Skip to comments.Washington Post: Thomas Hardiman, possible SC nominee, seen as ‘Second Amendment extremist’
Posted on 07/06/2018 12:43:22 PM PDT by Simon Green
n the wake of mass shootings that have divided the country on the issue of gun control, President Trump is considering nominating to the Supreme Court an appellate judge who has argued that Americans have a constitutional right not only to keep guns at home as the high court has ruled but also to carry them in public.
U.S. Appeals Court Judge Thomas M. Hardiman has also written that convicted criminals, including some felons, should be able to recover their right to own and carry guns, as long as their crimes were not violent.
Constitutional-law scholars and advocates on both sides of the gun debate say that Hardiman who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit and maintains chambers in Pittsburgh holds a more expansive view of the Second Amendment than the Supreme Court has articulated to date. His nomination and confirmation would push the court to the right, they say, making it more likely that justices would agree to hear cases challenging gun laws and perhaps to strike them down.
Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who has written extensively about gun laws, said that if Hardimans views were law, gun restrictions in states such as California, New York and New Jersey would be struck down, potentially leading to a vast expansion in legal gun ownership.
He believes the government has very little leeway in regulating guns. He thinks the only types of gun-control laws that are constitutionally permissible are ones that existed at the founding, said Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America. He described Hardiman as a Second Amendment extremist.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Leftist words mean nothing these days.
If one person held such weight, I’d cheer to have him on the court.
How about another E word........ Excellent!
Some one should tell the Post that the Supreme Court has already ruled that felons can own a weapon for personal defense in certain situations. In the case in question, the felon had reason to believe the police would not protect him and that his life was in danger. He was prosecuted for possessing a firearm. USSC ruled he had that right.
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (Michigan) Age: 49
Education: Boston College; University of California, Berkeley Law
Clerkships: Arthur Spiegel (Southern District of Ohio); Nathaniel Jones (6th Circuit)
Amul Thapar was Trumps second judicial nominee following the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Last May, the Senate confirmed Thapar to the 6th Circuit on party lines, by a vote of 52-44 (four Democrats abstained from voting).
Before ascending to the appeals court, he spent nearly a decade as a trial judge on the Eastern District of Kentucky. President George W. Bush nominated Thapar to that judgeship in May 2007, and he was confirmed by a voice vote in December 2007, making him the first South Asian-American federal judge and one of the youngest in the entire federal judiciary. He also volunteered to hear immigration cases during a judicial emergency in the Southern District of Texas.
Before joining the federal court, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia and in the Southern District of Ohio and later as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. He also worked in private practice in Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati, Ohio, and served as general counsel for Equalfooting.com, a business-to-business online marketplace.
In a recent Michigan Law Review article, Thapar and attorney Benjamin Beaton reviewed former 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posners new book in which Posner recommends abandoning a formalist approach in which judges rely on historical meaning, established interpretive tools, and precedent in favor of a more consequentialist, more overtly outcome-driven approach.
Thapar offers a robust defense of textualism, arguing that Posners approach would prove unworkable and unpredictable and would turn judges into policymakers, thereby violating separation of powers. He concluded the article:
Because judges are human, formalism is in a sense aspirational. As Justice Scalia admitted, the main danger in judicial interpretation of the Constitutionor, for that matter, in judicial interpretation of any lawis that the judges will mistake their own predilections for the law. Avoiding this error is the hardest part of being a conscientious judge; perhaps no conscientious judge ever succeeds entirely. But this is no basis for rejecting a formal approach to interpreting legal texts; it only heightens the need to incorporate limits, rather than license, into the judicial system. That textualism will sometimes fail to constrain judges is no reason to surrender to other interpretive approaches that, by their very design, impose fewer and less effective constraints.
Although he has only been an appeals court judge for little over a year, he wrote 36 appeals court opinions when he sat on the 6th and 11th circuits by designation, and hes written 10 published opinions since his confirmation last year. As a district court judge, Thapar published 631 ordersonly 11 of which were reversed on appeal.
Thapar appears to be a committed textualist. In Freeland v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. (2011), Thapar remanded a diversity case back to state court because it was exactly one penny short of the jurisdictional minimum of the federal courts. While admitting that this result was painfully inefficient, he said that [t]he words [amount] in controversy have to mean something and that the statutes text left no other choice.
In Duncan v. Muzyn (2018), a case dealing with how much notice the Tennessee Valley Authoritys pension board must give members before voting to approve an amendment to the plan, the board argued that it should be granted deference because its rules are ambiguous. In declining to defer to the boards interpretation, Thapar wrote:
Simply calling something ambiguous does not make it so. Indeed, determining the point at which ambiguousness constitutes an ambiguity is no easy task. Contract language is not ambiguous merely because the parties interpret it differently Rather, where, as here, one interpretation far better accounts for the language at issue, the language is not ambiguous. In terms of the First Amendment, Thapar joined the majority opinion (along with Kethledge) in Bormuth v. Jackson holding that a county boards practice of opening public meetings with a prayer by a county commissioner did not violate the Establishment Clause.
And in one of his more controversial decisions on the district court, Thapar ruled in Winter v. Wolnitzek (2016) that a number of Kentuckys judicial conduct rules prohibiting judges from making campaign contributions to others, campaigning as a member of a political organization, and making speeches for or against political organizations were unconstitutional.
There is simply no difference between saying that one supports an organization by using words and saying that one supports an organization by donating money. Put more plainly, if a candidate can speak the words I support the Democratic Party, then he must likewise be allowed to put his money where his mouth is. The 6th Circuit praised Thapars thorough and thoughtful opinion, while overruling the portion of his opinion regarding campaign contributions.
Although he spent much of his career as a federal prosecutor, as a district court judge, Thapar has on occasion ruled in favor of criminal defendants. For example, in U.S. v. Sydnor (2017), Thapar excluded inculpatory statements made by the accused that were obtained before he was given his Miranda warnings, and in U.S. v. Lee (2012), Thapar suppressed evidence that was obtained after the police tracked the defendant using a GPS tracking device without first obtaining a warrant.
And as an appellate judge, he wrote an opinion in United States v. Perkins (2018), affirming the trial judges motion to suppress evidence police obtained in a drug investigation based on an anticipatory warrant where the triggering event never happened. He wrote that the governments interpretation (which made the triggering event irrelevant to the warrant) lacks common sense, runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment, and is not simply a hypertechnicality the court should overlook.
Of the judges Trump has appointed so far, Thapar has the most extensive record of judicial service, covering a range of issues from the criminal justice system to the First Amendment. He also has close ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and rumor has it Trump interviewed Thapar for the Supreme Court seat that ultimately went to Gorsuch.
LOL...El Trumpo will get to appoint 4- judges....great group to pick from!
SCOTUS Frontrunner Raymond Kethledges Record Reveals Immigration Weakness
Yeah, but did he make long dong silver references to Anita Hill or show her a pubic hair on a coke can, cause that’s a death nell.
For the record:
Second Amendment extremist would mean he OPPOSES the Second Amendment.
“Second Amendment extremist would mean he OPPOSES the Second Amendment.”
Not to me-—it would mean hardcore supporter.
So in other words, he’d be a great pick for the Supreme Court who understands the Constitution and intent of 2A.
What part of shall not be infringed dont these troglodytes get?
Well, it’s fitting...
If you use the rhetoric of the far-left. His position simply means he believes in the Constitution. That alone deems him “extremist” to the far-left that detest the document.
What part don’t they get ? Anything that interferes with their fascist agenda.
Gee, it sure would clear things up if the Framers had been clear about "bear(ing) arms" in the Constitution. If the Second Amendment had only been more clear about keeping and bearing arms, then all this confusion could be avoided. Darn it.
“In a recent Michigan Law Review article, Thapar and attorney Benjamin Beaton reviewed former 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posners new book in which Posner recommends abandoning a formalist approach in which judges rely on historical meaning, established interpretive tools, and precedent in favor of a more consequentialist, more overtly outcome-driven approach.”
In other words, Courts should start doing what they have been doing for the past 80 years??? Making up the result and then saying it must be in the Constitution?
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