B.L.U.F. We previously wrote about how a single judge wrote a few terrible opinions. We now look at how he is using those same arguments in current cases, post Bruen.

More History

In 2019, the Seventh Circuit heard the case of Wilson v. Cook County, 937 F.3d 1028 (7th Cir. 2019). This was a case filed by Matthew Wilson challenging Cook County’s AW/LCM ban. Matt had been filing challenges since 2009.

None of his challenges got anywhere.

In the same vain, he lost at the district level as well but appealed to the Seventh Circuit court. There it was heard on April 4, 2019, and the court issued their opinion on August 29, 2019.

PER CURIAM. Two Cook County residents appeal the dismissal of their complaint, which raises a Second Amendment challenge to Cook County’s ban on assault rifles and large-capacity magazines. Less than five years ago, we upheld a materially indistinguishable ordinance against a Second Amendment challenge. See Friedman v. City of Highland Park, 784 F.3d 406 (7th Cir. 2015). The district court dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint on the basis of Friedman. We agree with the district court that Friedman is controlling. Because the plaintiffs have not come forward with a compelling reason to revisit our previous decision, we affirm the judgment of the district court.
Wilson v. Cook County, 937 F. 3d 1028 (Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit 2019)

Here the Seventh Circuit Court says, “Hey, nothing has really changed, we are going to stick with what we ruled last time.”

As part of their analysis, they show that they have fully adopted the two-step shuffle of means-end.

… If, however, the government cannot meet this burden, then the court must “inquir[e] into the strength of the government’s justification for restricting or regulating the exercise of Second Amendment rights.” The rigor of this inquiry “will depend on how close the law comes to the core of the Second Amendment right and the severity of the law’s burden on the right.” “[A] severe burden on the core Second Amendment right of armed self-defense will require an extremely strong public-interest justification and a close fit between the government’s means and its end.” However, …
Id. at 1032

Internal citations removed. The Court is quoting themselves, where they described how they were going to decide the constitutionality of a regulation. This is where they explicitly say to use means-end. Figure out how much Mrs. Jones was raped, and then decide if it really needs to stop, or not.

The case they are citing to is: Rhonda Ezell V. City of Chicago, 651 F.3d 684 (court.appeals 2011)

After the Court affirmed the District Court’s dismissal, they appealed to the Supreme Court. This was one of the cases in which the Second Amendment had strong hopes that the Supreme Court would hear the case and slap down the inferior courts.

The Petition for writ of Certiorari was filed in November 2019. It was distributed for Conference on March 6, May 1, May 15, May 21, May 28, Jun 4, and Jun 11. On Jun 15, 2020, the petition was denied with no opinion issued.

What this meant was that Friedman v. City of Highland Park, Illinois, 784 F. 3d 406 (Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit 2015) as confirmed by Wilson v. Cook County, 937 F. 3d 1028 (Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit 2019) was good law in the Seventh Circuit Court and those cases could be cited favorably by the infringers throughout the country.

The Present

In January 2023, Caleb Barnett et al. filed suit in the District Court in the Southern District of Illinois challenging the state’s, “Protect Illinois Communities Act” (PICA). They used Heller, Caetano, and Bruen as their reason. If you are talking about a firearms ban, if that ban is of an arm in common use, then the ban is unconstitutional. All of this was laid out in Heller and affirmed in McDonald and Bruen

On April 28, 2023, Judge Stephen P. McGlynn authored a beautiful opinion stacking out exactly how post Bruen cases should be decided. He found for the Plaintiffs (Good Guys). Barnett v Raoul, Illinois AWB/LCM bans Good news and issued an injunction stopping the AW/LCM ban.

The state can’t afford a single loose at this point. They quickly appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court, requesting a stay.

On May 4th, 2023, the Seventh Circuit Court issued a stay on the injunction.

Because the AWB is a possession ban, the Illinois State Police issued an advisement that anybody who purchased an “assault weapon” during the freedom week was now in violation of the law.

The Stay

The motion for a stay of the district court’s preliminary injunction is GRANTED, pending further order of the court. Any response to the motion for a stay must be received by the close of business on May 9, 2023. Any response should discuss the bearing of Friedman v. Highland Park, 784 F.3d 406 (7th Cir. 2015), and Wilson v. Cook County, 937 F.3d 1028 (7th Cir. 2019), in addition to any other matters the appellees deem pertinent.
Caleb Barnett v. Kwame Raoul, 23-1825, (7th Cir. May 04, 2023) ECF No. 9

Over in the Third Circuit Court, they heard a case asking if Kolbe was still good law. We are still waiting on their opinion. It is likely that they will find that Kolbe is no longer good law, at which point they will vacate the District Court’s findings and remand it back. This will add 8 to 12 months before the Maryland AW/LCM ban is overturned.

In this case, the Seventh is asking if Friedman is still good law. On its face, it should be obvious that it is not. It was very much about means-end. Why is the court asking this?

Maybe this is a clue? Before FRANK H. EASTERBROOK, Circuit JudgeId. If that name is familiar, thank you, it means you read my last two articles. Bad Judges Continue to Make Bad Opinions is about the McDonald opinion, authored by Judge Easterbrook. Bad Judge Writes More Bad Opinions — UPDATED is about the Friedman opinion, also authored by Judge Easterbrook.

It is almost as if this Judge wants these people to tell him what a good opinion he wrote.

The issue is that Friedman and before it McDonald were part of the case law that Bruen refuted. It should be as easy as saying “Go read Bruen!”. It is unlikely to go that way. This judge is very anti-Second Amendment.

Yesterday, May 9, 2023, at close of business, was the last time for the appellees (Good Guys) to reply. They have filed their responses, and we now await the Court’s response.

Meanwhile, there is an emergency petition before the Supreme Court regarding an N.D. Ill. case where the District denied the injunction and the Seventh agreed with the District Court. The briefing to Just Barrett was due on May 8, 2023. We should hear from her shortly.

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By awa

3 thoughts on “Bad Judge Wants to Write More Bad Opinions”
  1. I remember during my schooling lawyers and judges would talk about the legacy they wanted to leave behind and what precedents they had set or dreamed of one day setting.

    Your point about the judge wanting everyone to look at the proverbial dump he took on the carpet and say how good it is seems pretty spot on.

    Now the question remains are these judges bought and paid for or are they actually true believers in this.

    1. I always hope for “true believer.” They may be wrong, but in my opinion being corrupt is worse.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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