I’ve said it many times that the most liberal court in all of America has to be the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in California. Over the past decade, they have often ruled more on personal agenda than on law and the Constitution. That’s why I was so surprised to see their latest ruling on California’s conceal carry law.
To obtain a conceal carry permit in California, a person has to apply to their local county. In order for the county to grant their permit, the individual must show good cause to carry a concealed weapon and must be a person of good moral character.
In 2009, Edward Peruta was denied a conceal permit by San Diego County because he did not provide the county with sufficient good cause. Peruta filed a lawsuit, challenging the legality of the good cause requirement, claiming it was in violation of the Second Amendment rights to bear arms.
Peruta’s lawsuit made it all the way to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who issued a 2-1 ruling in favor of Peruta. They said that the state of California was wrong to require a person to show just cause in order to obtain a conceal carry permit. They referred to the 2008 Supreme Court case involving a Washington DC ban on handguns as part of the reason for their decision.
Writing for the majority rule, Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote:
“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense.”
The dissenting vote came from Judge Sidney Thomas who wrote:
“It limits the risk to public safety by reducing the number of guns in public circulation, but allows those who will most likely need to defend themselves in public to carry a handgun.”
My question to Judge Thomas is how does anyone know when they will find themselves in a situation where it is necessary to defend themselves? What about the people that are victims of muggings or random gang attacks? What about women who are sexually assaulted? Did they know in advance that they were going to be attacked and would need a gun to defend themselves?
To me, it is obvious by Thomas’s statement that he ruled purely on personal agenda instead of on the Second Amendment. He doesn’t want guns in public and that was the basis for his ruling in the case. When judges begin to rule on personal agenda and feelings rather than on the law and the Constitution, they need to be immediately removed from the bench and replaced with someone who will. The problem is everyone thinks they are appointed for life and they’re not. Article 3, Section 1 of the US Constitution says:
“The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour…”
When judges rule on agenda rather than law, they are no longer in good behavior and therefore should be removed from the bench. If only we could get Congress to act on this, it might make a big difference on how judges rule on matters in the future.