By Dean Weingarten
Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- It has been seven months since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to settle the two Second Amendment cases before the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, respectively.
The Ninth Circuit case, Elizabeth Nesbitt, et al v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al, was sent to mediation, for settlement on March 3rd.
The 9th Circuit case was ready for oral argument on March 6. But on March 2, the Corps filed a request to remove the oral argument from the calendar and to put the case into mediation. The motion explained: “The Army Corps of Engineers is reconsidering the firearms policy challenged in this case, as well as plaintiffs’ requests for permission to carry firearms on Army Corps property. This reconsideration has the potential to fully resolve plaintiffs’ objections.”
The Eleventh Circuit case, GeorgiaCarry.Org, Inc., et al v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al, quickly followed on March 7th.
That indicated a Trump administration willingness to reform the Corps of Engineers regulations to allow for the exercise of Second Amendment rights on land managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The way seemed clear for a quick resolution. A U.S. Government defendant in a Constitutional rights case, does not agree to go to mediation on a whim. Not when they have been vigorously fighting the cases for years. I suspect the Corps is finding ways to drag out the mediation process, hoping that the President Trump administration will go away. Here is what has happened in the Ninth Circuit mediation. The Eleventh Circuit case is still in mediation as well.
The reversal of the Army Corps of Engineers on the exercise of the Second Amendment seemed to be a welcome result of President Trump being elected. Unfortunately, the mediation process has been taking months. There have been six mediation conferences over the last seven months. Settlements can take time to work out. I hope the Army Corps of Engineers is acting in good faith. I have seen too many cases where bureaucrats use process to slow down a policy change they do not agree with.
President Trump has had several successes in reversing the Obama administration's use of executive power to extra-constitutionally implement policy. Reforming the blatant refusal of the Army Corps of Engineers to recognize the Second Amendment should be easier. The Army Corps of Engineers is part of the Army.
President Trump has a lot on his plate. President Trump is also the Commander in Chief. The Army Corps of Engineers Commander, Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite, is a holdover from the Obama administration. He works directly for President Trump.
Requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to respect the exercise of Second Amendment rights is something that President Trump can legitimately require. President Trump and General Semonite both took oaths to protect and defend the Constituion of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
This should be a case of the Trump administration using executive power to protect and defend the Constitution. General Semonite should get on board.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.