Monday, November 5, 2012

Ninety-Nine Judges

Tom Gresham devoted his entire three-hour show on Sunday to the elections and the impact that they will have on gun owners and gun rights. The guests ranged from the NRA's Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox to SAF's Alan Gottlieb and NSSF's Larry Keane. In addition, he interviewed attorney Alan Gura. The one thing every guest said about this election and gun rights was the critical importance of judicial appointments to securing gun rights.

The interview that really peaked my interest was with Alan Gura. Tom asked Alan straight out what would have happened if there had been a 5-4 majority with a Sotomayor or Kagan in that majority, could he have won Heller or McDonald? Alan's response, "Probably not. I mean NO. There would be no way."

Alan went on to say that lower Federal Court nominees rarely make the news and are often confirmed on voice votes. Given that few cases make it to the Supreme Court much of the case law is made at the District and Circuit Court levels.

Alan pointed out that there are currently 65 District Court vacancies, 15 Appeals Court vacancies, and another 19 judges who have indicated that they plan to retire or more into senior status. This means the next president will get to nominate at least 99 judges and probably more like 150-200 over the next four years. This does not even take into consideration a probable one to three Supreme Court nominations.

Remember this - all Federal judges serve a lifetime appointment. This means that the next president will get to nominate at a minimum one-tenth of all District Court judges and one-tenth of all Court of Appeals judges. The impact will be felt for years and years.

This is what this election is about: the future direction of the Federal judiciary and with it our rights as gun owners and Americans.

If you haven't already voted, then you damn well better do it tomorrow. And when I say vote or voted, I sure as hell don't mean for Obama.

UPDATE: I forgot to add that if Obama is re-elected and gets to replace one of the "Heller Five" then  Second Amendment litigation will grind to a halt. At the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference, Gene Hoffman of the CalGuns Foundation emphasized this point and said the best thing to do in that situation is to shut down Second Amendment litigation. The reason is that you can't risk bringing a case that could end up before a decidedly unfriendly Supreme Court.

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