California State Senator Kevin de Leon ghost gun
Former California State Senator Kevin de Leon (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)
Previous Post
Next Post

One of the biggest impacts that the Trump administration has had and will continue to make on gun rights is the extensive list of federal judges that have been appointed and confirmed.

With the help of Mitch McConnell in the Senate ramming confirmations through the process, even the balance in the Ninth Circuit has changed and, if Trump wins re-election, will have rightward, pro-gun rights tilt for the first time in generations.

[F]orecasting how the Supreme Court might act, or even whether it will take certain cases, is fraught with uncertainty. The court has steered clear of gun-rights cases since establishing an individual right to possess guns in 2008 2010, and has let stand a number of state gun restrictions.

Still, gun-rights supporters are excited by the changes brought by Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate. The upcoming Supreme Court session “could be a real game-changer” with Trump’s appointments of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, said Chuck Michel, an attorney who represents both the National Rifle Association and the affiliated California Rifle & Pistol Association.

“To the extent that the composition of the court has changed and that it will give the Second Amendment back its teeth, it’s very important,” Michel said. “It looks like there’s enough votes on the court right now to reset the standard.”

His clients are challenging California’s ammunition background check and extended magazine ban before U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, an appointee of former President George W. Bush.

Other states that limit ammunition magazines in some way, typically between 10 and 20 rounds, are Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont, according to the Giffords Law Center.

Democrats said the prospect of four more years of Trump judicial appointments is helping energize their opposition to his re-election.

“This would be one of the lasting legacies of Donald Trump,” said former California state Senate leader Kevin de Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles who carried or supported many of the state’s firearms restrictions, including limits on military-style assault weapons. “When Trump is gone, they will be there for lifetime appointments.”

– Don Thompson in Gun-control backers concerned about changing federal courts

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. 18-280 has been scheduled for conference on 10-1-19.

    STAY TUNED!!!!

    Get the violins ready for the antis.

      • BAHAHAHA did you see all the friend of the court briefs filed by the antis on 8-12? They are trying to argue this like its being decided in the court of public opinion. FAIL.

        Get in there and read some of these briefs, very entertaining. You can smell the fear. They are literally sharting their pants now that they have recognized the gravity of this case.

        So sad, the court had a liberal tilt for so long. Everyone gets to enjoy their day in the sun, how our country works. Now sit down and take with a smile antis 😀

    • “Distributed for conference” does not mean “scheduled for argument.” The case has not yet been placed on the oral argument calendar. My guess is it that it will be put on a December argument panel (which likely means a decision in the Spring).

      So what does the “distribution for conference” notation mean? It just indicates that the case, along with hundreds of other pending matters, are officially on the agenda for the Court’s regularly-scheduled, behind-closed-doors, routine conference meeting.

      Why would that be, insofar as cert has already been granted? Because there *is* a substantive motion before the Court (NYC’s suggestion of mootness) that is on the docket and thus has to be addressed. Such motions are taken up at a conference — they aren’t set for oral argument (OK, technically the Court *could* set a motion for oral argument if it really wanted to, but that would be very, very, very unusual).

      The Court could, in theory, just grant the motion at the 10-1 conference and dismiss the appeal (which, as I read the tea leaves, is very unlikely unless Roberts has completely turned to mush). It’s similarly possible that the court could formally deny the suggestion of mootness / motion to dismiss at the conference, but I think that’s also unlikely.

      LKB’s predictions of the most likely results of the 10-1 conference as concerns the NYSR&PA case:

      (1) No action / reset to the next conference. This is a common procedure where there is serious disagreement between the Justices on a matter, and/or if a justice wants time to write a dissent from whatever decision the Court did make at the conference. Given that the 10-1 conference would be, I believe, the first one of the new term, there will be a huge backlog of matters the Court will have to deal with, so I would expect them to push most if not all the cases where there is substantive disagreement to the next conference.
      (2) Rule that the motion will be “carried with the case,” so that it is dealt with as part of the overall appeal. Might not happen at the 10-1 conference, but ultimately I think this is what will occur.

      We should know soon after the conference what they did — typically, there is an omnibus order issued with a couple of days that largely is a long list of cert petitions, habeas writs, and rehearing requests that were formally denied by the Court at the conference, with just a handful of cases where the Court granted cert or other substantive relief.

      Ergo, don’t expect any fireworks in early October on NYSR&PA.

  2. Here’s hoping they have cause for concern, for a long time.

    And here’s hoping the SCOTUS is secure when gun control legislation passes at the federal level. (It will happen someday. It might happen now, with the way the Repubs and Trump are acting. And I worry the count won’t be up for defeating it until we get another conservative replacement.)

  3. ‘The court has steered clear of gun-rights cases since establishing an individual right to possess guns in 2008…’

    Uh… the court didn’t establish anything as an individual right. The individual right to keep and bear arms was established in 1789 when Bill of Rights was created.

    • Wrong, gunpowder breath. The individual right to keep and bear arms was established when we, as sentient beings, were granted it by our creator. The Constitution merely asserted that the Government could not interfere with that right.

      • The 2008 case was the first time that a court recognized that the right was for the individual. Very important.

      • @Diksum,

        Absolutely correct. This point (natural rights that pre-exist any government document) needs to be the focal point of the Right. It’s the big fly swatter that knocks down all the Left’s anti-gun argumentative gnats.

        • It’s nice to see I’m not the only one who was taught the correct hierarchy of human rights.
          TTAG, what the heck was this? “…establishing an individual right to possess guns in 2008 2010, and has let stand a number of state gun restrictions.”
          Should be “affirming” the right, and should be state-level gun “infringements”.

      • You’re confusing natural rights with legal rights. 6 million Jews had the natural right to live peaceably in Europe 80 years ago, but under the Nazi regime they had no legal right to life. The legal right to keep and bear arms (unmolested from the government) was established in 1789 and ratified in 1791.

        • Yes, and having a Constitution that comports with natural law is such a blessing. Now, if we can keep it …

    • You’ve been around here long enough to know that liberals blame Scalia for “creating” the RtKaBA in 2008. They say he mangled case law and invented the gun rights from whole cloth. The writings of Webster, Mason, Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Paine, Hamilton, Adams, the militia acts, the Miller case… none of that suggests that anybody ever thought that regular people should be able to own guns (according to the anti-gunners). None of them could have envisioned the kind of guns we have now (some of which are still less powerful than some of the weapons the founding fathers personally owned and operated).
      Yes, there is an attempt to rewrite history and a lot of disinformation about what this country is based on. I have a nephew who just turned 18. I was the one to tell him, a couple years ago, that taxes and gun control were the reason for the revolutionary war. He’s a bright kid, and he got some impressive scholarships to good schools… but his public schools never taught him some important parts of history.
      And for his 18th birthday, I had him build, completely from parts, his own semiauto AR15. Because we can, and that’s enough reason. If the Miller decision were to be honored, it would have been a 14.5″ full auto… but we can’t have those kind of nice things.

      • ‘…but his public schools never taught him some important parts of history.’

        It’s an often overlooked issue, but IMHO school choice is (or should be) the number one concern for conservatives and libertarians. An ill educated citizenry spells the death of a republic.

  4. Senator Chuck Schumer has introduced legislation to require FBI permission for civilians to purchase/own body armor. Keep Your Powder Dry.

  5. ” former California state Senate leader Kevin de Leon”

    that is the BEST thing I’ve heard all year. Gawd I hated him.

    • True dat. He authored several gun control bills, most of which Brown fortunately vetoed for being too restrictive.

      But now we have Newsom, who himself authored several bills, and specifically said he wants to revisit those that didn’t win Brown’s signature.

  6. Do we have any evidence that the Trump appointments are or will be pro 2nd amendment? Seems like a huge assumption. Even the one example in the article, a judge who temporarily halted California’s onerous ammunition background checks, was a George W. appointee. Trump and McConnell, who together are in charge of the judicial appointment process, are driving the current gun control efforts in the Senate.

    • While there will likely be some exceptions, the vast majority of PDT judicial appointments are being vetted by people from The Federalist Society, which is originalist and unabashedly pro-2A.

      The biggest change — which has largely gone unnoticed by the public at large — is the demise of the “blue slip” custom. Under this, the Senate Judiciary Committee would not consider (or would seriously delay) judicial appointments for district or circuit benches if one of the senators from the state in question opposed it. This is why you have so many “Republican-appointed” judges in places like California, Washington state, etc., who are indistinguishable from Dem-appointed ones — the only candidates for benches in those states that wouldn’t be blue-slipped by the Dem Senators were generally RINO’s, and hard-edge originalists were either blocked or never got nominated because everyone know they’d be blue-slipped.

      McConnell (got to give McTurtle credit here) has essentially abandoned the blue slip process entirely, resulting in some very bright young judges (often nurtured and groomed for the positions by the Federalist Society) who would previously never had a chance now filling up seats on the Ninth Circuit and other traditionally-liberal courts.

      Results won’t be seen overnight (the wheels of justice grind slowly), but long term, this is likely going to be PDT’s most significant and longest lasting legacy, especially if he gets re-elected and the GOP holds the Senate in 2020.

    • Only time will tell if they are really pro liberty. Or should I say small government, pro Constitution.

  7. Reminder: “Nationwide Red Flag laws !” (Take the guns first. Then, maybe due process later!? Come on people!) Hey, you know. I’m sure THEY can expand what the Red Flag Orders Due..Suspected Drunk Drivers get their motor vehicles confiscated. Until they can prove themselves innocent…Citizens Suspected of deliquent taxes can have their homes, bank accounts , etc…Until may be they prove themselves innocent. The idea are endless….

    • It doesn’t. Mental masturbation by certain conservatives listening to Rush Limbaugh. A favorite past time.

      • Loved listening to Rush back during the Clinton years, particularly between 1992 – 1996ish. Stopped listening to him shortly after 9/11, mostly due to his ranting. Or maybe I finally grew up. Whichever sounds better.

        I’ve agreed with 90% of most “conservative” show hosts, but stopped listening to nearly all of them once they became super famous and devolved into the usual scream-rant-namecall formula. In the beginning, they seem to understand that conservative logic stands on its own and doesn’t need to be pumped up to defeat Leftist ideologies. But once they become popular and their thoughts turn to increasing their ratings, they lose focus and turn into talking heads.

        Rush Limbaugh
        Sean Hannity
        Mark Levin
        Alex Jones (was interesting long ago, but became a fringe wacko)

  8. the removal of and transformation of the ninth circus is a MANDATORY, MUST HAPPEN. the idiot attorney general of washington state is using the ninth to further the communist slide of washington state. californica and oregon ALSO USE THE NINTH for furthering the communist doctrine of the left coast. the supreme court needs to remove and dis-bar the members of the ninth in order to stop any further communist/marxist slide in our court system. we need JUDGES THAT FOLLOW OUR CONSTITUTION. WITHOUT RE-INTERPITING THE FORM AND VOICE OF THAT GREAT DOCCUMENT…

  9. They’re worried. Swell…I’m concerned the orangeman will f##k us. Stay tuned and stock UP!😡

  10. With the number of so called Trump judges having been seated so far, how come not a single one has stood up for our rights, or in support of the administrations???

    • Trump has won and lost a bunch of court cases around his various incompetent actions. Those are questions of Presidential authority, mostly. As such the courts move more quickly, moving other cases out of the way to work on them.

      But as for gun laws, those cases move at a slower pace, just like all other cases. They have to work up thru the courts, take their turn on overwhelmed schedules of too few judges. Takes quite sometime.

      It is likely the full impact of the Federalists Society appointments of judges to the Federal courts will not be fully known until that Cheeto Faced Shitgibbon is long out of office.

      • “Trump has won and lost a bunch of court cases around his various incompetent actions.”

        The exact same can be said about Obama. A whole bunch of his bullshit was slapped-down by the courts, one of the most famous was his attempt to push bullshit recess appointments to stack the courts with Leftists…

    • Tactics, and strategy. Never assume that an enemy is stupid. The gun grabbers are careful about which cases they fight over, and which courts they fight in. Witness the NYC case, in which, they attempted to rewrite the laws AFTER the laws were challenged, to avoid facing the issue in the Supreme Court. Except – it looks like the case will go to the SC anyway. Sometimes, they just aren’t smart enough . . .

      And, the anti-gun-grabbers use tactics and strategy as well. We don’t see them making a scene in Chicago, do we? I’d like to see almost all of Illinois’ gun laws struck down, but it ain’t happenin’!

  11. Trump is not altering the Federal courts. That is being done by Leonard Leo and The Federalists Society. Trump merely reacts, not so much a puppet as an idiot who can be steered roughly in a direction but may still randomly yank the wheel about wildly and screw up the plans of actual smart people.

  12. Yeah, verily, as Trump publicly shivs RKBA, we are reminded that judges matter, and that somehow the dude who is slapping us in the face will appoint jurists who will uphold our Liberties.

    Trump applauds, and relies on your loyalty (

    BTW, Epstein was totally suicidal and Hillary is a free woman because she hasn’t done anything criminal. Also, we are a Free and Brave society which is self-governed. State schools are the best thing for your family, kids and society. Men and women aren’t different, and the GOP helps gun voters.

  13. All you folks who believe Trump is coming with the jack-booted thugs, calm down.

    Trump is screwing with the Dumbocrats.

    Remember immigration?

    Trust in Trump.

  14. We need to vote for anti-gun moderate Republicans, so get the courts stocked with conservatives, so we can get rulings in our favor approx. ten years after the nation collapses into despotism/civil war/etc and the courts have no power anyway.

    Brilliant strategy, but I guess if we aren’t willing to hold our elected officials accountable for screwing us over out of fear of the other guy…that’s the only course that’s left us.

  15. Hey guys, that just means anything you do must adhere to Constitutional guidelines!!!! If that makes your job more difficult, tough.

  16. As a retired lawyer, all I can tell you about judges is that if you trust them, I have a bridge to Brooklyn that I’d like to sell you. Bring cash.

  17. Why do people continue to rely on a rigged system and disingenuous people? For the protection of their Rights. We are nothing more than pawns in Their ever evolving game of say this/do that. It says a great deal about a populace who fears Their government. Regardless of which side of the aisle You support. When government has reached a point that is has so divided a nation. Playing one side against the other to remain in Control. With no intention of finding solutions Maybe the time has come to reevaluate the effectiveness and need of those in Power. While voting has always been the preferred method of changing government and who is in control. Government has reached a point where many of those in Control. With the Power to make and invoke laws and regulations are in non elected positions. Bureaucrats and Judges who do not answer to voters. Thus allowing them to enact whatever they want with no recourse from the voters. The whole idea of government has become a self replicating bureaucracy whose only intention is it’s continued survival. Leaving the populace as nothing more than the host for it to feed upon. OUR Fore fathers feared this very thing and attempted to put checks/balances in place ( The Constitution) to prevent it from occurring. The problem is when those in Control ignore and/or refuse to abide by the very documents ( The Constitution) this Nation was Founded on. The fault lies not with the Politicians/Bureaucrats who violate the sanctity of The Constitution. It Lies with THE PEOPLE who allow the desecration to occur and continue. Regardless of where Your Loyalties lie. Left or Right Conservative of liberal. We are as much a part of the Problem as those who are in Control. Because We allow it to continue. You can show your rage on the interweb. You can voice your displeasure to politicians. You can vote and pretend it will make a difference. Yet doing these very things have brought US to this point in time and given Us these results. Because the Quest for Power/Control is Their Goal. Those in Power are satisfied Playing the game. Regardless of the effect it has on The People. They have assumed Control and We have passively allowed Them their Pleasure. Keep Your Powder Dry…The Time is 3 Minutes to Midnight.

  18. Judges following the law: only a problem if you want to impose something that isn’t in the law.

    Activist judges: if they could get a law (or amendment) for what they want, they wouldn’t need activist judges.

  19. Sounds like not many of you have heard about Jury Nullification, which was championed by the Founding Fathers and many Supreme Court Justices.
    We can do a LOT, if we use our BALLS and don’t give in to corrupt judge instructions to the jury.

    John Jay, 1st Chief Supreme Court Justice (1786) : “The jury has the right to judge both the law and the facts in controversy….”

    Samuel Chase, Supreme Court Justice (1796) : “The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts…”

    Oliver Wendel Holmes, Supre Court Justice (1902) : “The jury has the power to bring in a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact…”

    Harlan F. Stone, Chief Supreme Court Justice (1941) : “The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided…”

    U.D. vs Dougherty, (1972) : “The pages of history shine on instances of the jury’s exercise of it’s prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge…”

    Marbury vs Madison (1803) : “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”

    Miranda vs Arizona (1966) : “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.”

    There are many, many more examples of this.
    If you’re on a jury, and you believe the law on which the jury is impaneled is unconstitutional, you MUST vote not guilty if you believe in the Constitution. If you don’t do this, then it’s obvious you know nothing about liberty…..

    • I have spoken about Jury Nullification on this site and many others for years. It should be used at every opportunity to not only overturn unjust laws but, also as a tool to nullify the courts wishing to push unjust agendas. Many times cases are brought to trial simply because the Judge/Prosecutor has an agenda they wish to push forward. It is also a good way to nullify juries who decide cases based on emotions rather than evidence. It takes only one vote to hang a juries decision. From my own jury experience I have learned that taking on the responsibility of jury foreman can go along way in leading a jury to a decision. Most jurors have no experience and many really don’t want to be there. So taking their hand a leading them can get the desired verdict. Once a case has been adjudicated to a not guilty verdict. The judge has no discretion to change the verdict to guilty. As a tool jury nullification can be used for both the good of society as well as a message to society. Keep Your Powder Dry…The Time is 3 Minutes Till Midnight.

    • The more you are around juries, the less you trust them with anything.

      Keep in mind, lawyers on both sides try very hard to keep it that way. They want pliable, ignorant subjects whom they can hopefully sway more than their opponent can.

      • Lawyers rely on emotions far more than evidence when presenting their cases. Facts can be hard to refute. While emotions are easily swayed. Politicians, judges, and lawyers are well aware of this. Most people who lean to the democrat/liberal side of their belief system. Tend to allow their emotion to rule how they perceive issues. People who tend to support republican/conservative beliefs allow facts to guide their decisions. While there a exceptions on both sides. Generally this is the case. This the basis for the great divide among the citizenry of OUR Nation. With those in Power playing each side at Their pleasure. To attain Their one true goal. Control. Keep Your Powder dry. The Time is 3 Minutes Till Midnight.

  20. All one has to do is look at the history of the Supreme Court and that includes the times when the Conservatives were in the majority. They never lifted a hand to help gun rights and most often refused to hear the cases letting the lower anti-gun rulings stand. They then could avoid the heat of ruling against 2A. Do not expect this new Conservative Court to be any different. More gun rights means they have less power over the people and giving up any power is not what they are ever willing to do.

  21. This is the thing that the non-leftist never-trumpers need to get through their heads, and it’s the same reason I swallowed my pride and voted for shady Rick in FL. Trump can stink it up at least as much as a Democrat in the White House, but his SCOTUS nominations have been important. Can you imagine if Hillary had the chance to fill 2 vacancies?

    Now, would you choose any of the leftist nutbags over trump in 2020? Who do you want to nominate a replacement for RBG? Think about it.

  22. Leftards should be chiting bricks over the placement of judges who’s first duty is to the Constitution rather than the Leftard manifesto.

  23. Four more consecutive years of a Republican in the Presidency will almost assuredly outlast Ginsburg and if she tries to continue with more days missing oral arguments or falling asleep on the bench in full view of litigating parties and fellow Justices: She should be impeached from her position. Its already clear that her “unappointed law clerks” do the work and she may only be proof reading at this point. Even as a liberal minded Justice, she does them a diservice with substandard service with the only redeeming aspect is that she still fill a Liberal seat and Vote.

  24. What? Where’s the false-flag-trump-hates-gun-owners-secretely-establishement-despises-firearms meme people that usually post here?

    I’ve said it from nearly day one– I know you want everything now, now, now. A boarder wall would be awesome. A viable hearing protection act would be outstanding. But the most important thing Trump can ever do for us in the here and now is stack the courts. That is a huge win that will benefit everybody here well past his presidency.

    • He had 2 years with a GOP congress, POTUS and SCOTUS. Nothing got done.
      Now he’s selling us out with Trumpstocks, background checks and Swat flag laws. FPC says Trump has been worse than Obama regarding RKBA.:

      I’m SURE he will make the best SCOTUS picks. Because it’s opposite day? We can’t even get 4 justices to TAKE cases, much less rule favorably. Roberts, a GOP appointee, has single-handedly saved Healthcare disasters multiple times. Your faith is misplaced.

Comments are closed.