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The Supreme Court has denied the cert petition of the New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in Defense Distributed v. Grewal. In that case, Defense Distributed had sued Grewal for his efforts to restrain (and threats to prosecute) Defense Distributed’s distribution of various 3D print files for firearms and accessories.

The district court granted Grewal’s motion to dismiss, finding that his sending a threatening letter to Defense Distributed in Texas was insufficient to justify jurisdiction over him in a Texas federal court. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, disagreed.

As a result, AG Grewal will now have to justify his posturing, threats, and interference with Defense Distributed’s business in a Texas federal court…in a circuit that has already made it clear that it believes that governmental efforts to restrict Defense Distributed’s distribution of 3D files have very serious if not fatal First Amendment implications.

In other 2A SCOTUS news, the Court took no action on the cert petition in NYSR&PA v. Corlett, which challenges New York’s restrictions on carrying firearms outside the home. As a result, the case has likely been re-listed to the next conference. This is not uncommon. Most cases that are ultimately accepted are re-listed several times.

Stay tuned.


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    • If only these court “wins” (read- is keeping our rights, for now) didn’t take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
      With wins like these are sometimes, who needs losses.

  1. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy….

    In other news, I have to wonder if the NYSR&PA case will be relisted until Young v. Hawaii gets there. Young is a much cleaner case for exploring the parameters of the 2A (complete denial of the existence of a right versus the exercise of discretion by NYS in issuing concealed carry permits).

    • “In other news, I have to wonder if the NYSR&PA case will be relisted until Young v. Hawaii gets there.”

      Any estimates as to how long that may take?

      • Plaintiff could ask for rehearing by the full court but that would be a waste of time and money. The Young case is final and the petition will likely be filed bery soon, ie as soon as it is written. SCOTUS will likely ask for an opposition to the petition, which Hawaii will delay. But it will be presented and the decision to grant or deny cert may happen this term. If accepted, orals will probably not happen until next fall, likely later. That puts a decision out until June 2022 at the earliest.

  2. I am not understanding this story. Who sued whom for what? Who just got smacked down?

    Now that the U.S. Supreme Court denied certification, what does that mean for Defense Distributed? What does that mean for any entity who wishes to share 3-D printer files of firearm components?

    • Grewal I the turban wearing AG of NJ. He lost in the 5h District. SCOTUS denied his attempt to reverse. Now he has to defend in Texas or drop the case.

    • Quick synopsis:

      After Defense Distributed (“DD”) released the Liberator and related 3d print files with much fanfare, the Obama administration was under pressure to “do something about this.” What they decided to do was to declare that sending such plans on the internet required an ITAR arms export license (which would, of course, never be granted).

      DD sued US in the Western District of Texas, claiming that applying ITAR restrictions on 3d gun files sent domestically violated the First Amendment (and that the files weren’t “arms” subject to export controls anyway).

      District court denied DD’s motion for a preliminary injunction. On immediate appeal, a Fifth Circuit panel affirmed, saying denying the request for an injunction was not an abuse of discretion but pointedly observing that it was not ruling on the merits (which is actually a pretty standard result in an appeal from a denial of a preliminary injunction).

      DD filed a petition to have the entire Fifth Circuit rehear the case en banc. This petition (which required a majority of active service judges to vote in favor) narrowly failed. The dissent, however, essentially gave DD a roadmap for how to win the case on the merits.

      On remand (which was shortly after PDT took office), the case quickly settled, with the Department of State granting DD an ITAR license to distribute the files. A number of parties tried to intervene in the case and stop the settlement; all such efforts failed. After the case was dismissed, numerous state AG’s then filed a blizzard of lawsuits against DD in Seattle and other gun-unfriendly places, asserting that its activities were somehow illegal despite having an ITAR license.

      Part of this after-the-fact maneuver were threats by NJ AG Grewal, who both put the arm on DD’s industry partners and threatened to prosecute DD under NJ law.

      DD responded by suing Grewal in federal court in Texas. District court dismissed, saying no personal jurisdiction over Grewal. Fifth Circuit reversed, saying, “yes there is.” Supreme Court has now denied cert.

      Ergo, Grewal now has to defend his actions in federal court in Texas, but more importantly any appeal will go to a court that is already not exactly receptive to him. Indeed, if the original DD Fifth Circuit en banc case were brought today, thanks to the PDT additions the result would likely have been different.

      Grewal knows this, which is why he’s been pushing so hard to get the case dismissed.

        • Try to be nice – he’s a Sikh. Here in Washington state, we’re seeing a *lot* of Sikhs that are friendly to conservative values of personal freedom and personal responsibility.

          In my opinion, tt would be a shame for a funny comment to be misinterpreted by a Sikh sitting on the fence.

        • “This is an excellent and entirely correct summary.”

          LKB knows his sh!t… 😉

      • “Grewal knows this, which is why he’s been pushing so hard to get the case dismissed.”

        LKB – Could Court have chosen to grant cert. and then given Grewal a very public beat-down decision that may have caused other state AGs to not ever do what Grewal did in the first place?

        • In theory, they can choose to do whatever they want.

          But they’re never going to do what you suggest. For the VAST majority of cases, they are only going to take the cases that they absolutely have to (e.g., circuit split, compellingly pressing issue, etc.). Even when they take a case they won’t decide more than they have to resolve that particular case. E.g., if they can dispose of a case on procedural grounds (e.g., mootness or standing) without reaching the merits, they will. If they can dispose of a case on a statutory basis without reaching a constitutional issue, they will. And even when you get past all the gates and they are going to address a constitutional issue, they will do so on the narrowest ground possible.

          Sure, I can point to exceptions to each of these. But for >99.999% of cases petitioning for Supreme Court review, that’s how it’s going to work.

          So the idea that SCOTUS would take a case that’s actually a fairly garden-variety personal jurisdiction issue that’s going to be affirmed just to send a message . . . nah. Again, in theory, they can do whatever they want. But like the hypothetical rabid dolphin, it may be theoretically possible but its just not gonna happen.

      • So, Defense Distributed published 3-D printer files for firearm components. Fedzilla tried to stop this activity and ultimately allowed it (via an ITAR license which should have been unnecessary but whatever).

        Next, New Jersey Attorney General threatened (but apparently did not actually file charges?) to prosecute Defense Distributed for allegedly breaking laws in New Jersey.

        Then Defense Distributed filed a lawsuit in federal court to what, block New Jersey Attorney General from carrying out his threat to prosecute Defense Distributed?

        Second to last, New Jersey Attorney General petitioned federal court to toss the lawsuit so that he could proceed to prosecute Defense Distributed (without having to clear any legal hurdles) if he so desired?

        Finally, Fifth Circuit (federal) required Defense Distributed lawsuit to go all the way which would require New Jersey Attorney General to prove why he would have jurisdiction over Defense Distributed operations in Texas.

        Am I understanding that now?

        What really confuses me is the verbage that the New Jersey Attorney General threatened legal action against Defense Distributed in Texas but apparently did not actually start any legal action. Thus, if the New Jersey Attorney General had not actually started any legal action, I did not see how Defense Distributed could file a lawsuit against the New Jersey Attorney General. (And, if that is accurate, I still do not see how Defense Distributed can file a lawsuit against the New Jersey Attorney General for something that has not actually happened yet.)

        • You almost have it. DD’s suit is for violation of their civil rights. In 5, Grewal isn’t arguing he has jurisdiction over DD. The appeal was from DD’s suit AGAINST Grewal. So DD is arguing that they DO have jurisdiction over Grewal in the Texas federal court. Grewal is arguing that there is no jurisdiction. Since the Fifth Circuit has now said that there IS jurisdiction, DD’s suit against Grewal can continue.

          To address your next confusion, this is a Section 1983 civil rights suit filed by DD against Grewal (among others). Just to pick him out specifically, DD is saying their constitutional rights have been violated by Grewal’s actions. DD is arguing that his threatened enforcement, his press conferences, his contacts to their web hosting service, etc. are all chilling their free speech and constitute a violation of their civil rights while he’s acting under color of law as an AG. So DD is bringing this for an injunction against those types of activities, a court opinion that says they’re wrong, and then also for the legal fees it’s taking them to get there.

  3. This caucasian of Indian descent is just like the Caucasian Supreme Court Justice Roger b Taney. Who said if black people were citizens they would have the same right to possess guns and carry them wherever they pleased. This caucasian Indian is trying to import Indian gun control. A nation that his own parents ran away from. To come to the United States from in India. The land of very few toilets

    “English Gun Law: a Colonial Import”

    • “This caucasian Indian is trying to import Indian gun control.”

      They had a good teacher, being a ‘Vassal State’ of the declining British empire.

      Taught them to be obedient ‘subjects’ of the Crown…

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