Institute for Legal, Legislative and Educational Action
Some eunuch jack-wagon over at the New Jersey Law Journal penned a lamentation to Judge Bumb, begging her to consider their feelings when she delivers her upcoming decision on two challenges to New Jersey’s unconstitutional carry law. The unnamed writer is hiding behind the “Editorial Board,” as so many feckless, stoneless writers do when slobbering their sad swan songs over the death of gun control. The two cases, Koons and Siegel, have had temporary restraining orders placed on the NJ “carry-killer” law by the hand of Bumb. All branches of government in the Garden State are losing their collective bowels over the NYSRPA v. Bruen decision, and Governor Murphy will have anyone carry water for his cause to try and save a little face since his attack on civil liberties was so swiftly halted. The gelded writer at the Law Journal sobbed it out.
At the heart of New Jersey’s gun-control regime has been the requirement to show the local chief of police a particularized need to lawfully carry a weapon. In two recent opinions, Chief Judge Renee Bumb first temporarily restrained certain provisions, and then on Jan. 30, in the consolidated action Siegel v. Platkin, extended her TRO to block the bulk of the newly enacted A-4769. Signed by Gov. Murphy, 2C:58-4.2 is our Legislature’s revision of the centerpiece New Jersey gun-control laws to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen. Judge Bumb effectively gutted the law, saying it is fundamentally incompatible with the high court majority’s Bruen decision. We believe her broad injunction was not necessary. The judge called for an expedited briefing schedule on the motion for a preliminary injunction. But more is needed than briefs—the state should be able to develop a full record on the public health evidence for the court to make the determination regarding the public interest, which is essential to the issuance of an injunction.
There’s some humor in this pitiful expression begging for a safe space until the scary lawyers go away. The first bit is the recent spanking New Jersey’s Attorney General received from Bumb over his threats to punt the case over her head prematurely. In his hubris, Platkin – probably at the behest of Governor Murphy – had the audacity to tell the judge to hurry things along. In short, the judge reminded Murphy’s lap-dog that the state did agree to the schedule, as well as it was the state that requested an excessive amount of more pages in their filing, about 2000 – March 7th text order.
Another humorous bit here is why does the state even need any time or pages to defend this garbage law? Everything should have been open and shut the first time they had a chance to make their case during the temporary restraining order hearing. The legislators were 1000% confident that their law was constitutional. Okay, well to quote a line from Jerry McGuire, “Show me the money.” Where’s the boat loads of evidence they had when Murphy croaked out his order from the corner of his crooked grin and had the garbage bill introduced by king flunkey Joe Danileson from the NJ Assembly? That’s because there is none.
It’s also funny that they think New Jersey’s response to the order from the high court would be thought to “comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Buren” decision.
What became rapidly and abundantly clear while reading through the schlock put out by the “Editorial Board,” they either don’t understand the NYSRPA v. Bruen decision, or they don’t care that it’s good law. It’s probably a combination of both, as the arrogance of New Jersey’s ruling class generally also blinds them into blissful ignorance. They do state with indignance Thomas just got it wrong, which is funny, given the plain terms of the Second Amendment in the first place. Why have a war over the simple and easy to understand words given to us at the time of our founding, they’d much rather pick on the fact Thomas had to explain those words nearly two and a half centuries later – to our alleged best and brightest society has to offer.
Bruen is the law of the land as far as it goes, and Judge Bumb may not defy it. But Bruen is not, or at least not yet, the Second Amendment equivalent of Near v. Minnesota, prohibiting all prior restraint and leaving abuse of the right to be deterred only by litigation after the fact. Judge Bumb retains discretion to determine how far it does go and how much freedom of judgment it leaves to state legislatures. She should note, in particular the concurring opinion of Brett Kavanaugh, joined by John Roberts, the chief justice.
This is where the Journal waivers again. They got the part right about Bumb having to follow the instructions in NYSRPA, but trying to make it sound like she has actual latitude in what manner she interprets New Jersey’s law, they are wrong. The test outlined in NYSRPA is simple. Does this infringe on the Second Amendment? If so, is there a real historical analogue from the time of our founding? Again, the state – as well as the brilliant minds on the Editorial Board from the Journal – should easily be able to point at the inconclusive evidence in short order. If it’s that obvious, show us.
Two fundamental issues remain to be addressed before Judge Bumb issues preliminary or permanent injunctions. She must answer whether the fundamental right of armed self defense is unreasonably burdened by each provision of the law. As a judge sitting in equity, she must address the public interest and ask whether making her order permanent would conduce to the overall good of the community. In this regard, the Legislature explicitly cites a compelling body of public health studies on the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.
Wrong again Editorial Board. There are no longer any interest balancing tests. That’s the fancy tap dance they just did through mitigated speech. Try again.
The United States is an outlier among modern democracies. We have 125 guns for every 100 people. Our gun homicide rate and our suicide rate are many times higher than other countries of comparable level of development.
In the next phase of the litigation it is incumbent on the state to defend New Jersey’s legislators’ right to learn from their own experience and respond in a reasoned way. One path forward is shown by the amicus brief which 15 states—including New Jersey—filed in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the comparable New York litigation Antonyuk v. Hochul. That 15 states joined in defense of New York shows that neither New Jersey nor New York is an outlier. Rather our part of the national experience demands respect as reasonable.
The 15 states muster substantial evidence that “sensitive place designations protect the public from a heightened risk of gun violence in such locations.” And that laws enacted by states to protect their residents need not be uniform: states are empowered to select “solutions to social problems that suit local needs and values,” ensuring that firearm regulations appropriately and effectively address the specific circumstances in each state.
My favorite part. I see your 15 states and raise you 10 more and counting. You see Editorial Board, there are 25 states where a permit to carry is not even required to carry a firearm. So based on that logic, New Jersey should be permitless too. Further, looking at the 43 pre-NYSRPA “shall-issue” and permitless states combined, none of their laws come even close to being as crazy as the laws just instituted in New Jersey, New York, and soon to be in California and Hawaii. There’s a clear conspiracy – potentially a 14th Amendment infringement – among some of the states to usurp the rights of the citizens, and they are both a minority and on the wrong side of history.
Here’s my Great Bambino moment for March. By the end of the year, we’ll have more than 25 states that are permitless.
We urge the attorney general to mount a rigorous defense of our elected representatives—mustering the strongest public health evidence possible of the public good to be served by reasonable limits on the time, place, and manner of possession of deadly weapons.
The Attorney General of New Jersey is floundering – as well as the attorneys representing him – at best. Urge. Beg. Grovel. Or retreat to your safe space. There’s not much he can do if the garbage Danielson law is looked at properly by the judicial branch. But I think they know that given their little freak-out session.
Judge Bumb is supposed to act on the merits of this case fairly soon. Oral arguments for a preliminary injunction are scheduled for this Friday. There’s a possibility Governor Murphy won’t find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow this Saint Paddy’s Day. Not even a four leaf clover from the time of our founding is going to help him or the state’s cause. I also doubt the New Jersey Law Journal’s plea will be heard. All they did is try to record their own delusional version of history. Too bad they lacked the fortitude to put their actual names to their handiwork. I don’t blame them – I wouldn’t want my name attached to such garbage.
We’ll be following the outcome of this pending litigation and report back with any substantial findings. Stay tuned!