Yesterday was the oral arguments in Sangamon County Circuit Court over Guns Save Life’s challenge to the FOID statute.  A statute which we see as patently unconstitutional because, as we all know, there were no FOID cards in 1791 to own firearms or ammunition.

I was unable to attend as I was running behind on GunNews.  Way behind.  Sorry, put family largely first over the whole Father’s Day weekend.  Monster trucks on Saturday (spoiler: the motocross riders were more impressive by an order of magnitude) and daddy things on Sunday.

Enough with that.

Our attorneys send me a synopsis of what happened.

It was a summary-judgement argument in our FOID case Guns Save Life v. Kelly (Kelly was the previous director of the Illinois State Police back in 2019 when the case was originally filed).

Judge Maurer, our original judge has been replaced.  We’re guessing it was for health reasons (which is why we missed our original April court date).

Judge Ascher heard the case.  Both sides presented oral arguments.  The judge asked zero questions.

Let me repeat that:  The judge asked zero questions.

Both sides were asked to submit proposed orders – basically doing the judge’s work for him – in three weeks (21 days).

My hot take:  I don’t know Judge Ascher from a can of paint.  I suspect he was unhappy with getting assigned this hot potato.  Judge Maurer is, I’ve been told, a gun owning conservative-leaning fellow.  Judge Ascher?  Dunno.  Maybe I’ll get a mystery call from a relative that will help me assess his pedigree.

I suspect that given he asked zero questions, that suggests to me that he had zero interest in this whole issue.  The last thing he wanted was to inherit a case that would burden him with a bunch of evening work writing a decision.  Heck, he probably didn’t even want to read the briefs in the case, much less have to write a hundred page decision.

So he had both sides write proposed orders and he’s going to do minimal work and issue a decision he knows will be appealed on up the food chain.

In short, he doesn’t care and has better things to do.

It wouldn’t surprise me if he thought to himself he would rather play a couple of rounds of golf than read these briefs and write a decision in a civil rights lawsuit.

Because make no mistake, this is a potential landmark civil rights case.

Mary Miller shared this…


Thank you Mary.  You’re way too kind.

Were you there?  Please, by all means, share your hot take in comments!


10 thoughts on “GSL’s FOID CHALLENGE: Summary of the Court hearing… and hot take”
  1. I went down to Springfield Tuesday morning to observe the oral arguments in the GSL FOID case. There were four observers in the chamber’s gallery, and a 5th individual taking detailed notes. Sound quality in the gallery was so-so. Sound was not electrically amplified, so the names of the involved parties, and some of the comments made were not clearly heard by me, as speech was directed to the bench. Hopefully what I write is mostly correct. We were expecting Judge Maurer, but we drew a new judge – Jennifer M. Ascher, Associate Judge, District 4, Circuit 7. When discussing her assignment to this case with the parties, I thought I heard Judge Ascher say that Judge Maurer would not be hearing this case in the future. Judge Ascher came to the bench in 2016, w/ attorney practice history in family law. I was there early and sat through her first hearing of the day, which was a child support case (her wheelhouse I surmise based on her history).

    The GSL FOID case was her second case of the day. There were 2 lawyers for each side. One of our lawyers was local, the other flew in to St. Louis, and drove up this morning. Out of the gate, Judge Ascher offered the option of granting a continuance if either of the parties asked for it, in case the parties needed time to prepare their arguments for a new Judge. Neither side wished to take up the continuance option.

    Our Lawyer who flew-in that morning presented the arguments. Both sides used last year’s NYSRPA v. Bruen decision to bolster their arguments. The State team used Bruen decision footnotes to show that the FOID law is constitutional and complies with Bruen. As an example, the State cited this excerpt from Bruen’s footnote 9: “Rather, it appears that these shall-issue regimes, which often require applicants to undergo a background check or pass a firearms safety course, are designed to ensure only that those bearing arms in the jurisdiction are, in fact, “law-abiding, responsible citizens.””. The State position is since a FOID card is “shall issue”, and based on successfully passing background checks, the FOID card program complies with the Bruen decision. There were several rounds of arguments and rebuttals.

    Not sure at all if the Judge was understanding any of the argument fine points of law that day. Indeed, the Judge DID NOT ask any questions. Going in, both sides had originally requested a summary judgement. Judge Ascher said she would not grant a summary judgement. Judge Ascher said she will be taking her decision “under advisement”.

    After both sides had rested, initially Judge Ascher asked both parties to submit a proposed Order of Judgement, for her consideration within 14 days. Upon realization that a 14 day time frame put the due date squarely within the 4th of July Holiday, a 21 day period was suggested. When approved by all, Judge Ascher ordered both parties to submit their proposed “Order of Judgement” for the Judge’s consideration within 21 days. She said she would then issue her “Ruling”. There was no time frame mentioned as to when her “Ruling” would be issued.

    The FOID hearing lasted approx. 45 minutes. about the same length of time as the prior child support case hearing.

    1. “Judge Ascher said she will be taking her decision “under advisement”.” SOOO this fine family court judge’s decision will be based on “advisement”, in “real-speak” (aka: truth) that definition is: she needs to be told what her position will be before she has her clerks write out her decision for her.
      Is this another “bought and paid for” jelly-belly prikster judge? Would that “surprise” anybody with normal common American sense?

  2. Bound to be appealed either way. I doubt this judge is looking to set any groundbreaking precedent, nor even cares one way or another.

  3. Any possibility Judge Maurer was purposely removed because he is too pro-gun?
    Wouldn’t put anything past the leftists running Illannoy.

    1. He’s in a wheelchair. I suspect he’s got some health issues related to that. I won’t go any further down that rabbit hole. I don’t envy people confined to wheelchairs. A lot of bad things happen over time.

  4. Why is it that every time I have a bit of confidence in a judge that judge gets replaced by someone who is out to ruin my life? The judge I liked was going to “move my divorce along so that both parties could get on with their lives”. The only moving along was done by him. Judge number 2 wanted me to know that he had plans to go to his daughter’s volleyball game at 4 pm and he wasn’t going to miss it. I was to return in one month and answer questions from both lawyers. One month later my lawyer advised me not to ask if his daughter won her game. I think she could tell that my sarcasm would be rather obvious.

    1. That is the Marxist agenda for you, remove judges that will uphold Constitutional muster to destroy regular citizens faith in judiciary and justice to destroy America’s founding beliefs.

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