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Old August 11, 2013, 03:37 PM   #1
Al Norris
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Palmer v. D.C.

Concerning the long overdue adjudication of the Palmer (carry in DC) case, just yesterday, Alan Gura filed a Motion To Expedite. The docket has been updated and the motion (doc #44) and memorandum in support (doc #44.1) have been made available.

This case was filed back on Aug. 6, 2009 and was assigned to DC District Judge Henry H. Kennedy. A MSJ (by the Plaintiffs - doc #5) was filed on Aug. 26, 2009 and a cross motion for MSJ (by defendants - doc #6) was filed on Sept. 9, 2009. Briefing was complete on Jan. 29, 2010. The lead Plaintiff, Tom Palmer, was one of the original plaintiffs in the suit that became, Heller. Alan Gura is the attorney of record.

The case seeks to expand upon the original Heller case, in order to allow law abiding citizens not only the right to keep arms for self defense within the home, but the right to bear arms in the public for self defense. DC law allows for permits to be issued to carry within the limits of the federal enclave, for residents only and for certain individuals connected to law enforcement. The DC Police Chief was authorized by law, to issue those permits. But in practice, permits were never issued to anyone outside the LE exceptions.

Right after the Heller case was decided, DC repealed it older laws and implemented several new laws to accomplish what the Court had ordered. One of the laws that were repealed was the authority of the Police Chief to issue permits. As it stood (and as of today), there is no authority to issue permits, even though the laws prohibiting carry without a permit still stand.

The suit attacks this lack of issuing authority. Secondarily, because this is a wholly federal enclave, the suit also seeks to invalidate the residency requirement.

After waiting some time for Judge Kennedy to order hearing or publish an opinion, C.J. Roberts ordered the case transferred to Judge Frederick J. Scullin, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, on Jul. 18, 2011.

Since that time, numerous notices of supplemental authorities have been filed and a hearing on the MSJ and Cross-MSJ have been held (Oct. 2012).

The case has always been crucial to establishing the right to carry at the federal level. It was the first such case brought, even though many cases have come and gone. Should the plaintiffs MSJ be upheld, it would become the premiere case to bootstrap carry in all the States (regardless of what has been ruled before this). Instead we are fighting at all other levels for this right.

As yesterdays motion affirms:

Quote:
This case is now in its fifth year before this Court. Over three and a half years have passed since the Court first heard argument on the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment, and nearly a year has passed since the Court re-heard those arguments.
Hopefully, this will prod the court to act.
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Old August 12, 2013, 10:45 PM   #2
62coltnavy
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Far be it for a D.C trial court to desire to decide whether there is a right to bear arms outside the home, the very issue presented to it, and an issue of some disagreement among the circuits. This is judicial avoidance at its best, with the trial court hoping and waiting for a dispositive appellate decision to make this judge's job an easy one. I think it has reached the point, however, that this "pocket veto" can no longer be maintained....On the other hand, I don't know that it will not be a pyrrhic victory; if forced to adopt a CCW scheme, I have little doubt that DC will go the NYC route of may issue in name only, which seems to be the standard on the east coast.
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Old August 12, 2013, 11:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62coltnavy
I have little doubt that DC will go the NYC route of may issue in name only, which seems to be the standard on the east coast.
The "east coast" encompasses a lot of real estate. Other than NY City and New Jersey, where is "may issue in name only" the rule of the day?
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Old August 13, 2013, 12:00 PM   #4
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DC was may-issue for many years, but outside LEOs they were no-issue in practice. Unlike Illinois, DC will try a may-issue unless a court tells them specifically they can't.
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Old August 14, 2013, 09:18 PM   #5
62coltnavy
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When I refer to the east coast, I am generally referring to the northeast--states above the Mason-Dixon line. True, not all are "may issue," but most are. Add Ma., RI, Md.,Del., Conn. to your list. Vermont is out, and I think NH is shall issue.
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Old August 14, 2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62coltnavy
When I refer to the east coast, I am generally referring to the northeast--states above the Mason-Dixon line. True, not all are "may issue," but most are. Add Ma., RI, Md.,Del., Conn. to your list. Vermont is out, and I think NH is shall issue.
Above the Mason-Dixon line includes PA, which is both shall-issue and no-permit-required for open carry (outside of Philthydelphia). CT is shall issue. ME is shall issue. NH is shall issue. Not sure about RI.

There are certainly some may-issue states in the northeast quadrant, but it's by no means as bad as you seem to be trying to make it appear.
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:17 AM   #7
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And of course MD is SOUTH of the Mason-Dixon... it's Maryland's north border, with PA.
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Old October 23, 2013, 04:20 PM   #8
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SAF has filed a writ of mandamus to compel an opinion from the District Court. Their press release here http://saf.org/viewpr-new.asp?id=458 really sticks it to the district court.

Petition is here: http://gurapossessky.com/wordpress/w...s/petition.pdf

Last edited by press1280; October 23, 2013 at 04:38 PM.
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Old October 23, 2013, 09:54 PM   #9
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I just this minute joined SAF... $50 donation for 5yr membership. I believe every penny well spent.
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Old October 23, 2013, 11:49 PM   #10
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Not yet on PACER....

Dang good read. Although, asking for a Mandamus is seldom successful.
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Old October 24, 2013, 02:47 AM   #11
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I'm not sure how the DC Circuit can possibly defend this delay. Gura's brief cites cases that say a year or two at most should be the timeline, not years or decades. Further, when the Chief Justice reassigned the case TWO YEARS AGO in order to expedite, and no further action has taken place, that something is really wrong.
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Old October 24, 2013, 08:08 AM   #12
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Emily Miller's commentary on the amount of time to decide this case is found here:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...ecis/?page=all
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Old October 24, 2013, 01:01 PM   #13
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If asking for a Writ of Mandamus is not called for in this case, then it is a wholly useless vestige.
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Old October 26, 2013, 02:36 AM   #14
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Oh, it is called for, the only comment is that it is rarely granted. All writ relief is discretionary and the burden of establishing injury warranting the interference of an appellate court in the processes of a trial court is high--not impossibly high, just high. This is a good case for relief--absent a purely political determination of the Circuit. And that would look bad, particularly as there are no cases on the immediate horizon that are poised to moot the issue presented.
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Old October 26, 2013, 07:21 AM   #15
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They can also ask SCOTUS to force an opinion from the district court. Probably even more rare. However I'm pretty sure if Chief Justice Roberts felt 2 years was too long for an opinion, that he won't vote no since it's now OVER 4 years and counting.
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Old December 18, 2013, 09:26 AM   #16
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The mandamus has been denied: MILLER: Alan Gura appeal for gun carry rights in D.C. denied - Washington Times
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Old December 18, 2013, 01:33 PM   #17
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Regardless of the ruling, the point has been made that justice can not be delayed indefinitely. Outright denial of carry for everyone in DC simply cannot stand, the court must know that and I can only assume it is simply loath to rule the way it must.

There is absolutely nothing difficult or complicated about the fundamental question presented. No reasonable basis for such an egregious delay has even been offered, and simply declaring the delay to be reasonable hardly makes it so. Such recalcitrance from the court system defaces its credibility dong it great harm, IMO.
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Old December 18, 2013, 09:24 PM   #18
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As it stands D.C. requires a permit to carry then it is denying the means to obtain a permit, figures. It is crazy what they have managed to get away with and I wonder how long they can play this game. I have no faith in the Motion to Expedite. They have set on this egg for too many years now and if the majority of D.C. citizens were more supporting things may be a little more different by now IMO.

Circumventing a law by denying the means.....have to say it's classic. But this isn't the 60's so what gives? Where is the ACLU on this?
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Old December 18, 2013, 10:37 PM   #19
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Since the National ACLU does not agree with Heller and still considers the 2A as a right to the States to arm their militias, where do you expect them to be? (not a serious question)
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Old December 19, 2013, 07:54 AM   #20
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Just a thought, has anyone with standing bothered to ask them (ACLU) for assistance?
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Old December 19, 2013, 09:00 AM   #21
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Like Al mentioned, the national ACLU won't help. There are some state level ACLU groups that would help, but looking at the DC ACLU's website I see them list probably 30-40 different issues they're concerned with, and gun rights aren't one of them (no suprise).
I'm really thinking a companion lawsuit needs to be filed in DC Superior court (the state court version in DC), perhaps they have some measure of integrity and will at least move the case forward in a timely fashion.
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Old December 19, 2013, 12:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
But this isn't the 60's so what gives? Where is the ACLU on this?
This was my failed attempt at sarcasm....

No doubt I should have proofread that a little more closely.

Quote:
Like Al mentioned, the national ACLU won't help. There are some state level ACLU groups that would help, but looking at the DC ACLU's website I see them list probably 30-40 different issues they're concerned with, and gun rights aren't one of them (no suprise).
Pretty much My take/view on the ACLU as well and the reason I have little to no faith in them.
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Old January 8, 2014, 05:45 PM   #23
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The pocket veto by judges is Kritarchy

This is a very simple case. DC has an outright ban on bearing arms. If the ban is allowed to stand, then the right to bear arms does not exist.

This case clearly has the potential to shape the future of firearms rights in America.

The very long overdue ruling in a fundamental rights case is inexcusable. Shame on the Chief judge of the Federal District Court and the DC Circuit Court for allowing this judicial cluster to continue for six calendar years without even ruling on the cross motions. This case clearly calls into question the integrity and fidelity of the federal judicial system.

This delay can only be described as a pocket veto of our rights by men and women in black robes. Yes, this level of tyranny is called Kritarchy.
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Old January 8, 2014, 06:01 PM   #24
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Well, we certainly know where the Circuit 0 CoA stands, don't we?
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Old January 9, 2014, 05:48 PM   #25
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They are not ruling because if they and the appeals court rule against Palmer it creates a circuit split.
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