The Reno Case Illustrates Judge Garland’s Danger to the Second Amendment

Judge Garland Spurns NRA Objections To Justice Department Collection Of Gun Owner Information Under Brady Act.
By Roger J. Katz, Attoney at Law and Stephen L. D’Andrilli

Firearms Gun Registration
Firearms Gun Registration
Arbalest Quarrel
Arbalest Quarrel

New York, NY  -(  President Barack Obama and those who support the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court wax poetic about Judge Garland’s many positive traits, naming among these: great intelligence, perceptive analytical ability, meticulous, methodical attention to detail when deciding a case, personal integrity, collegiality, even modesty – and so forth and so on.

But, it is most remarkable that, for all of this effulgent, indeed effusive praise, little, if anything is said by the Judge’s proponents and benefactors about the cases Judge Merrick Garland has actually decided and, too, the reasoning Judge Garland employs when deciding a case.

So, to fill in that gap, we look at a critical Second Amendment case that Judge Merrick decided as Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

A close look at that case will give both the U.S. Senate and the American public a nice snapshot of how Judge Merrick Garland, sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court as Justice Associate Justice Garland, would likely decide Second Amendment cases that come before the high Court. The U.S. Court of Appeals case that we will be looking at was decided in the first year of the twenty-first century. It is titled, National Rifle Association of America, Inc. vs. Reno, 216 F.3d 122, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 15906, 342 U.S. App. D.C. 231 (D.C. Cir. 2000).

Our analysis of this case illustrates that, while Judge Garland may be a meticulous, methodical thinker, this does not mean the Judge is not prone to errors in both law and logic. These errors are compounded by or, perhaps, due precisely to Judge Garland’s evident antipathy toward the Second Amendment. One’s philosophical bent toward the Bill of Rights does follow one – all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.



The Reno case involves the proper meaning to be given to one clause in one paragraph of one section of the Gun Control Act of 1968. The case involves, what, at first glance, may seem to be an uninteresting, arcane issue of pertaining to statutory construction.

Yet, the central theme of the case should be of concern to any American who expresses even a modicum of interest in the preserving the Second Amendment. The case pertains to criminal background checks on persons who wish to purchase firearms or ammunition.

The use of the criminal background check system devised by the Justice Department operates as an end-run around the Second Amendment because it serves to weaken the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. The argument evinced by antigun groups and by their proponents in State Legislatures, in the U.S. Congress, and in the White House is that criminal background checks simply help keep guns out of the wrong hands and do nothing to preclude the law-abiding citizen from possessing firearms.

What is left unsaid, though, is that gun background checks are often backdoor gun registration schemes or, at least, mechanisms that can evolve into gun registration schemes. This is a decidedly bad thing to countenance in a free Republic. It is just this sort of backdoor scheme that the Justice Department created when the Department promulgated rules to effectuate the instant background check program enacted by Congress in 1993. The Justice Department had no authority, though, to create what amounts to or, at least, may eventually evolve into, a hidden federal firearms’ registration program. The rules that Reno’s Justice Department created to implement Congressional legislation is cause for alarm.

Judge Merrick Garland
Judge Merrick Garland is no friend of the Second Amendment,

NRA subsequently brought action against Janet Reno, Attorney General, challenging the legality of the Justice Department’s criminal background check rules related to gun transactions. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed NRA’s Complaint against the Attorney General. NRA then appealed the adverse decision of the lower United States District Court to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The case was heard by a panel of three Judges, namely, Judges, Tatel, Garland, and Sentelle. Two of the three Judges, Tatel and Garland, ruled in favor of the Attorney General, against NRA, thereby affirming the decision of the lower Court, against NRA. Judge Tatel wrote the opinion for the majority. Judge Garland, Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court agreed with both the decision and the reasoning of Judge Tatel, thereby making Judge Tatel’s opinion essentially Judge Garland’s as well. Judge Sentelle wrote a scathing dissenting opinion.

The dissenting Judge agreed with NRA and chastised the Attorney General, Janet Reno, asserting that the national instant criminal background check system “statute establishes that Congress has unambiguously told the Attorney General that she shall not do what she is doing in the regulations.” Judges Garland and Tatel, however, disagreed, striking a blow to the Second Amendment.

Since two Judges out of three ruled in favor of Janet Reno, we are stuck with bad law.

To understand why the Justice Department’s actions do cause and should cause alarm to Americans who hold the Second Amendment sacrosanct and inviolate we need to take a look, briefly at the Gun Control Act of 1968 and to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 that amends the Gun Control Act of 1968. We do so in Part 3 of this multi-series article.

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Read Part Three

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Winston Smith

Trump,nor Cruz will destroy the Republican party. But caving on Garland most certainly will.

Winston Smith

Will not . Oops


The SCOTUS should not be politicized/

Winston Smith

Talk about “twilight zone Affirmative Action”! Because any White president would not only have been impeached by now,they would also have been on their way to Levenworth! How many high crimes and misdemeanors has Obama skated on now ? I’ve lost count. Nixon was a choirboy compared to this. Cuckservative is the only term I can use for the establishment banker rinos now.and I fear they will fold like a wet sock here now too. All because they are afraid of a word . That makes them cowards as well.

Winston Smith

I find it ironic that so many of the wonderful attributes he claims of Garland ,he himself does not share. Barrack Soetoro ,Barry ,Obama doesn’t know the fist thing about integrity. I CERTAINLY don’t think him a good judge of character on the matter. If the establishment , (traitor) republicans cave on this issue, (like all the others) they will become permanent pariahs just like their democrat friends.

Wild Bill

It is easy to figure out what is true. When Barry Soetoro says something the opposite is true.


I must admit that although some would deem him an adaquite member of the chair I would agree with those who actually read and understand the whys and wherefores of our founding fathers with their particular reverence of the ways and the means of the documents that have served us oh so well for over 200 years to date, if we focused more on actually teaching and reaching the youth of this and past generations about the making of this nation we would probably have a greater sense of patriotism and regard for our initial fundamental rights as guarenteed by… Read more »

Ron Nassif

When has Obama not received everything he ever wanted since being in office ??? The left is truly a bunch of sheep who watch to much msnbc and don’t read very much. Even when Obama was denied his Nazi gun program, he used tax payer dollars to buy all the Ammo acting like a child having a tantrum. Not one Demacrat ever identifies the problem, violent repeat offenders. No, they want to go after the person with no violent record. YOU make no sense, but that’s why we are conservative and they are liberal.

The Mechanic

URGENT! Send a message right now to pressure all Senate Republicans to oppose any Supreme Court hearings or confirmation until Obama is out of office. Link below.



Urgent call all U.S. Senators and tell them to do their damn jobs and proceed with the SCOTUS nomination. Up or down vote. Anything else is being a bunch of pussies.


They ARE doing their job. Nothing in the Constitution says they have to do anything with a POTUS nominee. POTUS has done his part, and the Senate has every right to sit on their hands and thumb their noses at him. It’s called limited government and checks and balances.

News flash: The government is not supposed to function smoothly. Contention and gridlock were built into it. If you don’t like that, move to somewhere in Europe where everyone is in lock step with each other.

Wild Bill

Like I am going to make a long distance call, just to do your bidding. JohnC, you can not manipulate anyone on this site. Everyone is on to you.


Like it or not, any judge that has demonstrated his or her disdain for the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, has already disqualified himself from the Supreme Court, or any other court for that matter. If you don’t stand with the “Supreme Law of the Land”, how can you be trusted to decide any case of law?


Its quite sad that the Republican Party is continuing its tactic of obstructionism. That is an immature way of governing. Bring him up for a vote. Recommend someone else. BUT DO SOMETHING THAT RESEMBLES GOVERNING!


Sorry terdog but you are playing directly into the hands of the progressives. The republicans are not being obstructive, although I am sure that you are perceiving it that way. What they are doing is well within the ‘letter of the law’ in denying an overt attempt by the current ‘administration’ to slide in yet another judge who cannot (or will not) rule based on law and facts. We have seen repeated evidence how this particular SCOTUS leans, and it is not to the benefit of We the People. Sometimes NOT doing what TPTB want truly IS governing. Could they… Read more »


Please read the Constitution the Senate is still trying to ADVISE the President
There is no time limit on their advice.
After all they did advise him not to send the guy up.


The Republicans are losing moderates votes daily. You are right.


Very few people in this country understand that Senator Thomas Dodd Democrat from CN used the Nazi weapons act of 1939 as the basis for the GCA of 1968. As a matter of history, the two are practically word for word the same. Source Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Please download their video “Innocence Betrayed.”

Wild Bill

Hey, I bought that book from JPFO! They lay out both the german statute and the GCA, and they are nearly word for word when the German is translated. One of the best purchases I ever made.