When Amy Coney Barrett replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg the left feared this day would come.
Now many liberals are facing their worst nightmare.
But now Democrats are terrified Amy Coney Barrett caused one major shift in the courts.
Ever since the Supreme Court ruled in the 2008 Heller case that gun ownership was a fundamental right, lower courts stayed away from striking down state gun control laws.
The Supreme Court held that states could not ban commonly-owned firearms yet judges ignored challenges to blue states’ so-called “assault weapons” ban.
That changed when United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of California Roger Benitez—who was appointed by President George W. Bush—ruled California’s so-called “assault weapons” ban was unconstitutional.
“This case is not about extraordinary weapons lying at the outer limits of Second Amendment protection,” Judge Benitez argued. “The banned ‘assault weapons’ are not bazookas, howitzers, or machineguns. Those arms are dangerous and solely useful for military purposes. Instead, the firearms deemed ‘assault weapons’ are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles.
“This is an average case about average guns used in average ways for average purposes,” Judge Benitez added.
Judge Benitez cited the fact that Americans own around 20,000,000 rifles as evidence these firearms were commonly used and thus any ban violated Heller’s standards.
“Good for both home and battle, the AR-15 is the kind of versatile gun that lies at the intersection of the kinds of firearms protected under District of Columbia v. Heller and United States v. Miller,” Judge Benitez added. “Yet, the State of California makes it a crime to have an AR15 type rifle. Therefore, this Court declares the California statutes to be unconstitutional.”
Judge Benitez continued on noting that while a so-called “assault weapons ban” may be popular in California, the Constitution was written to protect fundamental rights from the passion of the mob.
“While the Court is mindful that government has a legitimate interest in protecting the public from gunviolence, it is equally mindful that the Constitution remains a shield from the tyranny of the majority,” Judge Benitez declared. “As Senator Edward Kennedy said, ‘[t]he judiciary is – and is often the only – protector of individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy.’ Law-abiding citizens are imbued with the unalienable right to keep and bear modern firearms.”
Now that Amy Coney Barrett is on the Supreme Court giving Republican-appointed justices a six to three advantage, conservatives on the Court got more aggressive in taking on cases.
Conservative justices know they can afford to lose Chief Justice John Roberts so the Court’s agreed to take on the most direct challenge to Roe v. Wade in a generation and the first Second Amendment case since Heller.
Court watchers believe Judge Benitez knows the far-left Ninth Circuit will overturn his decision.
But by doing so, Judge Benitez could help create a live controversy that a newly emboldened conservative majority could take up.
And that would spell the end to state level so-called “assault weapons” bans.
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