Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Will Amy Comey Barrett be the next Supreme Court Justice?

If there is an opening during Trump's tenure, my money is on her.  The 46-year old judge on the 7th Circuit just wrote this dissent, arguing that felon-in-possession laws are unconstitutional as applied to non-dangerous felons.  It starts this way:
History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous. Founding-era legislatures did not strip felons of the right to bear arms simply because of their status as felons. Nor have the parties introduced any evidence that founding-era legislatures imposed virtue-based restrictions on the right; such restrictions applied to civic rights like voting and jury service, not to individual rights like the right to possess a gun. In 1791—and for well more than a century afterward—legislatures disqualified categories of people from the right to bear arms only when they judged that doing so was necessary to protect the public safety.
18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and Wisconsin Statute § 941.29(1m) would stand on solid footing if their categorical bans were tailored to serve the governments’ undeniably compelling interest in protecting the public from gun violence. But their dispossession of all felons—both violent and nonviolent—is unconstitutional as applied to Kanter, who was convicted of mail fraud for falsely representing that his company’s therapeutic shoe inserts were Medicare-approved and billing Medicare accordingly. Neither Wisconsin nor the United States has introduced data sufficient to show that disarming all nonviolent felons substantially advances its interest in keeping the public safe. Nor have they otherwise demonstrated that Kanter himself shows a proclivity for violence. Absent evidence that he either belongs to a dangerous category or bears individual markers of risk, permanently disqualifying Kanter from possessing a gun violates the Second Amendment.
The conclusion:
If the Second Amendment were subject to a virtue limitation, there would be no need for the government to produce—or for the court to assess—evidence that nonviolent felons have a propensity for dangerous behavior. But Heller forecloses the “civic right” argument on which a virtue limitation depends. And while both Wisconsin and the United States have an unquestionably strong interest in protecting the public from gun violence, they have failed to show, by either logic or data, cf. Skoien, 614 F.3d at 642, that disarming Kanter substantially advances that interest. On this record, holding that the ban is constitutional as applied to Kanter does not “put[] the government through its paces,” see Williams, 616 F.3d at 692, but instead treats the Second Amendment as a “second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,” McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, 780 (2010) (plurality opinion). I therefore dissent.

Meantime, in local news, Riverside House is trying to help recently released defendants reintergrate into the community.  In that vein, it is holding its 1st Annual Recognition Ceremony where AFPD Helaine Batoff and AUSA J.D. Smith are being honored for their work in Care Court.  Very cool!  Get your tickets here.


Anonymous said...

Seems like she has no problem with stripping felons of the right to vote though (Jim Crow era not Founding era).

Anonymous said...

Yay Helaine and J.D.!

Anonymous said...

She is next for sure.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! Get ready boys. With such well reasoned thinking based on a soliod constitutional and historical foundation, there is bound to be a herd of aging former adolescents ready to break down the doors of the Senate Judiciary committee and start telling tales that they made out with her in the closet of their 6th grade classrooms.

Anonymous said...

Translation -

When the Jim Crow laws were passed and used to strip Blacks of the ability to vote, make a living, or defend themselves, the states didn't contemplate that those same laws may later be applied to Whites (White collar criminals). So...I am going to interpret the Constitution to give full force to those efforts but also make sure that I protect White People!


Sure David, she belongs on the Court.

Anonymous said...

1018 wait until you graduate 7th grade and maybe your reasoning skills will have improved