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From the Second Amendment Foundation . . .

A federal judge in San Diego has rejected an attempt by the State of California to moot a Second Amendment Foundation lawsuit seeking to overturn a Golden State statute designed to penalize any plaintiffs, and their attorneys, in cases challenging California gun control laws. The case is known as Miller v. Bonta.

The eight-page order was signed by District Judge Roger T. Benitez.

SAF’s initial lawsuit challenges what it calls a “one-way fee shifting penalty” in California’s new gun control law that was adopted as a response to, and was modeled upon’ a Texas statute on abortion, which the defendants argued was unconstitutional, according to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. SAF and its partners have asked for a preliminary injunction in their federal challenge of the law.

SAF is joined by James Miller, for whom the lawsuit is named, plus Ryan Peterson, John Phillips, Gunfighter Tactical, LLC, the San Diego County Gun Owners Political Action Committee, PWGG, L.P., the California Gun Rights Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc. plus John W. Dillon at the Dillon Law Group, P.C.; and George M. Lee.

“California wants it both ways,” Gottlieb observed. “The state believes the Texas abortion statute is unconstitutional, yet it adopted a gun control law that mirrors the language in the Texas law and contends it is legal. Obviously, Judge Benitez saw right through that flimsy sham and refused to moot our challenge of the California statute.”

In his ruling, Judge Benitez observed, “The enactment of (the California statute) is presently tending to insulate California firearm regulations from constitutional review. Individuals, associations, and attorneys who ordinarily represent such clients are refraining from seeking judicial relief from California regulations that they believe conflict with federal constitutional rights. The injuries are concrete and particularized, actual and imminent, and not conjectural or hypothetical.”

“Long story short,” Gottlieb said, “we’re going to move forward in our lawsuit because California cannot be permitted to use the law to suppress constitutional challenges to its increasingly radical gun control schemes.”

Read the order here.

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  1. Saint Benitez,what an amazing patriot and judge!Every state in the union need many more like him especially in the other communist states like NY,NJ,CT,OR,MA etc.

  2. MAJOR 2A CALIFORNIA COURT VICTORY: Critical Win for Gun Rights Supporters TODAY

    “n two pending cases before Federal Judge Roger Benitez, the Court found that the plaintiffs including the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition and others had demonstrated that their lawsuits challenging California’s anti-gun attorney fee provisions were RIPE.

    This was a CRITICAL THRESHOLD that had to be satisfied before Judge Benitez could consider the merits of the dispute, which he is scheduled to do later in December 2022.”

  3. While another nail biting court case is pending sneaky ca democRat gov. newsum is on the march to pay billions in race based Reparations. Only thing wrong with that is the Reparations are not coming from the coffers of the party that owns the legacy if slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, lynching, the kkk, Eugenics, Gun Control and other race based atrocities.

    The Reparations funding in question include the Party of Lincoln. That is if no one has the balls in ca to point out the responsible party…the democRat Party.

    • Not only that, Newscum has already managed to blow through a $100 Billion surplus left by his predecessor plus an additional $25 Billion in deficit spending. Further, other than the Indians, how many blacks were enslaved in California during its entire statehood (which did not begin until 1850)?

  4. I certainly hope Judge Benitez continues to breathe oxygen and doesn’t end up with one of those increasingly-famous “died of unexplained cardiac complications” epitaphs in our post-COVID era. A lot of attorneys, athletes, vocal conservatives, et al, seem to be dropping these days.

    There are so many ways this could play out that would suspiciously remove Benitez from the pro-2A gearworks: the Seth Rich playbook, the Epstein scenario, the C!linton exit plan, the “heart attack” coverup special,…

    I hope Benitez keeps his head on a swivel, sleeps with a gat, checks under his car each morning, and spends his nights at randomly different locations.

  5. This order is actually slightly old news — Benitez ruled from the bench a couple of weeks ago that the case was not moot, indicating that a formal order would follow. This is just Benitez now “showing his work” so that the Court of Appeals can see his reasoning if the case goes up on appeal at some point.

    More interestingly, when he ruled from the bench, he also consolidated the trial on the merits of the case with the hearing on the preliminary injunction, which is set for December 16.

    Methinks Saint Benitez is going to benchslap California halfway to Hawaii on this one.

    Now, the really interesting Benitez case to watch is the *other* Miller v. Bonta case, where he previously (pre-Bruen) held the California Assault Weapons ban to be unconstitutional. Ninth Circuit stayed his injunction and the appeal until Bruen was decided. Post Bruen, the Ninth kicked the case back to him for “reconsideration in light of Bruen” (which was a dodge, because Benitez’s original opinion found the CAL AWB unconstitutional under both intermediate scrutiny AND under the “text, history, tradition” test adopted in Bruen, so they should have just taken the appeal and ruled on it).

    On remand, California asked to reopen discovery and for leave to submit new evidence. Now, that given the procedural posture of the case, that made no sense: there was a trial to the bench, and Benitez made fact findings against the state (basically holding that California hadn’t proven that the law could withstand a constitutional challenge). Once there has been a trial, you don’t get a “do over” unless the court or the Court of Appeals orders a new trial, which hasn’t occurred.

    Benitez saw that and denied the state’s motions, and ordered all the parties to just submit supplemental briefing on the Bruen issue (i.e., law, not new evidence). That was completed last month. Latest substantive activity in the case was that Benitez ordered a December 12 hearing on a minor procedural matter (Gifford’s motion to reconsider Benitez’s order denying them permission to intervene), but interestingly ordered all counsel to appear in person on that date.

    It may be wishful / hopeful thinking on my part, but I suspect Benitez has another reason he wants everyone in the courtroom that day . . . he may well announce his ruling on the case as a whole, which everyone (including California) expects will be that he again declared the CA AWB to be unconstitutional.

    What will then be interesting is if he enters an injunction and refuses California’s request for a stay pending appeal. The resulting scramble for Californios to buy AR’s will be pretty amusing . . . .

    • Unfortunately, one of the other cases remanded by the Ninth went to an anti-gun jurist in an open carry case (where Plaintiff s contend that permitless open carry is the essence of the right to keep and bear and that there is no text, history or tradition banning the practice–which is true since California did not ban open loaded carry until 1968, and open unloaded carry until 2012 for handguns/2014 for long guns. Nonetheless, she re-opened discovery for ONE YEAR even though the State did not request it and Plaintiffs objected, and set a trial over a year off. She obviously wants to delay the inevitable for as long as possible, and/or hopes that the Ninth Circuit decides a case that will give her cover for ruling against Plaintiffs.

  6. Works for me! Commiefornia needs to get their comeuppance. I’ll bet MINOR Miner49er will be up in arms. No pun intended.

  7. Breaking news: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hear an appeal about Maryland’s so-called “assault weapon” ban on semi-automatic rifles.

  8. In the first known decision on the issue, California’s powerful District Court Judge Roger Benitez has ruled against California’s attempt to block SAF’s case against the State. The ruling is a victory for SAF and its customers and will help clear up confusion caused by California’s refusal to recognize that merchants are required to collect sales tax on behalf of their customers.

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