Quantcast

Newsom Makes Thinly Veiled Threats Against Federal Judge Who Thwarted His Gun-Grabs

'Newsom’s verbal assaults on a long-respected member of the judiciary shows his deep and continuing disrespect for the rule of law...'

California‘s Democrat governor decried in starkly personal terms a federal judge’s upending of the state’s extralegal effort to restrict so-called assault weapons as officials announced the filing Thursday of a formal notice that they will appeal the decision.

They characterized last week’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez as an outlier that conflicted with at least six other federal decisions upholding assault weapons laws in California and elsewhere, claiming that the ruling was designed to get the issue before the conservative U.S. Supreme Court.

It comes, however, as many on the Left seemed determined to test the will of the courts by enacting wide-ranging anti-gun laws that would undoubtedly run up against commonsense legal interpretations of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

Gov. Gavin Newsom—facing a heated recall election of his own—levied a string of partisan, ad hominem attacks Benitez. He accused the judge of being “a stone cold ideologue” who was a “wholly owned subsidiary of the gun lobby of the National Rifle Association.”

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

The deep-blue state already is appealing the same judge’s 2017 ruling against its nearly two-decade-old ban on the sales and purchases of magazines holding more than 10 bullets, and his ruling last year blocking a 2019 California law requiring background checks for anyone buying ammunition.

Echoing the extortionist rhetoric used by Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration to coerce the Supreme Court with threats of court-packing, Newsom hinted at some sort of implicit threat to exact revenge on the judge.

“We need to call this federal judge out,” Newsom said.

“He will continue to do damage, mark my word,” the governor continued. “This is a very focused agenda to work through this judge, where the decision’s already made before it’s even presented, who writes ‘press releases’ on behalf of the gun lobby.”

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

The Firearms Policy Coalition, which led plaintiffs who won at the trial level, condemned the governor’s “outrageous and callous personal attacks” on the judge.

“Newsom’s verbal assaults on a long-respected member of the judiciary shows his deep and continuing disrespect for the rule of law, the judiciary, the Constitution, and the human rights of California citizens,” the group said.

A three-judge appeals court panel agreed with Benitez on his ammunition magazine ruling, but the decision is being reconsidered by a larger appellate panel.

State Attorney General Rob Bonta filed the three-page notice of appeal and plans to ask the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay so the current assault-weapons ban will remain in effect throughout the appeals process.

Benitez ruled on Friday that the state’s overly broad definition of ‘assault’ rifles violates the U.S. Constitution because it deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states.

Critics of the ruling including Bonta and Newsom were particularly upset with the judge’s comparison of assault weapons to a common tool: “Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle,” the judge wrote.

California first banned specific brands of weapons in 1989 after a mass shooting at a Stockton elementary school. The state has updated the law several times since then and overall has some of the nation’s strictest firearms laws.

As a result, “we have one of the lowest gun death rates in the entire country,” said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

In terms of homicide, California typically false around the middle, with between 4 and 5 per 100,000 people according to the most recent available data. However, that is largely due to the size of its population, with the total number of murders far eclipsing those of most smaller states.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, which said it will oppose any stay of Benitez’ order, had argued in part that ‘assault’ weapons are no more deadly than some other weapons that are not banned by the state.

“The State’s desire to continue imposing its ban should not be allowed to prevail over the fundamental rights of law-abiding gun owners,” the group said.

Democrats who control the state Assembly on Thursday revived for future consideration a bill that would raise taxes on the sale of guns and ammunition.

The bill requires a two-thirds vote because it would raise taxes, and last week it failed to muster enough votes. It would impose a 10% tax on the sales price of handguns and an 11% tax on the sales price of rifles, precursor parts and ammunition, using the money for gun violence prevention and recovery programs.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

Dems Ramp Up Lockdown Talk Anew, Despite ‘Herd Immunity’ Benchmark

(Headline USA) The U.S. on Monday finally reached President Joe Biden’s goal of getting at least one COVID-19 shot into 70% of American adults---a...

Illinois Gov. Prizker Signs Law Banning ICE Detainer Agreements

Illinois will effectively end immigrant detention and further restrict local law enforcement's ability to cooperate with federal immigration authorities under a plan Gov. J.B....

US Braces for Flood of Afghani Refugees as Biden Expands Eligibility

The Biden administration on Monday expanded its efforts to assist at-risk Afghan citizens fleeing Taliban violence as fighting intensifies ahead of the U.S. military...

Sen. Lindsey Graham Has COVID. Is Joe Manchin’s Houseboat Party to Blame?

(Headline USA) Just two weeks after Texas Democrats fleeing their legislative duties triggered a super-spreader event that led to cases of the deadly coronavirus...

Seattle-Area Christian Mission Asks Supreme Court to Let Them Hire Believers

Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, a Christian non-profit group that aids the homeless, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday after the Washington Supreme...

Biden Admin Wants to Use Taxpayer Dollars to Provide Attorneys for Illegals

The Biden administration wants to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to pay federal lawyers to represent illegal immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. According to...

‘Squad’ Says House Will Kill Infrastructure Bill if Demands Not Met

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, said she and the other leftist “Squad” members of Congress would block the $1-trillion bipartisan infrastructure package if Senate Democrats...

12 Politicians Who Got Caught Violating Their Own COVID Rules

(Brad Polumbo, Foundation for Economic Education) Amid widespread panic and alarmism over the “Delta variant” of COVID-19, Mayor Muriel Bowser just reinstated an indoor mask-mandate...

‘Squad’ Urges Treasury Dept. to Revoke Tax Exemption of Pro-Israel Groups

The Marxist "Squad" sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to request that her department review and revoke non-profit status from pro-Israel groups,...
- Advertisement -