Thursday, January 13, 2011

Benson et al v. Chicago et al - Some Updates

Benson et al v. Chicago et al is the NRA sponsored suit challenging the City of Chicago's New Gun Law. It was the first suit filed to challenge the changes Chicago made to their gun laws after losing the McDonald case.

There has been a flurry of activity in the case over the last week and a half.

The first major event is that the case is being reassigned from Judge Ronald Guzman to Judge Edmond E. Chang. This became effective on January 10th. The reason the case is being reassigned is that Judge Chang is a new judge of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and this case becomes part of his initial civil case load. A total of 281 cases were transferred from various judges of the District to Judge Chang. This was the only case involving the suits against Chicago on Second Amendment grounds.

Judge Chang was nominated by President Obama in April 2010 to fill a seat vacated on the court. He was confirmed on December 18, 2010 and was sworn in on December 20th. Judge Chang is 40 years old and is a graduate of Northwestern School of Law. For the past 11 years, he has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He has served legal clerkships with judges on both the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and in the Northern District of Illinois.

The other major event is that Brett Benson and Rick Pere are requesting to withdraw as plaintiffs in the case. This was just filed yesterday. As to why they are requesting to withdraw from the case, I have no information. This will leave Kenneth Pacholski, Kathryn Tyler, Michael Hall, and the Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers as the remaining plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs' attorneys have requested the court's permission to file a Second Amended Complaint which is unopposed by the City of Chicago. Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2), Chicago had to consent to the filing of the Second Amended Complaint which they did.

There is a hearing scheduled before Judge Chang on the morning of January 27th.

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