GSL’s Vice-President John Coyne told me last week that there are 14 current active lawsuits relating to Governor Pritzker’s new gun and magazine ban bill. Wow. Ol’ Bozo Bob Morgan, the State Rep. who introduced this sweeping gun ban and his merry band of gun grabbers kicked over the mother of all hornets nests.
We have more lawsuits promised too. Including “Bazooka Tom” DeVore collecting names for a third suit. At the second emergency court hearing for Mr. Devore, an attorney from DeVore’s office (Tom was in McLean County working a freedom case there) did a good job with the Illinois Attorney General’s representative who literally phoned in his testimony via “Zoom.”
That’s right. Kwame couldn’t find a single member of his staff wanting to travel down to what they perceive as “redneck” country without running water and with lots of kin of the extras from the movie Deliverance running around the place. So he phoned in the legal representation via Zoom. It gets better too.
I’ve given Mr. DeVore the “Bazooka Tom” moniker because he’s busy kicking butt and chewing bubblegum. Unfortunately for Kwame Raoul, DeVore’s fresh outta bubblegum.
DeVore ran circles around the AG’s people at the first hearing and this second hearing the AG didn’t fare much better. But at least he did keep from being heard. Read the deets from the Madison-St. Clair Record:
CARMI – Circuit judges can’t enforce constitutional requirements for passing legislation, Governor Pritzker’s lawyer told White County Circuit Judge Scott Webb at a Jan. 25 hearing for a temporary restraining order on a gun law Pritzker signed on Jan. 10.
The plaintiffs, lead by House minority leader Darren Bailey, claim House Speaker Emanuel Welch and Senate President Don Harmon violated a constitutional rule requiring three readings of a bill in each chamber.
Assistant Attorney General Darren Kinkead told Webb he couldn’t invalidate the law because Welch and Harmon certified that they abided by the rule.
Webb asked Kinkead what case says circuit courts can’t entertain egregious constitutional violations.
Webb heard an answer but citizens in the gallery didn’t, because Kinkead argued on Zoom and for the most part spoke too softly to reach the gallery.
Webb could see Kinkead‘s image on a screen in front of him, but the gallery couldn’t see the screen.
Those sections highlighted should have invalidated the AG’s testimony in my humble opinion. If the public can’t see and hear both sides of the case, that sort of defeats the whole “public” part of a public hearing.
Anyway it gets better (Oh, how I wish we had a transcript of the testimony — if someone has one they could provide to us, please do!):
Webb asked, “If the House speaker and the Senate president say they’ve read it, there’s no need to put it on the legislators’ desks?”
Kinkead said it was a good question and his voice faded away.
Webb responded, “But there’s no way to enforce it?”
Webb listened and said, “You are saying there’s no way to enforce the three readings doctrine?”
He listened again and said, “The way this was done concerns me greatly.”
Webb said Welch and Harmon pulled the plug on House Bill 5855 and put the number on their bill.
He told Kinkead, “This is different from the cases you gave me and the cases I’ve read.”
“They played fast and loose. That’s egregious,” he said.
“What if the speaker and the president certify something that never happened?” Webb asked.
“Who challenges that and how is it challenged?” he added.
“You’re asking me to say as long as those two sign off on it, I can’t do anything about it,” Webb continued.
“They’re untouchable,” he concluded.
It goes on like this for paragraph after paragraph.
And concludes with this:
On rebuttal Drew said, “If a majority agree to violate the constitution, they say there is nothing else to do. Where else do you go?”
Webb took it under advisement and hadn’t ruled as of late Friday afternoon.
“Where else do you go?”
I’ll say it: armed insurrection (and not the “Jan. 6th” kind) and eventually civil war. We fought a Revolutionary War over taxation without representation. Where else does “legislation without representation” go if the legislature does its thing without input from the people and nobody holds them accountable?
Dan Caulkins’ lawsuit in Macon County.
A few days ago we mentioned that State Rep. Dan Caulkins decided to organize a similar lawsuit to DeVore’s in Macon County. We were told that Mr. DeVore graciously allowed a Macon County counselor to use much of the “guts” of the complaint in a Macon County filing. Caulkins and his local attorney friend filed a suit last Thursday, but they didn’t list the hundreds of individuals who signed on as “individual plaintiffs.”
That caused some consternation from some. Well, more than a little and accusations that it was a scam have travelled the world faster than the truth could put on his pants.
I talked with Dan about it today.
Frankly, I agree with Caulkins and his attorney friend: folks who sign on as individual plaintiffs could be forced to sit through a deposition at some point if this thing goes to trial. Yes every single one of them. Hundreds and hundreds of them. I’m not sure Tom DeVore has enough attorney friends to sit through even two hours per person for depositions. Maybe he knows something I don’t (and I’m sure that’s the case as he’s a practicing lawyer and I’m only about as knowledgeable about the law as Kwame Raoul).
Dan didn’t want to mention that possibility of the individual plaintiffs getting deposition subpoenas publicly but I assured him that the AG’s office isn’t that stupid. The AG’s office has the resources to certainly threaten to pull that off. Do these individuals know what it would be like to get deposed?
That’s right: Cory Tolka, Daniel Dolan, Darren Casey, David Bowling, Don Nugent, Edward Frye, Jeremy Logan, Leo Carlson-Tessler, Michael Luff, Michael Ostrenga, Michael Visco, Richard Martin and all 1700 other plaintiffs on the second lawsuit and the 866 on the first one.
Let me share with you my latest deposition experience in Guns Save Life’s facial challenge against the FOID Act. Suffice it to say it proved a very unpleasant experience. As in I’d rather go to the dentist and get cavities filled, get a colonoscopy and a prostate exam all on the same day rather than do that double-deposition day again. It finally happened on November 1st after two years of delays (in part because Kwame’s top notch staff opened a phishing email and their entire server was encrypted with ransomware one night, including their notes from the case along with emails).
On that fateful day I seem to recall we had four attorneys from the AG’s office sitting in and I only had our attorney present with me and half my brain tied behind my back at times, all via Zoom.
For almost five hours, I endured a pair of depositions where the AG grilled me trying to undermine GSL’s standing for the lawsuit and my standing as an individual from within GSL. As part of depo-prep, the State of Illinois demanded:
- All communications I’ve had including social media postings about the litigation.
- Documents relating to my “purported” membership in GSL.
- Documents to support my position as executive director of GSL.
- Documents related to my FOID card.
- Photographs of each and every firearm I keep in the home for self-defense.
- For all of the above referenced firearms, copies of owners manuals of said firearms, bill of sale or receipt for purchase, all documents related to the transfer of said firearm as well as documents (that’s spelled ‘photographs’ if you don’t have purchase paperwork) to show each firearm’s serial number, make, model and year purchased.
- For each locking or lockable storage container, a copy of the owners’ manual, bill of sale, receipt or other documents related to the purchase or transfer of said container, as well as documents to show the make, model, year purchase along with pictures of said containers.
- All documents I have about gun safety around children.
- All communications I’ve had with others outside of counsel about the case. (Yes, this post would count…)
Roughly two hundred pages of transcribed testimony and five hours of my life I’ll never get back and it was over.
So, ladies and gentlemen on Tom DeVore’s lawsuits as individual plaintiffs, I think it reasonable to believe that you are exposed to this sort of deposition demand from the defendants in the suit, including the Governor, the AG, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House.
So to protect his plaintiffs, Dan said they formed a non-incorporated “association” – which is perfectly legal and legally recognized under Illinois law – where the members could share the benefits of a successful lawsuit without exposing themselves to depositional hell like I went through. And five hours of grilling from a team of AG attorneys is… unpleasant. I think I’d rather go on a date with Kathleen Willis, the cat lady.
What else happened this weekend?
Well, I processed another $1940 in checks for the legal defense fund. Remarkable since we’ve actively told people to donate directly to the two primary funds. I’ll just say that there will be a post tomorrow about the historic and exceptional action the Guns Save Life Board of Directors took last Thursday at the board meeting. You’ll be proud of us for good reason.
In the meantime, if you’re anywhere near the I-80 corridor, we have a meeting Sunday late afternoon at the Park Forest American Legion Post 1198 in Chicago Heights. Join us. Dinner and convo start around 4:15 or so, and the program starts at 5:30.
The incredible Brian Smith, the nationally known firearms instructor, will serve as our main speaker. That alone is worth the trip.
Yours truly will share my Executive Director’s Report, including some stuff I won’t put in print and so much more.
Our monthly “gun” will be a SCCY 9mm pistol, new in box. Perfect for a backup in the pocket or for the glovebox if you live, work and park in fairly secure locations or as a throwdown. Oh wait, we can’t do that because it has a serial number.
Tell your friends to visit GunsSaveLife.com for the latest on our efforts to kick Kwame’s teeth in during court proceedings.