Congratulations to Dan Caulkins for getting his challenge of the PICA gun & magazine ban docketed by the US Supreme Court. Docketing is the first step to seeking certiori for SCOTUS to hear a case. Roughly 98% of the docketed cases are not accepted, but it’s the first step in that path. JB Pritzker has until December 14th to respond.
(The Center Square) – Challenges against Illinois’ gun ban continue in courts up and down the federal judiciary.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted the ban on more than 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines over certain capacities on Jan. 10. Part of the law requires grandfathered firearms to be registered with Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024. Criminal penalties could apply for those found out of compliance.
Lawsuits were filed in state and federal courts shortly after the measure was enacted. Outcomes since then range from a preliminary injunction against the law being issued in federal court being stayed, thousands of temporary restraining orders being issued in state courts being vacated, and continued filings challenging the law on Second and 14th amendment grounds among other issues.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court docketed a case brought by Illinois state Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, challenging the state’s gun and magazine ban. Separately in the Southern District of Illinois federal court Tuesday, a judge denied the state’s motion to delay responding to plaintiffs seeking an injunction against the Jan. 1 registry deadline. Also this week, a second separate motion was filed by plaintiffs out of Naperville to have the entire Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals review the case.
In the case Caulkins brought to state court earlier this year, plaintiffs received a favorable ruling against the law in Macon County. The Pritzker administration brought an appeal directly to the Illinois Supreme Court. Caulkins’ attorneys then motioned for two of the Illinois Supreme Court justices who each received $1 million in campaign contributions from Pritzker to recuse themselves in hearing the case. That was denied and in August the Illinois Supreme Court sided with the state.
In March, Pritzker said concerns of conflict of interest because of his donations to the then-candidates for the Illinois Supreme Court were “ridiculous.”
On Wednesday, Caulkins was hopeful the U.S. Supreme Court will look at the perceived conflicts and disqualify the two Illinois Supreme Court justices, which could lead to the state’s gun ban being overturned.
“This is an affront on our republican form of government, separation of powers,” Caulkins told The Center Square of the perception of a conflict of interest. “Really, that is why we took this case to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Separately, despite two of three judges from the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling the state had a likelihood of succeeding on the merits in the case, Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois and other plaintiffs motioned this week for a preliminary injunction against the Jan. 1 deadline to register banned items. On Tuesday, Southern District of Illinois Judge Stephen McGlynn denied the state’s motion to delay responding, giving a Dec. 21 date for a status hearing.