The Ninth Circuit has a tendency to assign similar cases to the same judge. Many other circuits don’t do things quite the same way the Ninth does, however. It actually makes sense, though, because that judge is already up to speed on the issue, which is infinitely more efficient than bouncing around between judges and them having to start from scratch each and every time.
This isn’t a new thing in the court.
However, it’s now a problem.
Lawyers for Attorney General Xavier Becerra, facing another lawsuit from gun rights groups in San Diego federal court over firearms laws, are formally objecting to the case being heard by the same judge who twice before struck down state gun regulations.
In a document filed on Thursday, state lawyers opposed assigning the lawsuit to U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez. The suit was filed by more than a dozen individuals and groups including the San Diego County Gun Owners PAC, Firearms Policy Coalition, and the Second Amendment Foundation.
Benitez has issued rulings striking down the laws banning high capacity ammunition magazines and requiring background checks for people buying ammunition in the past two years. He is also now hearing two other cases from Second Amendment advocates, one dealing with the state’s assault weapons regulatory scheme and another on the ban on billy clubs and blackjacks.
While cases are randomly assigned to federal court judges, under a local court rule so-called “related cases” can be heard by the same judge. After ruling on the large capacity magazine case initially, the three other lawsuits were sent to Benitez under the local court rule.
Gun control groups have chafed under that, however, and noted that San Diego’s rule is faulty because, unlike some other federal courts, it does not specifically allow for the other side in a lawsuit to object when a case is deemed related.
Except, that’s not really the problem.
No, the problem is that Judge Benitez has gone against them in the past and will likely go against them in the future. If he sided with Becerra’s position, this would be a non-issue as far as the attorney general was concerned and we all know it.
What Becerra is really doing is throwing a temper tantrum because Benitez isn’t letting him have his way. Becerra wants gun control so badly that he can taste it, but Benitez continues to have the annoying habit of siding with the Second Amendment, and that’s where the real issue is.
Frankly, anyone with half a brain can see it.
Keep in mind, this isn’t some brand new rule. It’s been in place for a while and on a plethora of other subjects, it’s never been an issue. It wasn’t an issue when the Ninth Circuit kept killing lawsuits seeking to repeal unconstitutional gun control laws. It was all good back then.
It’s only now that they’re in the hands of someone who actually believes the Second Amendment means what it says that we’re seeing an issue from people like Becerra.
Funny how that works out, isn’t it?