NY Judge: The Second Amendment Doesn't Exist Here

AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File

There's been a case in New York that I should have been following more closely. Dexter Taylor was a hobby gunsmith. He liked the nature of putting together guns from lawfully purchased parts.


However, the state of New York disapproved of this pastime. They arrested Taylor and, on Monday, he was convicted.

My friend Jeff Charles over at our sister site RedState has been covering this case pretty much from the jump, and in his story from Monday about the sentencing, there was something we had to talk about.

You see, the judge in the case has decided that a certain right of interest to Bearing Arms readers doesn't actually exist in her state.

From the beginning of Taylor’s trial, it was evident that the court would be biased against the defendant, according to [Taylor's attorney, Vinoo] Varghese, who explained that two judges presided over his case before the current official, Judge Abena Darkeh, took over.

The judge disrupted Varghese’s opening statement multiple times as he tried to set the stage for Taylor’s defense. Even further, she admonished the defense to refrain from mentioning the Second Amendment during the trial. Varghese told RedState:

She told us, ‘Do not bring the Second Amendment into this courtroom. It doesn’t exist here. So you can’t argue Second Amendment. This is New York.'

Varghese said he had filed the appropriate paperwork to “preserve these arguments for appeal” but that the judge "rejected these arguments, and she went out of her way to limit me.”


The Second Amendment doesn't exist there? Excuse the hell out of me?

"This is New York?"

This just smacks of "the Aloha spirit" nonsense where some parties seem to think that the Constitution doesn't actually apply because they really, really don't like it.

Is the judge in this case, Judge Abena Darkeh, suggesting that the Second Amendment doesn't apply anywhere she doesn't approve? What other rights don't exist in New York under Judge Darkeh's paradigm? Do defendants not have the right to representation? Is free speech non-existent?

Oh, one might make the case that I'm being ridiculous, but I don't think I am. Not based on Darkeh's other actions.

Varghese also tries to take a jury nullification approach. Jury nullification basically means you convince the jury that while a crime might have occurred, the law in question is the real problem. It's rare, but it's still a thing. Judges aren't supposed to encourage it, but they're not supposed to stop it.

Yet Judge Darkeh did just that. She reportedly warned jurors in such a way as to suggest they could face consequences if they didn't vote to convict.


So, basically, it feels like Taylor got railroaded and that Darkeh doesn't actually think people have rights unless she, personally, approves of them.

Yet that's not how rights work. They exist even if they're inconvenient. They exist even if you don't approve of how they're used.

Varghese says he tried to preserve Darkeh's comments for appeal and was stymied. However, her comments should still be on the record somewhere. If not, her attitude should be clear from the transcripts.

But either way, Darkeh makes it clear that at least some jurists in New York really don't think the Second Amendment applies in either their courtroom or the state as a whole.

It's time they're disabused of that notion by higher courts.

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