SDCA Senior Judge Roger Benitez, a George W Bush appointee, has ruled that California's assault-weapons ban violates the 2nd Amendment:
The state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court, the judge wrote.
Judge Roger T. Benitez, who has favored pro-gun groups in past rulings, described the AR-15 rifle, used in many of the nation's deadliest mass shootings, as an ideal weapon.
"Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment," he wrote in Friday's decision.
"Yet, the State of California makes it a crime to have an AR15 type rifle," Benitez continued. "Therefore, this Court declares the California statutes to be unconstitutional."
What a novel theory: other states allow this thing, so California must also. And yet I would bet you an entire dollar that Judge Benitez would disagree with his own theory as regards, say, marijuana or abortions.
The hypocrisy of Republicans on this issue is a lot like their hypocrisy on many others: what they want, others must have; what they don't want, no one else can have. The Federal government can't tell states they have to allow abortions, but they can tell states they can't ban the causes of the biggest health crisis in America since the invention of the automobile.
Benitez' opinion opens with a lengthy argument that the AR-15, a weapon designed specifically to allow American infantry to kill lots of people as reliably and as easily as possible, really isn't as deadly as someone's hands (no, really, footnote 3 on page 3). But really, he goes on, the term "assault weapon" is too broadly defined to be useful, but even if the AR-15 is an assault rifle, "like all guns, [it] can be used for ill or for good" (at 8).
Judge Benitez does not elaborate on the good that an AR-15 can do.
Naturally his opinion quotes dissents from Thomas, Scalia, and Kavanaugh quite a bit. For non-lawyers, quoting a dissent usually signals that the judge knows he's on the wrong side of precedent, but hopes that he can create new precedent if the case goes all the way up on appeal. He also spends a lot of time on Heller, which, I'm sure even casual Daily Parker readers know, I think was wrongly decided and has caused no end of suffering all over the US.
I expect it will. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will probably overturn Benitez, as I would guess they have done on many previous occasions. I have little doubt that our hyper-politicized Supreme Court will grant certiorari, and if so, probably reverse the appellate court.
I'm sick of my country's gun fetish. And assholes like Judge Benitez, who proudly say "there's no way to prevent this" in the only country where this regularly happens.