As TTAG has reported, a Ninth Circuit three-judge panel has upheld Southern District of California Judge Roger T. Benitez’s ruling against California’s ban on standard capacity magazines. Obviously, that is a very important development. But the panel didn’t merely uphold that; the panel upheld Benitez’s position that potential Second Amendment infringements must face strict scrutiny.
Proceeding to prong two of the inquiry, the panel held that strict scrutiny was the appropriate standard to apply.
Nearly every violence-enabling victim-disarmament gun control law on the books has stood because courts almost invariably apply intermediate scrutiny, a made-up test that allows the Constitution to be violated if the government claims some equally imaginary “interest” served by continuing to screw the people.
If this stands, it will be the precedent for dismantling gun control in California and the entire Ninth Circuit. Few of the state’s restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms could withstand a strict scrutiny test. I’m astonished that a panel of the Ninth ruled this way, so explicitly. Elections really do have consequences.
I’m sure California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has already filed for en banc review, where I’m even less certain that the oddball notion that the Constitution means what it says, and that rights must be protected, will stand. But hope springs eternal.