Inevitably, the courts overlook the most foundational of rights that are written in plain English — the ones that serve as the foundation of our republic. Last week, it was a state court in Washington violating the property and conscience rights of those who don’t service homosexual ceremonies. Today, it is the courts infringing upon the one right that pre-dated the Bill of Rights and is written in the most unambiguous and absolute terms: “shall not be infringed.”
As is always the case, after conservatives secured a 2-1 victory at the Fourth Circuit last year against Maryland’s “assault weapons” ban, the full en banc panel upheld the law. In a 10-4 ruling – one which was full of vengeful rhetoric over Sandy Hook and ignorance of the distinction between a machine gun and a ‘scary looking’ semi-auto — the court ruled that Maryland could ban 45 commonly held weapons as well as magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. “We have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage,” wrote a brazen Judge Robert B. King. Every Democrat appointee except for Judge William Traxler (who wrote the dissent) and one GOP appointee joined the majority opinion.The 4th Circuit used to be one of the most constitutional constructionist of the 11 circuits but the eight years of Obama have completely destroyed this court that covers the part of the nation that includes Virginia. Yesterday, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz discussed the lawless nature of the decision at the annual CPAC conference.
VSSA Life Member and Second Amendment Attorney Steve Halbrook also discussed the decision on NRATV.com on Wednesday. Halbrook said that no military in the world uses the rifles banned by Maryland; they are sporting rifles. He explained that the decision is filled with errors. There is a fundamental distinction between fully automatic and semi-automatic. Further, the en banc review abandoned strict scrutiny in favor of the intermediate scrutiny balancing test. It completely rejects the Heller decision.
Once again we see the importance of elections and why we need to get behind President Trump to undo the damage done to the lower courts in the last eight years.