B.L.U.F. GOA tells the Supreme Court that the State of New York is lying directly and by omission, has misrepresented the situation and is leaving out context in some assertions of fact. Finally they point out that the “interlocutory posture” of the case is because the State of New York couldn’t wait for the case to be heard at the District Court level.
So just how fast can a case move? Good question.
Dec 21, 2022: GOA for Antonyuk files for an Emergency Application for Immediate Administrative Relief and to Vacate Stay of Preliminary Injunction Issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Dec 27, 2022: 3 business days later, Justice Sotomayor “requests” that Nigrelli et al. respond by Jan 3, 2023 1600
Jan 3, 2023 a response to application was filed by Nigrelli. It posted to the website after 1600 and it was electronically filed. Best guess is that they filed sometime after 1500.
Jan 5, 2023 GOA for Antonyuk files their reply. Less than 2 business days. It is a fun read.
The State claims that the CCIA’s purpose and scope was “to make necessary changes to the State’s firearms licensing and possession laws” after Bruen. GOA points out that no changes were necessary as the part about “proper cause” had been ruled unconstitutional and thus everything else could have stood as it was. There was no requirement for an “imporvement”.
The state also claims that Hochul’s purpose for calling a special legislative session to pass the CCIA was “to bring New York’s law into compliance with the [Bruen] decision.” Which again was not called for as just dropping the requirement for proper cause did that.
The state claims that the “interlocutory Posture” (looking into a case before the lower court(s) have made their final decisions) of GOA’s application to the Supreme Court should cause the Supreme Court to reject the pleading.
GOA points out that it is the state that messed this up. When the state decided to appeal the Temporary Injunction issued by the district court that might have been ok. But when they ran to the second circuit crying over the preliminary injunction, that was requesting that the appeals court become involved in case that was in an interlocutory posture.
GOA continues with a scathing statement of how New York passed the CCIA as a direct insult to the Supreme Court over the Bruen decision.
As this Court recently reaffirmed, “[t]he constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.’” Bruen at 2156 (quoting McDonald v. City of Chi., 561 U.S. 742, 780 (2010)). Respondents’ plea for this Court to stand down is not persuasive here, where a state has reflexively enacted a law with the express purpose of defying and challenging a recent decision of this Court.
The state claims that it is too soon for the Supreme court to weigh in on another 2A case. That the court must let 2A cases “percolate” and work out the new standard before the court accepts another 2A case.
In the states argument, they say that Bruen altered course from the Supreme Courts earlier 2A jurisprudence.
GOA replies with “Well what about Heller and McDonald, they set the correct courts but y’ll didn’t want to follow it. Bruen just clarified that there is no two step shuffle.” (Paraphrased, of course)
Or “Bruen merely reaffirmed what the Court had already decided more than a decade ago in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and McDonald, repudiating the two-step “judge-empowering ‘interest-balancing inquiry’” that the lower courts had widely adopted.” to use their own words.
In addition, GOA took a pot shot at the state calling Bruen “frontier legal problems”.
The state claims that the “status quo.” is immediately after the CCIA went into effect. GOA points out that the status quo was what was in effect until that point of time and since the CCIA became law it has had multiple injunctions placed on it, it has been off again on again and nothing is determined yet.
But that is what the state wants the court to rule is the status quo.
GOA notes that the CCIA was challenged almost as soon as it was legally permissible to do so. Since the courts can only address a conflict where the parties have standing there is no way of legally challenging a law before it takes affect.
The state claims that Antonyuk is unlikely to succeed in the case.
The state argues that Antonyuk hasn’t demonstrated that the Second Circuit clearly and demonstrably erred in issuing a stay. GOA responds with WTF did you expect us to do when they only said “h]aving weighed the applicable factors, see In re World Trade Ctr. Disaster Site Litig., 503 F.3d 167, 170 (2d Cir. 2007), we conclude that a stay pending appeal is warranted.”
Requiring applicants to mount a robust legal challenge to an opinion that does not exist would merely incentivize lower courts to provide no analysis and justification whatsoever for their decisions in situations like this. On the contrary, it is the lower court’s lack of any analysis supporting its stay that represents error.
Part of what is going on is that New York State told the Second Circuit to consider “calibrating the required merits showing to the strength of the equities.” In other words, the State got the Second Circuit to use a mean-ends balancing that Bruen explicitly disallows.
GOA points out that the state didn’t actually identify any error in the district court’s analysis. The state argues that the CCI doesn’t implicate the second amendment. Because it doesn’t implicate the second amendment the state is not required to provide historical evidence supporting their law.”
The gist of the states argument is that because it is just licensing and not actually stopping people from keeping and bearing arms that there is no conflict with the second amendment.
“yes, you are allowed to have a political event in the town square. You’ll need to get a permit. You’ll have to provide a million dollars in bond in case there is violence at your event. What? Somebody else does the violence? Doesn’t matter, if you didn’t hold the event there would be no violence. And you need the permission of the mayor and the town council.”
The fact that your political event is going to be slamming on the mayor and the town council wont affect your ability to get a permit… Nope…
In addition, the state claims that “good moral character” is nothing like “good cause”. Since good moral character has been a part of many license requirements it has historical weight.
One of the things the last update mentioned was the state was arguing that one of the plaintiffs didn’t have standing because they never applied for a CCW.
The CCIA has an in person requirement. The plaintiff attempted to apply but was told that it would be more than a year before he could have an appointment to submit his application. The county official that would approve or deny the CCW application has already stated that he would act in accordance with the CCIA and deny if the plaintiff provided an incomplete application.
Big one here because we are going to see this in other states. The state argues that “good moral character” is just “ensure[s] only that those bearing arms in the jurisdiction are, in fact, ‘law-abiding, responsible citizens’…”
Since the Supreme Court has used the phrase “law-abiding, responsible citizens” the states are going to use that phrase to justify subjectively evaluating peoples right to keep and bear arms based on if the state things they are “law-abiding” and “responsible citizens”. Just how responsible is a California citizen that wants to own and carry a gun, according to their governor.
Second, Respondents claim that no “historical analysis” is necessary to defend the CCIA’s licensing provisions because “Bruen endorsed shall-issue licensing regimes” – claiming the CCIA to be such a regime. Opp. 25 (emphasis added). When this outlandish argument – that Bruen somehow “endorsed” dozens of states’ statutory schemes that were not part of the case or before the Court – was made to the district court, the court called Respondents “just disingenuous.”
The state called GOA’s claim that the CCIA made all of New York sensitive locations “hyperbole”. GOA responded to that insult with: When challenged to list the remaining places where New Yorkers could still carry firearms, Governor Hochul replied ‘probably some streets.’
GOA called out the states lie about what the CCIA does regarding making healthcare facilities gun free zones. One of the plaintiffs is a Pastor. Since the CCIA bans guns at “any location providing … chemical dependence care or services.” This means that he can’t carry in the church where he provides counseling. And if he goes someplace else and provides the same service, that place then becomes a location providing chemical dependence care or services.
The state also claims that the case is moving to fast. That they are not being given enough time to prepare and respond. GOA replies with you should have thought of that before you passed the law. You should have had all this done before the bill was even presented for signature.
And a big one, that I missed. When I read the state’s response they said the Second Circuit had decided to hear the case on an expedited basis. The actual facts are that the Second Circuit only granted expedited consideration to the states request for a stay. Not to the plaintiffs appeal. The state has actually requested an extended scheduling to draw the case out even longer.
Respondents claim that vacatur of the Second Circuit’s unreasoned stay would mean “disruption of the orderly appellate process.” Opp. at 17. On the contrary, as this Court has explained, it is the stay itself which represents “an ‘intrusion into the ordinary processes of administration and judicial review’….” Nken at 427. The fact that the Second Circuit did not see fit to provide even the briefest explanation for its “intrusion” not only causes significant irreparable harm to Applicants, but also has deprived “[t]he parties and the public [of their] entitle[ment] to both careful review and a meaningful decision….” Id.
Whereas the district court took a deliberate and systematic approach, carefully weighing each of the CCIA’s provisions under the Bruen framework, the Second Circuit applied the wrong legal standard and issued a knee-jerk conclusory opinion entirely devoid of reasoning or legal analysis. But even so, no appellate judge has suggested that the district court committed any legal error – yet the circuit court thwarted the critical protections offered by the district court’s preliminary injunction, which temporarily paused enforcement of a “patently unconstitutional” statute and would protect the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers pending a decision on the merits.
Tellingly, in spite of Respondents’ opposition, five of the nine defendants below did not object to the substance of the relief Applicants sought, and six of the nine did not appeal entry of the district court’s preliminary injunction. Moreover, even Respondents did not ask the Second Circuit to stay the district court’s entire injunction (Stay Mot. Document 18 at 13 n.5), possibly recognizing that certain portions of the CCIA are entirely indefensible.
It was error for the Second Circuit to stay the district court’s injunction. This Court should vacate that stay pending the orderly resolution of Respondents’ appeal, thereby once again making clear to New York that the Second Amendment is neither a “constitutional orphan” nor a “second-class right.”
APPLICANTS’ REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF EMERGENCY APPLICATION FOR IMMEDIATE ADMINISTRATIVE RELIEF AND TO VACATE STAY OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT