for Shaneen Allen. Like Otis McDonald, she is ignored by the nominal defenders of civil rights. Let us hope that this is not the end of the story.

I sincerely hope it’s not the end. If she’s convicted, I fully expect Chris Christie to commute her sentence, to be followed by a full pardon once she’s gone through the process. I think what’s happened to Allen is egregious enough that Pennsylvania should refuse extradition. If she’s in free America, fuck what the New Jersey courts demand. We should refuse to turn her over if the State of New Jersey refuses to do the right thing.

She could be any one of you or me.

UPDATE: I should make clear when I say “fully expect,” that doesn’t mean I think he’ll actually do it. That means “fully expect” if he wants me to consider him a viable candidate for President in 2016. And oh yeah, there’s still Brian Aitken too, who could use a full pardon. I’m more open to a Christie candidacy than others, especially when I hear talk of Romney running again, but only if he does the right thing by Aitken and Allen.

20 thoughts on “Quote of the Day: Shaneen Allen Edition”

  1. I’ve read that the Christie administration knows about Ms. Allen’s situation, but he can’t do anything about it until she’s gone through the legal process.

    Here’s a question for the more legal-minded among you: What’s keeping him from saying “If you convict her, I’m going to pardon her, so why don’t you spare everyone the time and expense and just not go through all this?”

    1. Nothing. Except perhaps an indictment for coercion of a public official.

      But seriously, I’d like to see him out there doing that. But I also don’t know what New Jersey political customs are surrounding this kind of thing. New Jersey is a very executive handed state. In most state County Prosecutors are elected. In New Jersey they are appointed, and I believe they serve at the pleasure of the governor.

      But political custom is almost treated religiously here. That’s not to say it’s right, but it is the way of things.

    2. Keep in mind that a pardon – unlike commutation – precludes her from ever appealing the law or challenging it in court. Because she wouldn’t have an “actual case or controversy” anymore, she wouldn’t have standing.

      That is exactly why Aitken didn’t want a pardon, and in fact, specifically asked for commutation instead — to preserve his standing.

      Accepting a pardon is effectively admitting guilt for the incident, but the conviction never has effect (or never takes place, if pardoned before conviction).

      Commutation removes some or all of the penalty, without admitting guilt — but the conviction still stands, so you have an actual case to appeal.

  2. Christi? Romney? HELL NO! IN no way, shape, manner or form. If Rove and the other “geniuses” of political consultants foist ANOTHER SQUISH MODERATE like the above or Jeb Bush or Rubio, I WILL STAY HOME! And so will my MONEY. For EVERY RACE. This is not “the lesser of 2 evils”. It’s not even the “fairly bad” being the enemy of the moderate. We’ve had enough NE “moderates”, like the Bushes, Romney, etc. Give me Perry or Cruz or Walker. SOMEBODY that is even a LITTLE BIT CONSERVATIVE!

    1. You know Romney and McCain aren’t so bad. As long as they WIN! That’s what was so horrible about those candidates, they lost. The big business entrenched power types of the Republican Party wanted those candidates because they claimed those candidates would win.

      Twice those establishment idiots have had things their way and twice their preferred candidates have lost to the democrat. And somehow they think the third time is charmed? No effing way. Not this time. Not in 2016. They have had enough chances already and lost any right to another.

  3. Jim Gearhart on NJ 101.5 this morning saying 12 people showed up to a rally to support her. Where are all the 2A orgs and why didn’t the word go out to show up? Disappointing.

    1. Hanging this poor woman out to dry would play right into the antis’ ridiculous claims that 2A supporters only care about guns for “old white men”. I know that NRA members are donating to her legal defense fund, but more activism needs to be put into place for the upcoming trial.

    2. I would have gone but I didn’t hear about it. I’m disappointed by the organizations too.

    3. Isn’t this the Newark/Philly area we’re talking about? Any pro 2nd amendment folks in that area left long ago. Any people who could afford bus fare left long ago.

      On the plus side, I would imagine that the local jury pool is probably going to be sympathetic to a black single mom who obviously isn’t a criminal being hassled for not having her papers in order (which is what this is).

  4. I had not heard about a rally either. Every local and regional firearms group should have members jumping up and down in from of the prosecutor’s office at this point. I do like the idea of refusing extradition, but I can’t figure out how you would win that one on a federal level when it gets to that point. Even though PA’s constitution guarantees a right, it doesn’t carry over to NJ. The only way to avoid extradition is to prove NJ laws are unconstitutional (which we all know in our hearts to be true).

    1. go to NJ2AS.com. I hadn’t heard about any rally either, maybe it was a small one not well publicized

  5. I don’t doubt for a moment that Christie will step in for Mrs. Allen. After she has been convicted and lost her job and her kids and been forced onto welfare.

  6. Christie’s problem is this: his natural sympathies are with the prosecutor trying to hang Ms Allen out to dry. (And she did, in the most literal sense, violate NJ law, so the court is stacked up against her). And further to Christie’s problem: until after the primaries and caucuses, he needs to pretend his sympathies are with Allen, which they are not.

    If the Rs choose Christie, they probably lose in the general (given the choice between a real Democrat and a wannabe, the voters pick the real one usually). But if he achieves a primary victory, the general-election outcome doesn’t matter for gun owners; by that point, we’re already roadkill.

    Romney would have been better than Obama (or Hillary or Elizabeth Warner). On guns, Christie won’t be.

    Christie will have to draw out enough disgruntled democrats to make up for all the republicans who couldn’t be bothered to show up to waste a vote on him. And most democrats are happy with their politicians and blame all problems on their opponents.

  7. WRT Extradition of Shaneen Allen,

    PA should tell NJ that they would just as soon extradite Dredd Scott.

    That should stir up the pudding.

  8. ‘That means “fully expect” if he wants me to consider him a viable candidate for President in 2016.’

    I don’t know if that sentence was fully intentional or not, but it’s ambiguity illustrates the very thing they all count on. I don’t want to phrase this so it sounds like a personal attack, but, who cares whether or not you “consider him a viable candidate?” Once he is the Republican candidate, they know all they have to do is harp on what a boogeyman (or woman) the other candidate is, and you’ll hold your nose and vote for him anyway. And except maybe during the primary season, that is all anybody cares about. We gun rights advocates are a known, guaranteed political commodity.

  9. Whetherman claims, anent Chris Christie: “Once he is the Republican candidate, they know all they have to do is harp on what a boogeyman (or woman) the other candidate is, and you’ll hold your nose and vote for him anyway.”

    You don’t know me, but hell no, I won’t. The LP usually runs a better candidate for President anyway, so I vote for them.

    The GOP and I don’t intersect on many issues. The Dems score even worse with me, but those two parties aren’t the only ones on the ballot. (Sure, as long as the rest of yez keep telling me they’re the only two that can win, you’ll be right. But I’m not in charge of policing your votes, only my own.)

    This isn’t a bet in Vegas; we’re supposed to be voting for the person we, personally, want to see win the office, not the one we think is most likely to win. If you are only voting to send a message, why send the message you’re okay with temporizing, tepid moderates?

    1. Since I’ve been voting, the message I am sending is “I don’t want the other guy in office, no way no how.” So electability of the guy I am voting for figures into that

    2. “The LP usually runs a better candidate for President anyway, so I vote for them.”

      Been there, done that, all my T-shirts went threadbare years ago, except the Gary Johnson one that is still in fair shape.

      You and I did not have a chance to dance at the Libertarian Inaugural Ball. The reason being, almost all of our gun owning friends did exactly what I said. We did make our statement though, didn’t we?

      Did anyone care what it was?

  10. Hello, this is Joe white guy, from way down South in Alabama. When I first learned of this poor lady’s story when the event initially occurred, I was totally outraged. The Constitution says you have the right to keep and bear arms and that right shall not be infringed. It doesn’t mean if you drive across a bridge into New Jersey that you have no second amendment right. What if New Jersey said that you cannot speak freely or you may not attend church there? Well, there’d be no difference. I cannot believe that people in New Jersey, and in the Northeastern states were not all over this and supporting this lady who clearly needed and wanted to LEGALLY protect herself from thug criminals. And what happens here? SHE is treated like a criminal and nobody comes to her rescue. If I lived in the area I would have at a very minimum organized some support for this lady. Where are all you guys up there? Who dropped the ball on this and why did you all not come to her aid? You realize that YOU could be next for some petty crime, right? Well, her crime was petty and in fact is not a crime at all. The state of New Jersey cannot override the Constitution or the Supreme Court and all parties involved in her illegal arrest and detention, and subsequent terrorization should all be locked up and tried for treason against the U.S. Government, the Constitution, and the people of New Jersey and the United States. The prosecutor is a filthy scumbag as is the arresting “officer” (public servant). Let them keep pushing. Eventually they are going to cross that line, that line one cannot see but is there, and when they do all hell is going to break loose. Personally, I believe that’s what they want, but I’ll tell you now, this is not a fight they want to pick. They are going to get far more resistance than they are prepared for. I wish Ms. Allen well and that justice will prevail. I recommend for her to never travel into that state again because it is clearly a rogue and outlaw state. What else will they do to you there if they’ll do this? There is no excuse for the prosecution. None whatsoever. I’m guessing based upon this that there is either very little common sense up there, or there is a whole lot of boot on your neck tyranny. I say both. Visit New Jersey? Thanks, but NO THANKS. I have to laugh when ignorant people say people in the South are stupid, ignorant, backward rednecks. We know our rights better than most. If that makes me a redneck then I’m proud to be one.

    1. A lot of us have been standing up for her, raising awareness where we could, protesting where we could, and pressuring the powers that be to do the right thing. If it weren’t for may local 2A activists, she would not have been accepted into Pre-Trial Intervention, where the charges are basically swept under the rug as long as you enter their program. This is not an ideal outcome, but it is not a conviction. She will not go to jail. More importantly, the NJ Attorney General has released guidelines that should protect others in her circumstance, and make them also eligible for PTI.

      This is not over, by a long shot. New Jersey’s oppressive laws ultimately have to be dismantled. But we’re trying, and succeeding, little by little. You guys in the South get to take this stuff for granted. We are on the front lines, doing the best we can with the lousy hand we’ve been dealt.

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