In the case now known as “Antonyuk III” we have a number of New York residents that have challenged the New York State Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA). They are joined by a number of second amendment advocate groups, Gun Owners of America (GOA) and, IIRC, the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC).
The groups are providing the backing needed to actually carry out the lawsuit in terms of funding and lawyers. The residents are the people that are actually suing.
Ivan Antonyuk first filed suit shortly after the CCIA was signed into law. He and is fellow plaintiffs (good guys) filed their case in the Northern District of NYS where the case was assigned to Judge Suddaby. Judge Suddaby looked at the case and decided that the plaintiffs did not have standing.
From the Respondents (Defendants, bad guys) response to the Supreme Court:
But despite the absence of a live controversy, the court proceeded to render an advisory opinion describing what “would constitute the Court’s holding” on the merits if the plaintiffs were “found to, in fact, possess standing.”2 Id. at *25; see id. at *26-37. Specifically, the court stated that the CCIA was “an unconstitutional statute,” and indicated that it would have enjoined the enforcement of nearly every challenged provision of the law—including most of the licensing requirements, each of the codified sensitive locations (including schools and government buildings), and the restricted-location provision in its entirety. Id. at *26
New York state is attempting to say that they didn’t get a fair shake with Judge Suddaby because he told the plaintiffs that they would have won on the merits if they had proper standing.
The plaintiffs regrouped, add some more people and filed again. Judge Suddaby took the case back. The state argued that he should not have gotten the case back because it was a new case. Judge Suddaby told the state to suck eggs, it was the same case but with different plaintiffs who did have standing.
Having established standing, Judge Suddaby started spanking New York state. Every time he spanked them, they ran to the second circuit court to get his injunctions stayed.
In the last go round the second circuit court granted a stay pending appeal. According to the state the appeal will be heard soon but there is no promise of that and the state and circuit court can drag this out for months if not years.
The circuit court’s stated reasoning for the stay was only a few words. A sentence or two.
Having run into the stall tactics, GOA did an end run and went to the Supreme Court and asked them 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”
This was filed on December 21st, 2022. Justice Sotomayor ordered “Response to application (22A557) requested by Justice Sotomayor, due by 4 p.m. (EST), Tuesday, January 3, 2023.” This was on December 27th. This is only three days after the request for emergency relief was filed, including Christmas. Very very fast.
On January 3rd the response was filed by New York state. It runs to 43 pages. It was posted to the website after 1600.
Summary of Response
New York state is very few arguments. The first is that Judge Suddaby stepped outside of the question presented and made rulings on parts of the CCIA that were not being challenged.
The second was that Judge Suddaby granted standing when he should not. One of the plaintiffs said that he had standing because he wanted to apply for a CCW but was unwilling to supply all the invasive social information the CCIA demands. Things like social media accounts, people that live with him, multiple non family references and so forth.
Because he was unwilling to give up this information, per the CCIA, he would be denied a CCW. The state argues that because he didn’t actually apply for a CCW he doesn’t have standing. Never mind that the CCIA training requirements are so out of whack with reality that nobody is getting CCWs at this time and non are expected to be granted until sometime later this year (2023).
They claim that other parts of the CCIA can’t be challenged because of lack of standing because these CCW holders haven’t actually violated the CCIA by entering the CCIA defined gun free zones.
There is somewhere case law that says that you don’t actually have to be arrested to challenge a law. The state has turned this upside down and said the plaintiffs must break the law before they have standing. I also believe that the states says that the state must take notice of the plaintiffs breaking the law before it counts.
The state argues that the time is not ripe for the Supreme Court to take up any 2A case. They say the Supreme Court has to let the cases “percolate” so that there is a history and fact finding prior to taking up a case.
The state actually spends a fair bit of e-ink telling the court that the court won’t take up the case.
Finally, for this summary, the state argues that since the state has had a requirement for good moral character since 1913 and Bruen didn’t say anything about “good moral character” that anything the state does to determine the moral character of an applicant is allowable.