Bazooka Tom DeVore reached out to me today to apprise me on some good news. As a non-lawyer, I confused some of the small, but important aspects of his cases. In short, in my update published in GunNews this month, I wrote that DeVore’s cases had been stayed until the Supreme Court could evaluate the Caulkins case and issue a ruling.
The reality is MUCH brighter than that.
There is no stay. I made a mistake, largely because of confusion related to reports like this one by Greg Bishop over at The Center Square.
Illinois Supreme Courts holds appeal of DeVore gun-ban case pending outcome of Caulkins case
(The Center Square) – The Illinois Supreme Court has granted a motion to pause proceedings in a challenge of Illinois’ gun and magazine ban pending the outcome of a separate challenge before the state’s high court.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted the state’s ban on certain semi-automatic weapons and magazines Jan. 10. The law has been challenged in both federal and state courts.
One of the first state-level lawsuits came from attorney Thomas DeVore. He secured temporary restraining orders for thousands of named plaintiffs and gun stores in two cases from Effingham County and one from White County. The first case, named Accuracy Firearms v. Pritzker, was appealed by the state to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court decided the case challenging the law on equal protections was likely to advance on its merits.
Separately, a Macon County judge issued a final judgment that the law was unconstitutional based on the appeals court decision. That case was brought by state Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur. Because of the appeals court decision, the state appealed Caulkins’ case directly to the Illinois Supreme Court.
DeVore attempted to consolidate his cases with Caulkins’ case, a motion the Illinois Supreme Court denied. They are set to hear the Caulkins case in mid-May.
On March 31, the state filed an abeyance motion in the Accuracy Firearms case with the Illinois Supreme Court. The request was to hold the state’s appeal of a temporary restraining order in the DeVore case “pending the disposition” in the Caulkins case, “which is a direct appeal currently pending before this court.”
“This case, in contrast, is in a preliminary posture following the grant of a temporary restraining order … and thus the petition for leave to appeal asks this Court to decide whether respondents are likely to succeed on the merits of their challenge,” the state’s motion said. “Therefore, the disposition of Caulkins, which will decide the merits of an equal protection challenge to the Act, will determine whether respondents are likely to succeed on their similar challenge, and may obviate the need for this Court to address the questions regarding the remaining TRO elements that will be presented if the petition for leave to appeal were to be granted.”…
Tuesday, the Illinois Supreme Court granted the motion for abeyance, effectively holding off the appeal of the Effingham County TRO until the Caulkins case is resolved.
When asked about that story, Tom said the text of the story was solid, it’s just the headline was a little confusing. I’d agree on that assessment, especially for lay-persons.
The state’s appeal of the lower court ruling in his consolidated cases has been held in abeyance until the Caulkins case can be resolved. Why is the subtle difference important? Because it means Tom’s discovery process continues against Governor Pritzker, AG Kwame the not-so-Magnificent, Senate President Donnie Harmon and last but certainly not least, House Speaker Chris Welch.
So that’s the update to the Legislative Update.
Here’s the update as it went to press. Enjoy.
…Because Kwame and the guv certainly aren’t enjoying life at the moment.
(GunNews) – Litigation runs at the speed of smell on a good day. But with so many legal proceedings, we’re seeing results.
The federal court cases are all arguing on Second Amendment claims by and large.
Let’s start with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s challenge to the new Illinois Firearms Ban Act. Originally filed in state court, Kwame filed a motion to move it to federal court. Once there, Mr. AG filed yet another motion asking for a dismissal, claiming the federal court lacked jurisdiction. The federal judge wasn’t amused and threatened sanctions. So Kwame wisely withdrew the motion.
The “Big Four” group of consolidated cases in the US Southern District of Illinois Courts (that includes Guns Save Life’s case) heard oral arguments on Wednesday, April 12th. The hearing went well for our side. It could be a month before Judge Stephen McGlynn releases his decision on injunctive relief. We need that sooner rather than later.
At that April 12 hearing, Kwame was nowhere to be found, but his attorney argued relentlessly to resurrect interest-balancing, which is where the state gets to infringe upon your rights “for the greater good.” The Bruen decision from last summer was supposed to have driven a wooden stake into the heart of that argument in Second Amendment cases.
In what was supposed to be a two-hour hearing turned into closer to a 3.5-hour hearing where the state got most of the time. However that was because the judge asked a lot of pointed questions at the AG’s representative attorney. Enough that the attorney was visibly squirming and wiping sweat from his brow.
Meanwhile, the judge surely seems like a gun guy. He knew George Washington carried a .56 caliber rifle during the Revolutionary War. Heck, I didn’t even know that. McGlynn also knew what a Mossberg 590 was and that the average hunting (FUDD) shotgun holds a total of three rounds.
Be sure to see the YouTube video from Four Boxes Diner where its host discusses the transcript of the case and analyzes it. In short, the hearing went well for us.
In the Northern District, Robert Bevis of Naperville’s Law Weapons appealed that word-salad decision from the federal judge in his case on the preliminary injunction issue. That rabid anti-gun activist judge has been overturned on just about every 2A case she’s handled.
With that appeal, Mr. Bevis has landed first in front of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Without comment, they denied Bevis’ appeal on the preliminary motion for an injunction.
The state court cases brought by Dan Caulkins and Thomas DeVore are attacking the gun ban on an “Equal Protection” claim. Specifically, how the law fails to provide a reason why Paul Blart the Mall Cop gets to buy America’s favorite rifle and magazines to feed it but Navy SEALS do not. And why locksmiths and prison wardens get an exemption along with retired police, but retired military does not.
Caulkins’ case goes before the IL Supreme Court in mid May. The two new judges declined to recuse themselves despite receiving almost half of their campaign funds from the governor and the Speaker of the House – both named defendants in Caulkins’ suit. Also the 33 State’s Attorneys have filed an amicus brief in support of Caulkin’s suit.
Kwame & JB.
Meanwhile Bazooka Thomas Devore’s lawsuits were
stayed(see above) until Caulkins’ appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court is resolved. Why? Well, Kwame, Pritzker, Harmon and Welch were squirming under the discovery questions from Tom Devore as part of those lawsuits and they wanted to stop them. [Editor: they still want to stop them. Bigtime.] The big question we should all ask is “What do you have to hide, boys?”
Guns Save Life’s challenge to the FOID Act was slated for an April 19 hearing in Sangamon County Circuit Court. We thought the date quite appropriate, as the anniversary of the first day of the American Revolutionary War.
The judge in the case reportedly had a medical emergency, delaying our case to June 20th and 10:30am in Sangamon County Circuit Court. Visitors are welcome and if you would like to attend, you might get to see history in the making. I’ll probably be there with bells on.
Maybe I’ll bring a little novelty shovel to present to Kwame’s attorney.