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Old October 3, 2011, 01:45 PM   #76
Al Norris
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This is more than disturbing to me. The Williams case wasn't necessarily about licensing or permitting. It was wholly about whether or not we have a right to self defense outside of the home.

That there were not 4 Justices that would answer this question is an indication that none of the other cases will be granted cert. Above all, it is an indication that the Court is not ready to commit on the actual right of self defense itself.

Everyone says that we should not read into a cert denial anything more than it was denied. But...

What this will do for all the other cases is to vindicate the current judgments and future judgments against this right. In other words, The Collective Right to Public Safety trumps The Individual Right to be safe from people who would harm me and mine, outside my house.
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Old October 3, 2011, 03:13 PM   #77
secret_agent_man
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Perhaps Sanford Levison's next little tome should be, "The Embarrassing Supreme Court Of The United States."
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Old October 3, 2011, 03:15 PM   #78
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Is it possible that denying cert, wrong as it is, averted an even worse decision? I can imagine Roberts, Scalia and Thomas, if realizing that the majority would throw Williams and everyone after him under the eternal bus, might avoid the case altogether.

In fact, even if all the bear-outside-the-home cases are denied, it would still be better than a SCOTUS ruling against bearing outside the home. That would slam the door forever. It sucks, but it could suck even worse.
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Old October 3, 2011, 04:57 PM   #79
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Is it possible that denying cert, wrong as it is, averted an even worse decision? I can imagine Roberts, Scalia and Thomas, if realizing that the majority would throw Williams and everyone after him under the eternal bus, might avoid the case altogether.

In fact, even if all the bear-outside-the-home cases are denied, it would still be better than a SCOTUS ruling against bearing outside the home. That would slam the door forever. It sucks, but it could suck even worse.
My sentiments exactly. Maybe Williams was the best of the three cases that applied for cert. this term, but that doesn't really say much. Truth is, Maryland has an avenue for concealed carry. Yes, it sucks, yes you have to be connected to get through it, but it does have the process. The present case was not about Williams applying and being denied a permit, it was about him actually breaking the law - carrying a loaded Glock in a backpack without a permit. I'd have been surprised if the Court could've mustered five votes in support of the right to keep and bear arms with such a fact pattern. Far better for the Court to remain silent on the issue than to have a majority opinion on the second amendment written by Breyer, for example.

There'll be other -- and better -- cases to try to bring before the court on this issue.
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Old October 3, 2011, 06:57 PM   #80
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Heller portends The Court would rule in favor of Williams. It is illogical The Court would suddenly backpedal once the gun is outside the home. This is surely a puzzling development, however. We shall see if Al Norris is correct in suggesting The Court may be awaiting a related case.

Last edited by secret_agent_man; October 3, 2011 at 07:11 PM.
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Old October 3, 2011, 07:16 PM   #81
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I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the denial. On the one hand, I'm a bit disappointed that the Court won't rule on the issue, at least not as soon as I'd hoped. On the other hand, however, I was a bit nervous about Williams in the first place as he isn't as "clean" as Dick Heller and Otis McDonald were. Neither Heller nor McDonald actually broke the law, rather they sued to get it changed so that they wouldn't have to. Williams, on the other hand, did in fact commit a crime (whether the law is constitutional or not is quite another matter).

The really bothersome part here is that Williams had never even applied for a permit to begin with. I could see him having a better argument had he applied for the permit and subsequently been denied, but as it stands he never even gave MD's system a chance to fail him. While I agree that "may issue" stinks and needs to be on the chopping block, I don't really think that Williams was the case to do it.

Honestly, I really think that one of the two cases in IL, which still has no legal way for citizens to carry outside the home, are better cases to take before SCOTUS. The plaintiffs in those, as far as I know, are clean cut and have not violated any laws, even the draconian ones of their state.
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Old October 3, 2011, 07:59 PM   #82
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I have to agree with Webleymkv on this one.

I also think the case of the church secretary (whose name I just can't think of at this time) would be much better for our side than would Williams.
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Old October 3, 2011, 09:25 PM   #83
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Neither Heller nor McDonald actually broke the law...Williams, on the other hand, did in fact commit a crime (whether the law is constitutional or not is quite another matter).
This was awhile back and may or may not be good law now, and may not even be from a decision, but these words still resonate well today:

Quote:
"If a juror feels that the statute involved in any criminal offence is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant's natural god-given unalienable or constitutional rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all, for no one is bound to obey an unjust law." -- Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone
http://prorev.com/juries.htm

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Old October 3, 2011, 09:35 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by secret agent man View Post
We shall see if Al Norris is correct in suggesting The Court may be awaiting a related case.
Nope. All bets are off.

When I suggested "a related case," I also suggested that Williams would be stayed. It wasn't.

I'll go one further. Since you didn't come right out and say it, I will: I was a fool to second guess the Court.
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Old October 3, 2011, 09:38 PM   #85
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I'll go one further. Since you didn't come right out and say it, I will: I was a fool to second guess the Court.
Meh. We forgive you. You're too handsome for us to stay angry.

Plus, you're also right far more often than you're wrong. Care to place bets on what this means for the related cases?
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Old October 3, 2011, 09:46 PM   #86
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I can only hope this is for the best. I wouldn't want to be the one to try to explain that to Mr. Williams, however. I don't see how the court can avoid this issue forever without allowing the lower courts to eviscerate the right. So, I have to believe there must be a better case. If not, this may be headed to a very dark place.
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Old October 3, 2011, 10:08 PM   #87
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this may be headed to a very dark place
A second term for Obama and subsequent third appointment to the SCOTUS bench? God save us. Nobody else is up to it.
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Old October 3, 2011, 10:28 PM   #88
Al Norris
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That's the thing, Tom.

As it stands, Lowery could simply be GVR'd - "See Heller."

Masciandaro is the easier case for a cert grant. The law he was convicted under is no longer in place. So the sensitive place issue is almost a non sequitur. The Court doesn't have to speak much more than in very vague terms about the right, outside the home.

In that respect, it's a win for the Court, inasmuch as they won't be overturning any State laws... Which I suspect was the crux of the matter for the Williams case.

Some have speculated that the Court will wait for one of the Illinois cases to reach them. They won't have to touch licensing/permitting at all, as IL has none.

As for myself, I will have to think upon it a bit more, before I hazard another guess (and you just know I will ).
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Old October 4, 2011, 01:18 AM   #89
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Masciandaro is the easier case for a cert grant. The law he was convicted under is no longer in place.
Gene Hoffman mentioned that the Court may be waiting for "clean" cases. By that, we could be looking at one in which the petitioner is not contesting a criminal conviction. As you mention, Masciandaro could fall under that. There are also numerous civil cases pending, and they could be holding out for one of those.

I'm a bit bummed because I really thought the Williams case was putting the right questions forth, with the perfect litigator for the job.
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Old October 4, 2011, 09:55 AM   #90
Al Norris
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo
Gene Hoffman mentioned that the Court may be waiting for "clean" cases.
Gene goes further than that. He feels that the Court wants to completely forestall all criminal 2A cases, in favor of fleshing out the bounds of the 2A rights in civil cases.

However true that may be, it is a great injustice to all convicted of malum prohibitum gun laws.
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Old October 4, 2011, 10:45 AM   #91
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I'm a bit bummed but I do like the idea of relying on cases with plaintiffs that are not criminal defendants who didn't even TRY to follow the law.

The fairness question of those who have/will be convicted under unfair/unconstitutional laws is unsettling though.

I guess it's the old sausage/law analogy, sort of.
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