New York – -(AmmoLand.com)-
“It is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or of any number of men, at the entering into society to renounce their essential natural rights.” ~ Samuel Adams, American Statesman, and Founding Father
Once the U.S. Supreme Court published the Bruen decision, the Hochul Government, anticipating the decision, was prepared for it. It had been prepared for the Bruen decision for months.
The State Senate in Albany quickly enacted amendments to its Gun Law, designed to operate in defiance of the rulings and to further constrain exercise of the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Governor Hochul immediately signed the amendments into law.
Holders of valid New York concealed handgun carry licensees reviewed the amendments as quickly as Hochul had signed them into law. They were not amused. And they were the first out of the gate, in any jurisdiction, to challenge the constitutionality of those lengthy amendments to the New York Gun Law, which, as a body, were referred to as the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” (“CCIA”).
The Bruen decision came down on June 23, 2022. Hochul signed the CCIA into law on July 1, 2022. And Plaintiffs filed their case, Antonyuk vs. Bruen (Antonyuk I), on July 11, 2022.
Since then, both Antonyuk I and a plethora of other cases wended their way through New York’s Federal Courts. But none are more important than that first case, as it is the first one to make its way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the first one to receive a response from the U.S. Supreme Court since its rulings in NYSRPA vs. Bruen.
After the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York dismissed Antonyuk I, without prejudice, Plaintiff Ivan Antonyuk and other holders of valid New York handgun carry licenses filed a new case on September 20, 2022 (Antonyuk II). That case was recaptioned Antonyuk vs. Hochul. And, after the Court dismissed Hochul as a Party Defendant, and, after a new Superintendent of the New York State Police, Steven Nigrelli, took over from the previous Superintendent of the New York State Police, Kevin Bruen, the Plaintiffs’ recaptioned the case, Antonyuk vs. Nigrelli.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York granted the Plaintiffs’ Preliminary Injunction, staying the execution of Hochul’s CCIA on November 7, 2022.
One day later, coincidentally, the date of the Midterm Elections, November 8, 2022, the New York Government filed its Motion to the U.S. Court of Appeals, seeking relief from the PI, and the Second Circuit granted the relief the Government sought, on November 15, 2022, staying the PI, allowing execution of the CCIA during the pendency of the merits of the PI. Four days later, the Plaintiffs, NY concealed handgun carry licensees, filed their own response to the lifting of the Stay.
After the Second Circuit issued its ruling reversing the District’s granting of the Plaintiffs’ Preliminary Injunction. The Second Circuit modified its order minimally. The PI remained, stayed. See the Arbalest Quarrel article, posted on December 14, 2022, for details.
The Plaintiffs appealed the Second Circuit’s ruling, requesting relief from the U.S. Supreme Court.
As pointed out by John Crump, in an article posted on AmmoLand News on December 28, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court, on December 27, 2022, demanded a response from the Second Circuit.
Justice Sotomayor issued a short “request.” Note: the term ‘request’ means the High Court isn’t ordering Hochul’s Government to respond to the Plaintiff’s Application for Relief, but a “request,” having been made, obviously encourages the Government to respond.
Sotomayor’s directive reads:
“Response to application (22A557) requested by Justice Sotomayor, due by 4 p.m. (EST), Tuesday, January 3, 2023.”
Sotomayor’s Order is in reference to the Plaintiffs’ filing of December 21, 2022, titled,
“Emergency Application For Immediate Administrative Relief And To Vacate Stay Of Preliminary Injunction Issued By The United States Court Of Appeals For The Second Circuit.”
In their filing, the Plaintiffs assert,
“Without providing any analysis or explanation, the Second Circuit has stayed a preliminary injunction issued by a federal district court in New York that was carefully designed to limit New York’s enforcement of a sweeping gun control statute, enacted as retaliation against New York gun owners for having prevailed in this Court’s decision in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022). The district court’s injunction was supported by a detailed 184-page opinion, meticulously tailored to follow this Court’s framework established in Bruen. In contrast, the Second Circuit’s stay pending appeal was issued based only on a single conclusory assertion, yet with the effect of indefinitely suspending the protections afforded New Yorkers by the Second Amendment and affirmed by this Court in Bruen. The Second Circuit’s stay should be vacated in order to uphold the right of New Yorkers to keep and bear arms, as well as to vindicate the authority of this Court over the circuit courts.
The key to the Plaintiffs’ argument supporting relief from the Second Circuit’s perfunctory decision is the lack of reasoning of the Second Circuit for overriding the District Court’s analysis of the “Four-Factor” test, and the High Court is requesting the Government, and, obliquely, the Second Circuit itself, for an explanation of its reasoning behind the lifting of the PI stay of execution of the CCIA.
In its comprehensive Opinion, the District Court determined the Plaintiff Handgun Licensees proved that awarding the PI is warranted.
The U.S. Supreme Court is of course well versed in the District Court’s comprehensive rulings, supporting its granting of Plaintiffs’ PI. And the High Court is well aware of the Second Circuit’s curt reversal of the lower Court’s decision.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s unusual “request,” directed to the New York Government, is also aimed at the Second Circuit. The High Court is asking the Government, essentially a surrogate for the Second Circuit, here, to explain why the District Court’s comprehensive, logical, rational opinion, supporting its granting of the Preliminary Injunction, should be considered erroneous.
Since the Second Circuit’s reversal of the District Court’s well-reasoned opinion granting the PI, is cryptic or, otherwise, meaningless, the U.S. Supreme Court has asked the Government to step in and explain why the U.S. District Court’s granting of the PI, staying enforcement of the CCIA should not be reinstated.
This request mirrors the Plaintiffs’ Application to the Second Circuit, requesting an explanation for its curt reversal of the District Court’s granting of the Plaintiffs’ PI, sans any reason for lifting the Stay of the CCIA, imposed by the District Court.
See our article titled, “New York’s Gun Law: A History Of & Present Status Of The Antonyuk Case,” posted on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News, posted on December 28, 2022.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York issued a Preliminary Injunction against enforcement of the CCIA because,
- The Plaintiff handgun licensees are likely to succeed on the merits.
- The Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury absent a stay of the CCIA.
- The Government is unlikely to incur substantial injury through a stay of enforcement of the CCIA during the review of the merits of the Plaintiff’s case against the New York Government.
- The public interest is so great and so grave that enforcement of the Government’s CCIA should be stayed pending the resolution of the Plaintiffs’ Preliminary Injunction.
That the Second Circuit lifted the stay not only allows enforcement of the CCIA, before the merits of the case are decided but disturbingly suggests the Second Circuit will ultimately find for the Government. This means, at first glance, at least, that the Second Circuit won’t issue a permanent injunction against enforcement of the CCIA but will find the CCIA constitutional when it isn’t. But this is unlikely. We explain why in a subsequent article.
One thing is clear. The New York Government, and, by extension, the Second Circuit—one through weak argument, and the second through a lame judicial order—have admitted they detest the Second Amendment, are contemptuous of Bruen.
And both the Government and the Second Circuit are behind the eight-ball now.
The U.S. Supreme Court knows there is no logical and legal reason to allow enforcement of an unconstitutional gun law. And the High Court is nudging the Government to admit that fact.
The Government need not respond to Justice Sotomayor’s unusual directive, as it is a “request” not an order. But, obviously, Justice Sotomayor has encouraged the Government to respond, as failure to respond serves as a silent affirmation of the unconstitutionality of the CCIA.
We consider in our next article the options open to the Government and the ramifications of their action, or non-action. The New York Government’s response…
About The Arbalest Quarrel:
Arbalest Group created `The Arbalest Quarrel’ website for a special purpose. That purpose is to educate the American public about recent Federal and State firearms control legislation. No other website, to our knowledge, provides as deep an analysis or as thorough an analysis. Arbalest Group offers this information free.
For more information, visit: www.arbalestquarrel.com.