Justice Anthony Kennedy Announces Retirement
courtesy Getty.com
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And you thought the left was already acting insane, unhinged and violent? Wait until a second Trump Supreme Court pick — someone, one would hope, with a more reliable, Gorsuch-like originalist judicial philosophy — is nominated.

The Supreme Court ended its current session today and with it, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the bench. That gives President Trump a second Supreme Court pick.

This is, of course, a much bigger deal that was his first high court nominee. Trump chose the reliably conservative Neil Gorsuch to replace the reliably conservative Antonin Scalia. That resulted in no net change in the balance of the court.

Justice Kennedy has occupied the “middle” seat, swinging between the four conservative and four liberal justices in his decisions. Assuming a nominee who sees the Constitution and the law in the same way that Gorsuch does, the balance of the Court will now be tilted decidedly to the right.

What does that mean for gun owners? That’s not exactly clear. The Court has stayed out of Second Amendment law since its landmark Heller and McDonald decisions. They’ve let stand a variety of adverse lower court rulings that affirmed “assault weapons” bans (Maryland) and the need to “show good cause” for a concealed carry permit (California).

Some observers speculated that the Court chose not to wade in on those cases because Justice Kennedy’s vote was so unpredictable. They’d prefer to let those decisions stand, the reasoning went, rather than take the chance that the mercurial Kennedy would do something to further weaken individual Second Amendment rights.

If that was their motivation for avoiding RKBA cases, that’s probably about to change.

Again, everything depends on who President Trump nominates to fill the middle seat. Gun owners can be fairly optimistic based on the Gorsuch pick and a raft of other judicial nominations Trump has made to fill lower court vacancies. But there will be a lot of people sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the President’s announcement. Watch this space.

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  1. Score another win for the good guys. With Kennedy replaced by a solid originalist, we’ll have a solid 5-4 majority on the bench. Hopefully, the wicked witch will encounter a bucket of water and we’ll have a 6-3

      • We only have 2 to deal with. One of which is probably going to keel over from diabetes and the other is probably already dead and just being propped up in her seat.

        • I’m busy convincing all my hard-left acquaintances that the DNC is too corrupt and that they should vote Green Party. They’ll never vote GOP, because “muh’ racism”, but…

        • She might get into movies, could do a sequel to Weekend at Bernie’s. Weekend with Ruthie the Crypt Keeper.

        • I assume Kagan is the diabetic he refers to.

          Or maybe that’s Sotomayor. I cant keep all this straight any more.

        • I’m trying to eat at Denny’s (I only go first class) and almost just spit up my iced tea. I also want proof of life that she is brain alive… especially after her decidedly non-Supreme Court Justice psychotic anti President comments. So much for the balance of justice and the scales of Liberty. Fuck that old senile hag… maybe at one time she was a great Constitutional scholar but she obviously is well into dementia. I say this with 42 years of certification as a Cardiac Medic and seeing 10’s of thousands of patients…. This new appointment will bode well for us.

    • How about reporting that Kennedys retirement is effective July 31? I think that’s a pretty important detail to leave out of the post.

      • That date has no meaning.The justices won’t be doing anything between then and now.
        The process of final decisions on who to nominate, background discussions with GOP judiciary committee start with the announcement and can fully go ahead immediately on announcement.

        What is nice is this is just about worst possible timing for Democrats . Fundraising equal benefit. Effect on midterms will probably be overall net helpful to GOP in purple states/close elections that are in play. Higher Dem voter turnout in California is meaningless when it comes to the Senate elections

        And this period involves the narrowest possible likelihood of Dems blocking a Trump nomination. And will put the most pressure on Democrats’ who voted for Trumps prior appointment to also vote in favor of this one.

    • Yep this issue alone is enough to keep me voting straight Red until the day I die. The GOP fails at many aspects, but the past few decades they’ve done an excellent job at selecting judges.

      • The other plus of this little escapade is that the odds of any bumpstock ban being ruled constitutional just dropped like a rock. Kennedy was the anti-2A swing vote on the court. Now we’ve got a solid pro-2A majority with probably 1-2 more picks in the years to come. I predict the DOJ won’t even bother to roll the dice.

    • Judge Napolitano is too libertarian for Trump. On the other hand Judge Janine Pero is right up his alley.

      • “On the other hand Judge Janine Pero is right up his alley.”

        Judge Diane Sykes would be another good choice.

        He needs to go female to make it tougher for the Leftists to reject her…

        • Sykes’ ex-husband Charlie is a Milwaukee RINO and one of the core never Trumpers. Careful with her.

        • Your fantasy draft selections won’t change the fact that Trump already has a list of 25 possibilities.

        • Wrong. The leftists will have no trouble attacking a woman. Anyone who is not them is equally evil at this point. What Trump needs to do, is use his majority to marginalize and ignore the Democrats; they’re on the way out anyhow (be it by Republicans or Communists). McConnell needs to get Trump’s pick rammed through via nuclear option, completely cutting the Democrats out of the process. The DNC needs a time out to consider the consequences of its bad behavior.

          McConnell needs to lay it entirely at the feet of Waters; make an example of that vile bitch, and tell the nation/world that the reason the DNC will not have a voice in this matter is because she proved they don’t deserve one. We’re through talking with them until they learn to behave.

        • barnbwt is correct. For the marxist left of the demtard party, any female has not had at least 3 abortions is not a true sista woman and to be scorned.

    • They changed the rules to seat Gorsuch. Only a simple majority is required now to advance a nominee and not 60 votes. The Dems can do nothing, as long as the RINO’s stay in line.

      • Guys this is going to be a fight. Don’t kid yourselves. We got to help the Republicans in the senate stay strong. Once we get another pro 2nd Judge then its time for the lawsuits in NY, CT, MA,CA, and MD to get restarted. Drive them all the way to the supreme court.

        • Yep. With another solid conservative on the court we can start playing offense, even without congress.

        • “Once we get another pro 2nd Judge then its time for the lawsuits in NY, CT, MA,CA, and MD to get restarted. Drive them all the way to the supreme court.”

          They should have kept the lawsuit ‘pipeline’ filled with 2A lawsuits for when opportunities like this pop up…

      • “They changed the rules to seat Gorsuch.”

        Harry Reid, “The Reid Rule”, changed the rules, during the Obama administration. Unusual for the R-party, McConnell is using the new rules the D’s made for themselves, not the restraint the R’s & D’s both used to respect.

        Disarming unilaterally when the other guy wants to win by any means (or perhaps just wants you gone, “irredeemable”, better simply removed from the country and world) is a poor plan for your own survival … or any other agenda you might have.

    • … There wont be a circus if Trump follows through with his campaign promise and nominates a single round of 6.5 CM ammo to the supreme court! 99-0 in the Senate, with only one abstaining vote; the ten term .308Win round of ammo elected to the senate at the height of the 7.62x51mm NATO vs. .30-’06 debate.

  2. “Hopefully, the wicked witch will encounter a bucket of water and we’ll have a 6-3” Which witch are we talking? Ginsberg or Sotomayor?

  3. I’d like to dedicate a song to the DC Leftists :

    “It’s rain’in all over the world…”

    *snicker* 😉

  4. …and I’d like to dedicate a song to the faithful POTG in America :

    • And Breyer retire/croak too. Imagine Trump getting 3-4 nominees in his first term!

      I am still pissed at Trump for his Gun Control retardation last fall, but he’s stayed strong on the border and if he nominates another like Gorsuch it will be fabulous.

  5. Trump was wrong!

    I’m still not tired of winning. Between the steel plant in SC re-opening and My paycheck getting a bump and a host of other things lately and I am still not tired of winning.

    • You are happy with crumbs?! Not to mention all of the death caused by a steel plant!

      So sad.

      (for those with no ability to understand sarcasm, /Sarc)

  6. A Libertarian would be perfect on the bench. They read and follow the Constitution as it was written. They view freedom for all and could knock out the so-called “Patriot Act” making us a freer country.

    • Anything that starts with “Lib” needs a kick in the junk hard enough to preclude breathing for a month.

      • Your comment is understandable since you clearly never visited a library.

        It may shock you, but the scions of democratic republics such as Rousseau and Locke are considered flaming Liberals by their contemporaries. “Libertarian” and “Classical English Liberal” has nothing to do with fascists like Mad Max or Crocodile Tear Schumer.

        • Ya, Das, and if it ain’t Conservative, then FU. Conservatives and Conservatism is what the rest of the MFrs feed off of. If we all just did a little bit of Lib this sh_t would cave inside of 18 hours.

          I always love the Fbags who say, “you do you, and I’ll do me” and “I leave you alone and you leave me alone” except that’s not enough buy-in on Societal Agreement to make it past lunch.

    • This. Too many single-issue people here seem to forget the authoritarian vs. libertarian dimension of the political compass. I wouldn’t trust Alito or Thomas much with 4A, for example.

      • You can’t have both open boarders and a welfare state. That is bribed immigration, and will rapidly collapse a society into bankruptcy. I’d be much more inclined to have open boarders if we shut off all forms of welfare first.

        • “You can’t have both open boarders and a welfare state. That is bribed immigration, and will rapidly collapse a society into bankruptcy.”

          And this would be different from today?

  7. Grand slam SCOTUS! 5-4 immigration ban 5-4 Unions can’t compel dues and now another seat on SCOTUS!

    Just wow. I’m gonna go out and do a mag dump.

  8. It aint over till its over kids. Dems are going to fight tooth and nail to keep trump from getting another seat, let alone 2 or 3 more if anyone else retires or melts. Not that watching the left half of congress meltdown wouldnt be entertaining but lets not get excited till someone is actually seated

    • I don’t remember all the rules for sc placement. Is there any way dems can stop it? If so, how many would we need to flip to get a justice placed?

      • Back in the day, a minority of 41 or more in the Senate could stop a confirmation vote with a filibuster. Then in 2013 the Democrats changed the rules. Sucks to be them, now.

        • “Then in 2013 the Democrats changed the rules.”

          Thank you, thank you, Harry Reid…

          *snicker* 😉

        • “Then in 2013 the Democrats changed the rules.”

          But, not for Supreme Court (although Dingy Harry did admit he had intended to do that as well, once the time was right).

        • Then McConnell changed the rules to seat Goresuch. Now there is no filibuster on Supreme Court nominees, so as long as there is a plurality vote to confirm, the nomination will go ahead.

  9. I’m still surprised that Ginsburg did not retire during the last year or two of Obama’s presidency. That gamble is going to make it hard for her if, somehow, Trump (or other R) wins in 2020. It’s already going to be difficult to make it to then anyhow; she’s already 85. That’s getting pretty long in the tooth.

    Breyer is also no spring chicken at 79. Meanwhile Thomas and Alito are both about a decade younger; they may cause a problem a president or two from now, but for now, they’re probably pretty good to go. Of course Gorsuch, Roberts, Sotomeyor and Kagen are all young enough to be there a while.

    That bench is not looking great for the liberals. Seems like things will be going against them for at least 5 to 10 years, and that is even if Breyer and/or Ginsburg hold out; no small feat.

    • No “somehow” about it. Right now, the DNC is too busy spiraling in the bowl to have a shot at winning a national election.

    • Remember Ginsburg’s promise to move to New Zealand if Trump won? She was so cock-sure of a Hildebeast victory, she figured she could retire anytime she wanted.

      Now if the actuarial tables will only catch up with her…

    • The anti’s overload “conservative” with two meanings … have for decades: constructionist / limited government, and “conservative” social policies. Gorsich is interesting as he’s the former, with a sprinkling of awareness that more scope for government means less scope for people.

      Put judges on the bench who follow the laws as written: constructionais / limited government. All laws, from constitution on down. Make “progressives” of whatever label push what they want through making a law. Getting a case in front of the 9th circuit isn’t good enough.

      Let’s have the debate. But, our statist friends go venue-shopping to avoid that. It’s like they don’t want to make their case.

  10. With the midterms right around the corner we shouldn’t appoint a new Justice until we know what the people want. I’m sure Mitch McConnell would agree.

  11. Trump is busy loading the justice system at all levels with conservative justices.

    A by product of this will be constitutional carry by the end of his second term.

    I did not like trump. Still don’t. But I’d elect that orange haired mutherfukker king of the country if the election was tomorrow.

        • Doesn’t matter. Rule by kings doesn’t belong in America. Remember that whole “American Revolution” thing?

        • in the very early days (pre christendom) the right of kingship was earned not hereditary and if they were going to war they had to LEAD their people into battle…. not sit somewhere in the rear as they and politicians (no matter the form of govt) do now.
          personally i think any LEADERS of a nation that call for their people to go to war should be leading their troops into battle and in the front line not from the rear. i would also make it so that not only them but all family members of those leaders of serving age must also be in the front line. would put the kybosch on a lot of wars that we dont NEED to be involved in and save the lives of a lot of good mend and women

    • I feel much the same way. Trump is a douche, imo. Nothing I can do about that, so I will enjoy the many benefits of having him instead of the pure evil of Hillary. Thinking of that makes me shudder.

  12. Just as with a GOP Congress and Trump, people of the gun will get ZERO out of this. We’re approaching the definition of insanity with this system/process/ritual

  13. Sounds like there will be no mid-term elections to be concerned with. GOP will have a super-super majority in the House, and a super majority in the Senate. Dimowits will be unable to move or stop anything. Love it.


    Maybe Trump will be the first two-term president who was lame duck immediately after the mid-terms of his first term.

    • The former is far more likely than the latter. Just look at who’s winning the DNC primaries… hard left anarcho-commies. The bloodbath in November will be GLORIOUS.

      With a 6-3 or 7-2 SCotUS stack, repealing the NFA and other gun bans across the country will be within our reach. I hope that, in my lifetime, I’ll be able to walk into a hardware store and walk out with an RPG-7.

        • I do luv when Lefttards piss,moan,whine,cry and gnash their teeth. Such gratifying entertainment,reminds me of the night the Harpy Hag lost the election.

      • Just one?
        I want to buy the whole crate. I’ve got a raccoon and possum problem. Hand grenades, too. Lots of hand grenades. Oh, and how about I go down the street to the General Dynamics dealership and pick-up a shiny new Stryker. I like Candy Apple red.

        • I don’t have $5,000,000 burning a hole in my pocket. A $2,000 RPG-7 with $100 rockets, that I can swing.

        • You sure about that Bobo? I’m sure that somewhere, there’s an E4 that would take that as a challenge.

          Also… not a tank.

        • I guess I’m a simple man. I just want a plain old belt fed machine gun of some sort. Preferably a 240, m60, or 1919.

        • Prices will go down drastically with mass production. That Stryker, with a Ma Duece, would probably go down to about $2 million. Which is more affordable with monthly lease payments. After all, when the lease ends you’d probably want to move up from the Stryker to a low-mileage Dealer Certified Abrams tank.

    • Maybe Trump will be the first two-term president who was lame duck immediately after the mid-terms of his first term.

      Obama’s antics in his first two years made him a lame duck for six

      • “Obama’s antics in his first two years made him a lame duck for six.”

        You have the numbers right. I realized my mistake, and just hoped it would go unnoticed…except:

        Obama and the Dims managed to pretty much neutralize the Republicrats for all eight years. My thinking about a lame duck president is one without influence/power to enact or deny any legislation. The supposed “Blue Wave” could present us with that condition.

        But, on the whole, my comment was designed to get people to realize that the mid-terms have not happened, and so much can change by then; look at the last two weeks. Did anyone see that coming?

    • You mean the commie land whale that was engaged in an act of political terrorism and got hit by a man running in fear for his life from an armed communist mob?

    • How about the crazed leftist nut job that tried to assassinate half the GOP last year when he shot up the GOP baseball game, wounding one senator and nearly killing Rand Paul? Funny you libturds try to keep that one out of the news.

        • Yes Scalise, Paul was taking fire there too, though. And was then subsequently also attacked as he tried to mow his lawn, as noted above.

        • Even more blowback against Leftists :

          “Red Hen Will Stay Closed Until July 5th as Protesters Surround Anti-Trump Restaurant”

          “Red Hen, the Lexington, Virginia-based restaurant that refused to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is in serious trouble after their actions made national headlines.

          According to The Washington Times, a swarm of picketers surrounded the restaurant, resulting in police having to block off the surrounding street. So far, one arrest has been made.

          According to Fox News, the restaurant will now stay closed until July 5 in the wake of the ongoing controversy. Red Hen owner Stephanie Wilkinson also resigned yesterday as the Executive Director of Main Street Lexington, which is a group of small business owners who promote the local community.

          According to Sanders’ father, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Wilkinson also followed Sanders and her group across the street, while harassing them at the restaurant they moved to after being kicked out.”


    • The “violent” left? You mean like that gal in Charlottesville that hurt that man’s truck with her body?

      you forget the left wing BLM supporter who shot 14 in Dallas? Or the left wing Bernie sanders worker who shot up the congressional baseball game? Or the Occupy/Resist groups that have attacked many more people and engaged in open political violence? Or the ecoterrorist unabomber who terrorized the country for decades

      Or you could simply look at the US murder by county. US counties with majority GOP residents are less violent than Europe, Canada or Australia. In fact 2/3 of US murder occurs in 78 out of the 3.000 US counties — all 78 of them populated by and run by Democrats.

      So a woman among the ultra leftists throwing rocks was run over. that was terrible and the guy who killed her belongs in jail where he is going to stay. That doe not change the fact that most political violence in the US is coming from the left, and way more everyday violence absolutely comes from the left as well.

      • “That doe not change the fact that most political violence in the US is coming from the left,…”

        As was the case in Charlottesville.


        Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NSDAP), commonly referred to in English as the Nazi Party

        National Socialist German Workers Party



        See the common thread?

  14. He’ll nominate someone from his posted list. I bet it will be a woman, or an ethnic minority. From Trump’s list, those are:

    Margaret Ryan of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

    Joan Larsen of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

    Allison Eid of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

    Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

    Amul Thapar of Kentucky, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

    My guess is either Judge Ryan or Judge Thapar. Senator Mike Lee of Utah is on the list, too. Replacing him in the Senate would carry no risk of Dems flipping that seat.

      • Romney? What about him?

        He just won his Senate primary runoff and he will certainly win the general election in November, but he’s not going to the Supreme Court. Aside from being 71 years old and far too old to serve for the decades we need, he is nowhere near qualified to be a Supreme Court justice.

        Yes, he is a lawyer, but that’s about it. He’s never been a law clerk, a judge, a prosecutor or a defense attorney, nor a law professor. He has certainly never done any constitutional law research or writing.

        He’s always worked in finance, never in a law firm. Except maybe as a defendant or a plaintiff, I doubt he has ever even seen the inside of a court room. I would be surprised if he even had a current law license in any state.

        He did strap his dog’s travel crate to the roof of his car once when they went on vacation back in the 1970s. He might’ve ended up in traffic court for that, I guess; maybe represented himself? I think we can do better from Trump’s list.

      • No. Romney is too old. Trump will nominate a strong conservative with a very long actuary table remaining lifespan. Women have a longer lifespan that is why Obama nominated Sotamayor and Kagen. Obama effectively doubled his impact compared to the average lifespan remaining of most court appointees. They both had more expected life remaining when nominated than Gorsuch, and double the life remaining of the average 20th century appointee to scotus.

        My guess would be strong conservative credential woman


    • Amy Barrett was a clerk for Scalia and she’s only 46. 46!!!! She could be on the court for 40 years.

      The pick will be 53 at the oldest. Trump’s biggest stamp on the country will be his court picks which have been excellent. His appeals courts picks are all outstanding.

  15. Clarence Thomas is now the oldest conservative on the court and he’s only 70. This pick means the court will be have a majority conservative tilt for at least 10 or 15 years.

    Ginsburg is 85 and has had cancer several times. No way she survives trumps time in office. Trump could have 3 or 4 picks to make.

    Also look at the appeals courts, even the 9th circuit court of appeals, there are many opening and trump and MITCH MCCONNELL are filling them at a fast pace. Trump is going to have a massive effect on the courts, there are a ton of opening and there are some very old judges on the 9th and other courts.

    Hats off to Mitch.

    • “Fast pace.” Uh-huh. Might want to look into that some more; Dems are/have been using every procedural trick to stall every single judicial appointment, and McConnell hasn’t had the gonads to steamroll them for it using the nuclear option of changing the procedure. They’re in it to win it, so I figure our side might as well do the same and use whatever options are available to us to ensure the new radical democrat party does not regain dominance.

      • He has the most judges confirmed at this point in his term in history. McConnell already announced they were staying open in August to confirm nominees and that was before Kennedy’s announcement.

        • Most confirmations by this point in his term in history? Where did you hear that??? Wherever you heard it, that is not a credible source, because that’s not even close to being true. That you believed it without a simple checking of the facts, suggests you may not be a credible source, either.

          I’m going by number of confirmed federal judges to federal district courts, courts of appeals (circuit courts), and the Supreme Court. I only went as far back as Reagan, which was more than sufficient to refute the point.

          The time window in Jan. 20th of each president’s first term through June 27th of his second year in office. Here are the numbers:

          Reagan, 65
          H.W. Bush, 44
          Clinton, 72
          W. Bush, 57
          Obama, 35
          Trump, 42

          That puts Trump in 5th place among the past six presidents. Looks like he needs to get a move on.

          Now, arguments can be made over the specific circumstances each president faced: how many vacancies were there, did his party control the Senate, if so by how large a margin, how many of the vacancies were in states with a Senator from the opposing party (who has the power to place a hold on the nomination), what other pressing priorities did the president have at the time, and so forth.

          That level of detailed analysis is suitable for a book or thesis paper, not here. For here, just the straight number of confirmations is sufficient, because that’s the claim that’s been made.

          Source is the federal judicial center, fjc.gov. They have a searchable database.

        • Reagan, 65
          H.W. Bush, 44
          Clinton, 72
          W. Bush, 57
          Obama, 35
          Trump, 42
          That puts Trump in 5th place among the past six presidents. Looks like he needs to get a move on.

          Please. Those differentials have a lot of variables, beyond president making nominations, and are mostly about about how many resign. Control of the senate also has an effect. partisan jurists don’t want to resign when the opposite party has the white house and senate if the senate may turn in midterm. there are a lot of variables.

          The Dems are also blocking a LOT of judiciary nominees. The senate has gone back to simple majority on scotus, but on the hundreds of other federal bench seats it approves, it has not.

          If you want to make a statement you would go with time to nomination of open seats.

  16. Hallelujah! Watch out for violence from leftards. Unmentioned is the effect on baby murder-already winning with 5-4. One more conservative and pro 2A may tilt ‘Murica into civil war. Picking up a new gun tomorrow…keep yer powder dry.

    • This news drove me over the edge for celebratory gun-buying. In this case, yet another case-hardened framed 44 revolver.

    • Yes, and I’m afraid you’re right.

      Mrs. C has been making noises about maybe getting her concealed carry permit … time to provide another nudge, I think.

  17. I’m in the process of stocking up on ammunition. (smile)
    That woman, hag, who falls asleep during court hearings needs to go next.

  18. Dan Rather has chimed in :

    “The Supreme Court! It is the scene of what is in essence a coup led by Mitch McConnell, who flaunted democratic norms to help elect President Trump and install Neil Gorsuch on the bench. Now the retirement of Anthony Kennedy will likely further push back the tides of a progressive worldview in America.”


    For those who may have forgotten, Dan Rather was the man who tried to set up George Bush as a deserter, and got caught doing it. It lead to his ‘retirement’ in disgrace at CBS news…

    • “Now the retirement of Anthony Kennedy will likely further push back the tides of a progressive worldview in America.”

      News flash;for mr.Dan Blather,the goal of every Constitutionally minded American is to prevent Communism or as he refers to it progressivism in America.

  19. A message to the Democrats and their fellow travelers courtesy of Unreal Tournament:

    “No tears please. It is a waste of good suffering.”

    • Technically, judge Garland nominated by president Obama is the first in line.
      Please the science clearly show the left and Democrats know a lot less about civics and US government rules, laws and history,, but you don’t have to showplace their idiocy here by repeating it. Democrats are less likely to get basic questions on the constitution right, less likely to know who their member of congress or senator is, and less likely to know the basic laws of the land.

      How is Garland next in line? His nomination long ago expired. In fact HE withdrew. Do you think the Senate is required to vote on nominees to the federal bench who have not been .

      do yo think the dozens of Republican federal bench nominees to district and appeals courts that were not given hearings or votes by Democrats controlling the senate before Obama were “next in line” every-time Obama nominated someone?

      ALL judiciary nominees EXPIRE at the end of the Senate term. Garland’s nomination EXPIRED Jan 3 2017.

    • Merrick Garland. Pay back will be a bitch, and conservatives have no excuse for whining and crying about a nominee blocked for two years. Supreme Court appointments still require 60 votes. It’s just politics. Everyone with any political savvy should have resigned themselves to this when it happened.

      • Sam…before you make a comment you should try to be educated on the subject. There is no law requiring 60 votes for a SC vote. That was merely a tradition put in place by the Senate for SC votes, Federal judges, and certian legislation. Chuckie Schumer was the first Senate Leader to do away with the tradtion for federal judges https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2013/11/how-schumer-turned-against-a-filibuster-he-once-tried-to-save-000000

        So McConnel paid him back with killing it for SC judges. Gorusch was elected with a lot less than 60 votes. And all Trump’s new nominee will need is 51.

        • “There is no law requiring 60 votes for a SC vote. ”

          Nothing I wrote indicated there was a law requiring 60 votes to confirm.

          “The nuclear option” was invoked for a single court nominee – Gorsuch. Otherwise, the 60 vote rule remains in effect. “The nuclear option” can be invoked again, and again. But at what political price? The current Republicrat majority in the Senate could suspend the 60 vote rule indefinitely, for every appointment. Then the Dimowits get their revenge. Then the Republicrats double revenge. Then the Dimowits….

          Bottom line: the 60 vote rule remains in place until completely eliminated by a new rule change.

        • “Just 50, right? The tie-breaker vote goes to Pence, if I remember correctly.”

          When “the nuclear option” is invoked (case-by-case), a simple majority (51) wins, however the 51 are accumulated.

        • It’s not just “commies”. You have at least one Republicrat who refuses to allow judicial nominations to come to a vote in committee.

  20. Exuberant confidence would be a mistake at this point. When Kennedy’s replacement takes the bench the best we can hope for is a PRESUMPTIVE 5:4 majority. That should be enough to get cert; but, it’s not a guarantee of wining the case. One “conservative” can still bolt. Because of that risk, we can still expect one or two conservatives to vote to deny cert because they won’t want to risk a bad decision.

    The best way forward – at this point – is to fill the pipeline with lots of cases that expand the right to carry incrementally. E.g., interstate truck-drivers with a right to apply for a permit in a Residents-only Shall-Issue state to carry in their sleeper-cabs. Followed by interstate business-travelers to apply to a May-Issue State. On the AWB, a case in a barrel-shroud ban state; then a bayonet mount state, then a grenade launcher state; then a pistol-grip state. Knock-down the “evil features” doctrine. Then, attack a state’s make-&-model based ban.

    The whole strategy should be to pursue cases that are “no-brainers” where SCOTUS should have no rational basis not to lay the next brick in the wall supporting the RKBA. Most importantly, the conservative justices can be confident that all 5 will coalesce and maintain solidarity. ONLY THEN, will they take the case; and it’s only when they TAKE a case that they can make a ruling that advances the cause. In each such ruling they will explain why it is that they came to the right conclusion; rationales that will serve to support subsequent advances. Slow and steady is progress. Banging one’s head on a brick wall is NOT progress.

    The RKBA will not be one in a few decisions. We are on a long-hard march. The Antis will raise barriers for issuing permits and more barriers forcing/supporting gun-free-zones. Each such infringement will be perceived as sufficiently marginal as to be difficult to overcome. E.g., what is a Constitutionally-permissible fee? $0? $10? $100? $1,000? Don’t count on the courts striking down even a $1,000 fee. We need cases where the 5 are willing to give us a win.

    • We need to sue to declare the Hughes amendment is unconstitutional.

      The BATF clearly allows the legality of select-fire ownership, conditional on the tax stamp…

      • The Hughes Amendment is precisely the kind of case that would be NOT prudent to bring.

        The Anti’s will portray such a case as “Machine guns for EVERYone!” A majority of Americans – including all the Fudds – will rise-up in opposition.

        Now, you are asking for 5 Justices to:
        – overrule the popularly-elected Congress
        – abandon Heller’s dicta about “common use”
        – find that a lack of machine guns renders the militia NOT-“well regulated”

        OK, so, let’s suppose the fantasy that 5 Justices would do so if we “put a gun to their heads” and COMPEL them to grant cert. Aye, now there’s the rub! There is no way to compel Justices to vote to grant cert. The only rational path forward for sympathetic Justices is to laugh at our imprudence and deny cert.

        Oh, yes, I see the principle at issue with the Hughes Amendment. I see how Congress danced around counting votes in committee. The NRA sacrificed principle on machine guns in order to get something-for-the-Fudds, which turned out to be an unenforceable protection. What does any of this have to do with getting a favorable decision out of SCOTUS?

        But the militia! OK, so, let’s suppose our nation were subjected to an invasion. (We have no walls on either our northern nor southern boarders.) There was considerable concern for such a possibility by the Japanese during WW-II. Got it. So, how many days would it take for the unorganized militia’s basement machinists to crank-up fabrication of lightning links and DIASs? A weekend? A week? A month at most? Could the unorganized militia hold-off the invading hordes for such a period with semi-autos and other repeaters? Are we a nation with a rifle behind every blade of grass?

        We have to think about what: Works; is really important; advances acceptance of an armed citizenry.

        If we can’t concentrate on things that advance the cause then I’d like to float my new slogan: “Free the Lemon-Squeezer! A $5 stamp is an INFRINGEMENT on my God-given RIGHT!!”

  21. Not all conservatives are friendly to gun rights. It also makes no difference if the SCOTUS continues to refuse hearing 2A cases.

    • Absolutely correct. But this crowd will likely view that sort of talk as raining on their right-wing tribal dance.

    • But why has the court been denying cert? Four votes are required to grant and there are still four members of the Heller five on the Court, plus Goresuch, yet cert votes on these cases have often come up 7-2 or there abouts. That means there are probably Justices that would make pro-gun rulings that are letting cases go by the wayside because they are not confident in the overall outcome. If that calculation was based on uncertainty as how Kennedy would go, and whoever replaces him is solidly pro-gun, then suddenly cases will start being heard.

      • Exactly. With Kennedy in the mix, neither side wanted to risk it. With him out and what will likely be a Federalist Society-vetted originalist replacing him, if anything I suspect the tide of courts thumbing their noses at Heller will abate because they won’t want to be the case that gets taken up.

        Nevertheless, there are plenty of test cases in the pipeline. My over/under says there will be a 2A case where cert is granted by December and argued late in the term.

        Pass the popcorn.

        • We need to be prudent when bringing cases that we hope will reach SCOTUS. Do we take: a little bite from the apple? A bigger bite? A large bite? A huge bite? The bigger the bite we take the less likely SCOTUS is to grant cert.

          Five justices might desire to give us a big bite; but, they don’t want to plough too much new ground too fast too soon. There is a risk that if 4 or 5 justices grant cert then one of them might get cold feet and vote with the liberals when the briefs are submitted and the oral arguments heard. Rather than take such a risk, 2 of the conservatives are likely to vote against granting cert; biding their time until we bring them a case that is not asking for so large a bite of the apple. Thus, by asking for too much we will discover that we get nothing at all.

          The five conservative justices will want to grant cert for any case that takes a tiny bite of the apple. The smaller the bite we ask for, the easier it is to grant it. Suppose we seek to strike down a State ban on barrel shrouds (remember, that’s the shoulder thing that goes up). Admittedly, there is no huge functionality at stake with a barrel shroud, neither for recreation nor military purposes. The case is purely about cosmetics, and everyone can see that. A SCOTUS decision striking down a ban on barrel shrouds will give us a precedent that legislatures can’t prohibit cosmetics – they don’t pass any scrutiny test, not even rational-basis.

          Follow up with a series of cases on each “evil feature”. Again, it will be easy for SCOTUS to grant cert and rule that each evil feature can’t pass Constitutional muster.

          Then, a series of cases based on make-&-model number. Then, an AR-15 with no buffer-tube (i.e., it’s a single-shot). Step by step we disassemble the AWB one brick at a time.

          Look at Caetano. How hard was it to bring this case to SCOTUS? Briefs? Oral arguments? SCOTUS said: ‘We don’t need no stinking arguments!’ The 9 justices unanimously told Massachusetts to take their rationale and stick it “where the sun don’t shine”.

          Why could a homeless, battered, single mother – blindly stumbling into her arrest – get cert and a unanimous decision without briefs or arguments? What did she do that we OFWGs are too blind to see? What is SCOTUS trying to tell us that we are too stubborn to listen to?

          – total ban
          – modern technology
          – dangerous AND unusual
          – poster-child appellant
          – sympathetic self-defense backstory
          – weapon not a firearm
          – narrow prayer for relief (not asking for much)
          – defiance of precedents, including the dicta (rationale)
          – implication of carry (without confronting carry head-on)
          – overwhelming sense of the people that the decision is just and sensible

          We will get cert and favorable decisions when we bring cases that the Supremes WANT to hear. We will spend lots of money on cases that don’t get cert as long as we REFUSE to think about what the Supremes WANT to do for us.

        • Past is prologue. SC reviewed three union dues cases in four years; nothing about 2A since Heller. But, even if SC is willing to entertain “gun law” cases, we will not see a ruling that 2A is absolute, or that citizenry is permitted to freely have weapons equivalent to those possessed by the standing army. BTW, “national reciprocity” doe not eliminate state restrictions on gun possession and security. It only means that with a license to carry, one may carry in other states, under the state laws for carry. Reciprocity does not equate to “constitutional carry” (current federal 2A restrictions would remain) in every state. Do not be surprised if Heller/McDonald are the high water mark of firearms freedoms in the U.S. (“reasonable restrictions” and “dangerous weapons”)

        • I disagree:

          “Past is prologue.” We have a 225 year history of SCOTUS to review. As Justices change, the court’s decisions change. Pay attention to the entirety of the evolution of SCOTUS decisions over that history.

          “. . . we will not see a ruling that 2A is absolute, . . . ” Of course not! Anyone who imagines that SCOTUS will say anything is “absolute” is living in fantasy land. PotG are welcome to live there if they wish; meanwhile, practical people will be working on making progress.

          “. . . that citizenry is permitted to freely have weapons equivalent to those possessed by the standing army.” That’s a far-ranging statement of possibility. Even if, e.g., the NFA’s Destructive Device classification were eliminated there would be little to no change in the guns civilians would choose to own. The “well-regulated militia” “necessary” to “the security of a free state” needs ENOUGH capacity to make tyranny an imprudent course. We have that; now keeping it is the important objective.

          “. . . ‘national reciprocity’ doe not eliminate state restrictions on gun possession and security. It only means that with a license to carry, one may carry in other states, under the state laws for carry. Reciprocity does not equate to “constitutional carry” (current federal 2A restrictions would remain) in every state.” Absolutely correct. IMO, the first step is a SCOTUS decision that strikes-down “need” and “Won’t-Issue”. (And, in fact, I think other steps should precede an attack on “need”.) Most of our aggravation involves those carriers who live near the borders of Won’t-Issue States; e.g., Shaneen Alan. It should be relatively easy for SCOTUS to rule against need/Won’t-Issue. The next step will then become easier; expand the existing reciprocity for LEOSA (Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act) and the little-known Armored Car Industry Reciprocity Act. If “armored” truck drivers are worthy of reciprocity why not those of UN-armored trucks? The heretofore Won’t-Issue States will begin to adopt bi-lateral reciprocity. Massachusetts with Rhode Island and Connecticut. Connecticut with New York; New York with NJ. Maryland with DC. The elites themselves will get resident carry permits in these highly restrictive States and then demand that their retainers (State legislators) negotiate bi-lateral reciprocity). In due course, there will be a “Platinum” tier of reciprocity consisting of HI+CA+MA+RI+NY+NYC+NJ+MD+DC. Gun-carriers who travel extensively will get a non-resident permit from one of these ~9 States and enjoy 50-State reciprocity. By the time that stage has been reached there will be little practical reason to work for National Reciprocity. (At the same time, there will be little remaining opposition in Congress to avoid a National law.)

          Admittedly, the purists from Vermont and elsewhere will stew and complain forever that any permit scheme is an infringement on their rights. Let them stew; few of them travel outside their home States anyway.

          “Do not be surprised if Heller/McDonald are the high water mark of firearms freedoms in the U.S. (‘reasonable restrictions’ and ‘dangerous weapons’)” You don’t understand what “dicta” means; and so, you misread Heller. “Dicta” is the rationale portion of the opinion that explains how the court reached its conclusion, given in its “holding”. The tiny bit of the entire opinion document called the “holding” is binding precedent. The rationale may be taken by every other judge as Gospel; or, it may be ignored with impunity. Have you noticed how the lower courts have ignored the Heller rationale with impunity? SCOTUS itself can re-think it’s reasoning at will; it is NOT precedent subject to stare decisis.

          I do not find direct matches for either “reasonable restrictions” nor “dangerous weapons” in the Heller decision. No doubt there are mentions of analogous terms but I won’t speculate on which sentences you might be referring to. You need to appreciate that the majority opinion strives to deliver as narrow a holding as possible; in the Heller decision, that holding boiled down to: ‘Dick gets his handgun in his home.’ Then, a good deal of the majority opinion explains that the holding does NOT mean ‘All things to All People’. They will explain that just because Dick gets his gun does not mean that every felon in DC gets his gun too. Just because Dick gets his handgun does not mean that he gets his machine-gun too. Just because Dick gets his handgun in his home doesn’t mean that he gets to carry it wherever he may go.

          What you do not appreciate is that the majority opinion doesn’t imply any prejudice to the possibility that people other than Dick may get their gun. Perhaps even a felon could get his gun in DC too. There is no federal prohibition on a felon convicted of price-fixing from having a gun; and so, there would be no reason to be surprised if a price-fixing felon were to be refused a DC permit and SCOTUS would overturn that refusal. The Heller case simply did NOT introduce any question whatsoever about felons getting guns; and so, the Heller court had no reason to give the matter any consideration whatsoever – beyond the relatively meaningless remark of “The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons . . .” If inferior court judges ignore Heller dicta with impunity why do YOU feel BOUND by innocuous statements such as “. . . should not be taken to cast doubt . . . “?

        • I emphatically understand “dicta” and Heller. It is extremely limited in “expanding” personal rights to gun ownership. “Dicta” is written to provide reasoning for support of the next case that may arise on a subject.

          Heller/McDonald are ignored with impunity by “inferior courts”. The idea (embedded in the logic of Heller) that 2A does not permit a person to carry any firearm, anywhere, for any purpose implies most clearly the idea that “reasonable restrictions” as to time and place are permitted.

          From Heller, ” We therefore read Miller to say only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns. ” This is a clear statement that “reasonable rest restrictions” can exist and do not violate a constitutional amendment that was designed to maintain parity between militia and the standing army. The basis is “Miller”, which established the principle that government has the right to control the weapons the militia may possess in its function as a deterrent to a standing army. In short, Heller admits “reasonable restrictions” can, and do, exist within the framework of the constitution and the BOR.

          “Miller” cannot be overturned without the SC admitting the people have the inherent right to unregulated arms sufficient to throw off tyrannical government (of which the SC is a significant element). The only major case to be settled is the right of open and concealed carry (with reasonable restrictions).

        • Good that you understand dicta. Yes, it’s true, that the Heller dicta is “extremely limited in ‘expanding’ personal rights to gun ownership.” What could you – REASONABLY – expect from a SCOTUS decision? SCOTUS will always be inclined to hold as narrowly as they can to dispose of a case and to provide dicta that explains only as much as they hold and little more. Any dicta that casts some expanded “penumbra” on the wall for future dispositions of new cases is a bonus. Likewise, any dicta that we don’t like is not necessarily especially problematic.

          Heller could easily be confined to discussing Dick’s carrying from room to room within his house. The Heller majority had no need to say anything about carrying a gun anywhere else. So, they didn’t say anything else. There is a whole great world outside Dick Heller’s house about which they said NOTHING.

          It’s up to us to bring cases in the future that will expand the scope of places to carry outside Dick Heller’s house.

          I see this fight as having two distinct parts. First, there is breaking-down the pretext of a “need”. Second, there is breaking-down GFZs. Each of these two will probably be further sub-divided. To be issued a permit (or be at liberty to carry without a permit) diverse prerequisites that stand as barriers: fee amounts; training requirements; testing; live-fire qualifications; antecedent criminal or mental-health barriers; perhaps others. To carry one place or another, there will be an evaluation of who can declare a GFZ and what – if anything – they must do to provide security. We will be at these fights for decades.

          The Heller court could read Miller to say whatever they liked. It didn’t matter to the prayer for relief posed by Heller. In fact, Miller reached no holding about much of anything. They merely said that they were ignorant of whether a SBS had any military use and directed the lower courts to pursue this issue. Observe that “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes” of silencers has changed radically from 1934 to today. Despite the 12 month delay and $200 stamp, silencers have become “typically possessed”. Same thing could happen with SBSs or SBRs; hasn’t yet, but it could. SBSs and SBRs are suitable to self-defense, particularly in the home.

          Is the dicta of Heller a threat to weapons – let’s say Destructive Devices or some AOWs – that have neither an obvious military or self-defense functionality? Perhaps. So what? The ability of the unorganized militia to perform it’s function will not much be impeded by more restrictions than are already in place. In case of invasion, etc., the militia will quickly improvise to the extent needed.

          If we read Miller and Heller together, we have quite a lot. Weapons suitable for military purposes are protected as are those suitable for self-defense. The notion of “typically possessed” is rather weakly reasoned. It’s likely to be struck down if the right case comes up. E.g., let’s turn the clock back and imagine that stun-guns or tasers had just been invented last month and a State banned possession by civilians. Given the Caetano reasoning, such a ban would likely be struck down.

          I think we agree that Miller is going to be hard to overturn; i.e., the People have a right to the sorts of arms as would be necessary for the security of a free state. If SCOTUS would actually hold that such was not the case the least of our problems would be 5 justices.

          I also think we agree that establishing the right-to-carry outside the home is the next really important issue to resolve. IMO, we should strive to resolve that issue in small increments. The next logical step – I think – is interstate truckers with sleeper cabs being entitled to apply for a non-resident permit from Shall-Issue states that issue to residents-only. Look how tiny a holding declaring such a right would be; absolutely minuscule. And yet, it would cross the threshold of inter-state carry on a non-discriminatory basis. Then, go for a trucker’s right to Shall-Issue a permit from a Won’t-Issue state. If Congress can mandate that cops and armored-car drivers may carry in interstate commerce there must be an equal-protection-of-the-law argument for a truck driver to carry in his home-sweet-cab in interstate commerce. Where would “need” stand in the context of such a fact set?

        • It might be good to study the naval strategies and tactics of the Imperial Japanese Navy of WW2. Then compare to the US. Complexity is the nemisis; requires too many moving parts, too many time tables, too many personnel who all must be fully committed to battle, and the battle plan. The longer the battle, the greater the opportunity for distraction and loss of momentum. The public tires easily. We need a “go for the throat” moment, a decisive and unmistakable victory. One that declares all legislation counter to the decision is null and void, everywhere, immediately.

        • BTW, “national reciprocity” doe not eliminate state restrictions on gun possession and security. It only means that with a license to carry, one may carry in other states, under the state laws for carry. Reciprocity does not equate to “constitutional carry”

          No. But it does drive may issue advocates nuts, which is a good in itself.

          When it comes to carry the issue is may vs shall. And that has been a tossup with Kennedy on the court and well understood probably why it was not heard. He did not want to decide, and would have c either side if they forced it. (which we know is exactly why DC did not force it.)

          That is most likely now going to change.

  22. First we need to see who the nominee is, THEN the GOP in Congress has to pass them, via the Nuclear Option a second time, THEN we need to hope that all the conservatives would be against an Assault Weapons Ban.

    • Kyle, now that it has been done, putting the Supreme Court approval back to a simple majority of the Senate, which it was for the vast majority of US history, is not “nuclear.” It is back to being the rule rather than the exception.


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