It is important to understand how the courts are structured in the US to understand when and where cases are filed.
There are the state courts along with a bunch of administrative courts, such as bankruptcy court, tax court, and EPA court. The administrative courts are some of the worse because the entire court is paid for by the agency that they are judging for. Just how often do you hear that an IRS hired, paid and compensated judge rules against the IRS?
The state courts lead upwards to the state supreme court. In some situations cases can be moved from the state court system to the federal court system for appeals.
Court cases are expensive. Even if your lawyers work for you it is expensive and most lawyers that do second amendment work are very expensive. Think $1000/hour upwards.
The different organizations need to be selective in how they spend their money. Given that the states have unlimited funds to fight a case it doesn’t cost them anything extra to delay and to have another hearing or require another filing or to have the case go to a different court.
Part of the reason that nobody showed up for the Miller case was that the original lawyers were no longer being paid. Miller, the defendant, had won on appeal and been set free. Nobody expected the government to appeal to the Supreme court. By the time that the case was appealed, the original lawyers were no longer interested and Miller was missing. Many presumed he was dead.
Cases get heard by the Supreme court if they are “important” or if there are multiple differing rulings from the different circuit courts. Thus, if the fifth circuit court hears a Texas case and decides that a restraining order or court order making you a prohibited person is unconstitutional and the ninth circuit court hears a California case and decides that the same law is constitutional then that conflict makes it more likely that the Supreme Court will accept the case.
This goes back to the American system of “Common Law”. Laws are applied in common across all jurisdictions and all people. If something is unconstitutional in Texas it should also be unconstitutional in California as well. Since the circuit courts are considered equal, when there is conflicting opinions at the circuit court level the Supreme Court needs to step in to clarify.
So we can take a look at the cases that are of interest to us right now.
Nothing is happening right now in the first circuit court area. ME and NH are pro-gun, MA, RI and CT are anti-gun. It is a 50/50 guess which way the first circuit will go but I’d bet on following Heller, McDonald, and Bruen.
In the second circuit court we have the New York CCIA. This is getting lots of attention and at the district level the state is losing. There are two cases moving forward. One being heard by judge Suddaby and the other by judge Sentra, JR. The second circuit court is as anti-gun as it gets. I fully expect them to rule that the CCI is constitutional on appeal.
In the third circuit court we have lawsuits coming out of NJ. The third is a little more pro-gun than the second but not by much. We’ve not heard decisions out of the district courts yet so we don’t know how the states will react and how the circuit court will respond.
In the forth circuit court we have a lawsuit against the MD AWB and standard magazine capacity bans. The forth is more pro-gun with WV, VA, NC, SC being pro-gun and only MD being anti-gun.
I don’t know of anything happening in the DC circuit court, at this time.
The fifth circuit court is hearing an appeal from the State of Texas defending an anti-gun law. The fifth is likely to side with the district court and rule against Texas. There have been a couple of articles saying that it is likely Texas appealed in order to lose at the circuit court level.
In the sixth circuit court there are some lawsuits coming out of MI.
I don’t know of anything coming in the seventh, eighth, tenth, or eleventh circuit court.
Which leaves that ninth circus court.
The ninth circuit court is famous for having the most decisions overturned by the Supreme court. They get it wrong 80% of the time when a case gets to the Supreme Court. Only the sixth circuit has a higher overturn rate at 82%. The ninth circuit court is also the largest court. It has 16 Democratic appointed and 13 Republican appointed with one pending.
The ninth circuit court had multiple cases remanded to them after the Bruen decision. Instead of just doing the right thing they remanded those cases back down to the district level where they are being heard.
While OR horrible measure 114 is highly likely to be found unconstitutional at the Supreme court level, it is likely to win at the district and circuit level. Since there are already multiple cases in the ninth circuit court it is not a good case for the national organizations to take up.
In addition, the district court hearing the California cases is very much an originalist. He wrote his last decision before Bruen and in it quoted Heller. That opinion was nearly as good as Thomas’.
There is more happening behind the scenes, I’m sure. But for now we have more than a few cases being tracked and mostly wins for us.