Moore v. Harper is a case that was just heard by the Supreme Court regarding who has authority over regulations for federal elections.
The Elections Clause requires state legislatures specifically to perform the federal function of prescribing regulations for federal elections. States lack the authority to restrict the legislatures’ substantive discretion when performing this federal function.
As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 78, the scope of legislative authority is governed by the commission under
which it is exercised. Here, that commission is contained in the United States Constitution, and it is federal law alone that places substantive restrictions on state legislatures performing the tasks assigned them by the federal Constitution. The most prominent discussion of the Elections Clause in the early republic occurred during Massachusetts’ 1820 Constitutional Convention.
— David H Thompson, Esq. Before the Supreme Court
This is of interest in terms of gun rights because the court is being asked to look at the intent of the Constitution, as written and when the bill of rights was ratified, 1791.
START OF QUOTE
Justice Kavanaugh: What about the historical practice over time, which has certainly developed in a way that state constitutions do regulate federal elections? What weight, if any, do we place on that?
Also, there are some federal statutes as well that are cited by the other side. I just want to make sure you’ve had a chance to
talk about those as well. So the —
Mr Thompson: Yeah.
Justice Kavanaugh: — historical practice in the states and those federal statutes.
Mr. Thompson: Your Honor, we think the way to think about this is consistent with the Court’s opinion in Bruen last term where it looked very focused on the time of the founding, 1791, obviously, we’re looking for the public meaning of the Constitution. As that founding generation passes away, Adams and Jefferson die on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, as we get out of the 1820s, there’s very limited information you can get as to the original public meaning of the Constitution.
But — so it can be a confirming — that subsequent history as in Bruen can be a confirming historical tradition that — that — but it can’t undermine what the text and the founding era history show to be the case.
Justice Kavanaugh: Thank you.
END OF QUOTE
This is great news for gun rights. This is another place where the Supreme court gets to say “Text, History and Tradition at the time of the ratification of the bill of rights.”
The key to this is that when the 14th amendment was ratified it did not change the meaning or understanding of the Bill Of Rights or the Constitution, it merely stated that the protections guaranteed under the Constitution extended to each Citizen and could not be violated by state law.
This case also means that more and more judges and courts will become better informed about how to use “Text, History and Tradition” of the constitution.
In Oregon we had some good news. Not great but good. As we’ve discussed in the past the way that cases proceed is through a a case being seen in a inferior court and then appealed upwards. There are two paths, the state and the federal paths. Under the state path there is the lower court, then the appeals court and then the State Supreme Court and finally the Supreme Court of the United States.
Under the federal path there is the District court and above them is a circuit court of appeals and above that is the US Supreme Court.
In Oregon the Oregon Firearms Federation and Gun Owners of America had filed suit in federal district court. In the US district court, Judge Karin Immergut denied the request by OFF to place a injunction on measure 114, or at least parts of it. OFF and GOA, having been around the block a few times, had also filed suit in state court.
Judge Raschio of the state lower court did grant the injunction. The DoJ of Oregon requested an expedited/emergency judgement on that ruling (A mandamus petition). The Oregon Supreme court heard and answered. They upheld the injunction put in place by Judge Raschio.
Upon consideration by the court.
Relators petition for a writ of mandamus is denied. Relators’ motion to stay the circuit court’s order dated December 6, 2022, which temporarily restrained defendants and defendants’ agents from enforcing Ballot Measure 114 (2022), as of 12:01 am. on December 8, 2022, is dismissed as moot.
This order is issued without prejudice as to the filing of any future petition for a ‘writ of mandamus or other motion in this court by any party in relation to any other rulings in the underlying proceeding.
— Signed Martha L Walters Chief Justice, Supreme Court [of Oregon]
IANAL so have no idea why it is dismissed as moot, just that it was.
Good things this way come.