If the name Rickey Kanter isn’t familiar to you, here’s a quick refresher. Kanter was convicted of one count of mail fraud for selling shoe inserts that he falsely claimed were Medicaid compliant. After serving a year in federal prison, Kanter sued to have his right to keep and bear arms restored, and then-Judge Amy Coney Barrett agreed with him when the case came before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals back in 2019.
During her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Barrett called the case one of the most important in her career, even though she was on the losing side of the 2-1 decision that denied Kanter the relief he sought. Barrett had argued that a felony conviction alone isn’t enough reason to deprive someone of their right to keep and bear arms, and that an examination of the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment shows us that the proper standard should be one of “dangerousness.”
While Barrett may not have won the legal argument with her colleagues, the attention that she gave to Kanter’s case apparently caught President Donald Trump’s eye, because on Wednesday Rickey Kanter received a full presidential pardon, restoring his Second Amendment rights in the process.
Mr. Kanter was the owner and CEO of Dr. Comfort, a company which manufactures special shoes and inserts for diabetics. Although there was no evidence that Dr. Comfort’s customers were ever harmed by the company’s shoe inserts, the company and Mr. Kanter settled claims in civil court regarding shoe inserts that were technically non-compliant with Medicare regulations. It was only after this point when the Federal Government filed a criminal action against Mr. Kanter. Mr. Kanter pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and completed his sentence of one year and one day in 2012. Since his period of incarceration, Mr. Kanter has been a model member of his community.
There’s no way to know for sure whether Barrett’s opinion in the case and the attention she gave it during her confirmation hearings were the impetus for Trump’s pardon, but over at Reason, law professor Josh Blackmon spotted something interesting about the White House’s description of Kanter’s case.
the pardon statement for Kanter was missing something: almost every other pardon statement indicated who supported the pardon. For example:
- President Trump granted a full pardon to James Kassouf. This pardon is supported by former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Representative David Joyce, Representative Darrell Issa, Pastor Darrell Scott, and many friends in Northeast Ohio.
- President Trump granted a full pardon to Christopher Wade. Wade’s pardon is supported by Isaac Perlmutter, Mark Templeton, and numerous current and former law-enforcement officials.
- President Trump granted John Tate and Jesse Benton full pardons. This action is supported by Senator Rand Paul and Lee Goodman, former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission
But Kanter’s pardon did not indicate who supported it. Only three other pardon statements did not indicate support. And all of them were obvious political allies: Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and Margaret Hunter (Rep. Duncan Hunter’s wife).
Again, it’s not proof of anything, but it’s pretty interesting that Kanter received a pardon without the White House indicating the request came from any specific individuals.
With the pardon in place Kanter should soon have his Second Amendment rights restored. It may not have happened in the courts, but I do believe that justice has been done. Now if we can only get a pardon for Lil Wayne…