In June of 2021 the Hon. Roger T. Benitez ruled on the Miller v. Bonta in the California Assault Weapons Ban (AWCA). In his ruling he eviscerated the state of California. He ruled that AWCA was unconstitutional. Either this ruling or one of his other rulings resulted in “Freedom Week” when 10s of thousands of standard capacity magazines flowed into California.
Of course the state of California appealed the case. It was heard by a panel of 3 judges of the 9th circuit court. The three judges upheld Benitez’s ruling. Everybody involved knew that the state would appeal again for the case to be heard by a full panel instead of just the three judges.
One of the judges on the 3 member panel went so far as to write the ruling of the en blanc panel. Basically saying that the full circuit court would find for the AWCA.
He was right. Miller then appealed to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court did not grant certiorari but did not deny it either. It was put on hold pending the Bruen opinion. This was done for a number of cases. In addition a number of cases at the circuit court and district court levels were put on hold pending SCOTUS ruling.
Bruen was decided on a Thursday and on the following Monday the court “granted certiorari, vacated the judgement, and remanded back to the circuit court” (GVR) a number of cases, including Miller v Bonta.
At this point the 9th Circuit Court should have ruled that the AWCA was unconstitutional and the case would be done. They could, instead, have punted it down to a 3 judge panel. The thing that would take the most time was what they chose to do. The remanded the case back to the district court for Benitez to rule again in light of Bruen.
This is absolutely ridiculous as Benitez’s original ruling is directly in line with Bruen. Regardless, this is just a delay tactic on the part of the 9th Circuit.
Judge Benitez was read. According to reports he had his order ready to go out on August 2nd and released it on Aug 8th.
Pursuant to the decision of the court of appeals vacating and remanding the case to this court, both parties are ordered to file briefs addressing New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass ‘n, Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S._ (June 23, 2022), and to do so withing twenty days of the date of this Order.
— Case No.: 19-cv-1537-BEN (JLB) via FPC
This means that the parties must respond by the 28th of August. This is blazingly fast for the US court system. It would not surprise me if Benitez has his ruling out before the end of the year.
At that point the state of california has to make a decision on whether they will appeal the ruling. My bet is that they will not.
If they appeal and lose the 9th Circuit will have to rule and they will have to follow the Bruen decision. If the 9th Circuit Rules that AWCA is unconstitutional that means all such weapons bans will be overturned within the 9th Circuit. I.e. any district judge can look at an AWB and rule it unconstitutional and appeals are unlikely to be granted.
If on the other hand they do not appeal then Benitez’s ruling in Miller only applies to California.
We’ve seen this happen in a couple of other cases over the years where the states have taken an “L” rather than allowing presidence to be set.