by Christopher Baker, Hawaii Defense Foundation, March 26, 2014
Since the decision a lot of people have been asking what is going on. Well, let’s try and break this down a little bit:
1.) Our decision basically rides on the Peruta v. San Diego case. That case was argued earlier in the morning than Baker was argued. Therefore, the decision in that case was released prior. Instead of writing a new decision, the (3) judge panel basically said, “Hey, look at this case – it says why Baker should win.” Our case then had its preliminary injunction vacated and remanded to the district court to be heard in light of Peruta. Remember, a preliminary injunction was us basically saying, “This is so jacked up that you should give me a carry license while we wait to figure out the merits of the case.” We still have to handle the merits. The preliminary injunction was just our first bite at the apple; sadly, it was a bite that took about 3 years to chew (It’s a really long dinner…).
2.) The Peruta case has some stuff going on with it. Basically, after San Diego lost they decided that they were no longer going to defend the matter in court. Their white flag went up and they are surrendering. The State of California Attorney General’s Office, saw this white flag, and were like, “Oh shit. An unconstitutional law needs saving!” So off they ran to the courts to ask if they can pinch hit for the San Diego Sheriff.
This had some problems, because everyone thought the game was over. So they did some voodoo magic and filed some documents asking the 9th circuit court if they can play ball. This matter is currently pending before the court and has not been ruled on.
Why do we care if the Attorney general gets a chance to swing? Well. Good question! After a 3 judge panel makes a ruling, the parties involved have an option to ask the entire court or generally a significantly larger panel, which in the 9th circuit would be 11 justices instead of 3, to rehear the case in question. This process is called en banc.
So, if that wasn’t a pain in the ass enough – if the parties involved don’t want to do this, the judges that were on the panel can do it themselves! To make it even better, judges who were not on the panel can also call for a vote. Once a vote is held or not held, then we kind of know how this will proceed.
Lastly, there are some timelines to this stuff, and a few of them are passing as we speak. The problem is that because this is such a huge cluster of crap, we don’t even think that the courts or anyone involved are 100% sure of what deadlines have passed and what is to be heard next.
3.) Just the other day in our case, Judge Alan Kay (our judge) got notice of all this stuff. He complied with the 9th Circuit and dismissed a section of the case as directed. Then, he put the State of Hawaii and the Attorney General back on legal notice that a law on the books has been implicated. This was kind of necessary, because the State and the AG previously ducked out of the suit saying they didn’t want anything to do with it. Well, now they are going to have to come back and play some ball.
4.) The future: We wait. I know. I know. And, I really hate it too! There isn’t too much to do right now. We have to see how Peruta is ultimately disposed of. If it stand, carry is a win hands down. If they start playing legal games with Peruta, we could be stayed or put on hold for a very long time. Best case scenario is we could be exercising our rights by summer time. Worst case scenario means we could be waiting a few more years for things to play out in the 9th circuit on a single case.
Lastly, I want people to know that we can still use donations. If you like the work we are doing, please help us out. Send a few bucks our way. We had to bear all the costs of that appeal, which was probably in the realm of 12k dollars. If you want to help us out, you can do so online at www.thehdf.org/donate/ or by mail at 99-040 Kauhale St. #1798, Aiea, HI 96701. If you have any questions, I’m available through e-mail at Chris@thehdf.org. If you really need me, we can talk (just shoot me an e-mail first) and I will be happy to speak with you on the phone.
Blessings to everyone! We are still fighting – 3 years strong!
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Background: Full Text: Hawaii restrictions on gun carrying held unconstitutional