The Supreme Court as composed April 10, 2017, to July 31, 2018.
Credit: Franz Jantzen, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States
New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- We’ve looked at the bad news from 2018 a lot, especially given the loss of the House, which means that a nightmare will run the House Judiciary Committee for at least the next two years. But while there are some significant threats, there are also some big pieces of good news we can take from 2018.
One of the biggest silver linings is the control of the Senate not only stayed in GOP hands, but it has also increased by two seats. The judicial nominations that have been cruising the last two years will continue at this point. This is crucial as the judges could eventually lead to overturning onerous gun laws in states like California and New York.
The increased control of the Senate also provides a bulwark against any gun control laws that emerge from the House. How much of a bulwark? Even Susan Collins of Maine, arguably the most moderate Republican in the Senate, has been on record voting against gun bans and the rest of the Bloomberg-Schumer-Feinstein agenda. She’s at worst a very solid vote on Second Amendment issues.
This provides a devastating 1-2 punch against those trying to take away our Second Amendment rights. New federal legislation will go nowhere, and there will be more judges who understand the meaning of “shall not be infringed.”
Another more long-term silver lining is in Illinois. Yes, it looks as if onerous gun laws will likely be rammed through. However, Illinois resides in the Seventh Circuit, and this is where we could very well see a challenge to a semi-auto ban force its way to the Supreme Court.
Here’s how: In the Ninth and Fourth Circuits, panel decisions that struck down anti-Second Amendment laws were overturned in en banc hearings. In the Ninth Circuit, it meant a larger panel, while in the Fourth, it was the entire court. Both were dominated by anti-gun judges. The terrain in the Seventh Circuit is much friendlier.
Of the 11 active judges on that court, nine were appointed by Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, or President Trump. The three senior judges include one Ford appointee and two Reagan appointees. There is a very good chance that the en banc panel could very well uphold a ruling that shoots down a semi-auto ban on Second Amendment grounds, creating a circuit split. That split would force the Supreme Court to take up the case.
With the current line-up of the Supreme Court, there is a very good chance that the resulting decision would strike down a semi-auto ban and therefore place the Second Amendment on a much stronger legal footing. It’s a bit of a gamble, but President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have been a well-oiled machine on judicial nominations, and by the time such a case reaches, we could see a court more decisively shifted in favor of the Second Amendment.
One other silver lining over the long term will be that a Democratic House will shake some Second Amendment supporters out of their post-2016 complacency. The fact is, complacency is one of the biggest threats we have to our Second Amendment rights. We never could just let the politicians and NRA do it on their own – they need constant back-up from we the people.
We can mourn the losses and missed opportunities of 2018, but let’s also look at some of the good news that came from these midterms. Then get ready for 2020.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.