Who is San Diego U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez and why isn’t he on the Supreme Court yet?
When confronted with an idiotic law, Benitez wrote a scathingly brilliant decision. The law, voted in along with other firearms restrictions on a ballot measure, required citizens to undergo a background check simply to buy ammunition. In ruling the law unconstitutional, Judge Benitez went after the legislators, the bureaucrats, and anyone else who was responsible for bringing this nonsense into his court.
“The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” Benitez wrote in his 120-page opinion.
“Criminals, tyrants, and terrorists don’t do background checks,” he added. “The background check experiment defies common sense while unduly and severely burdening the Second Amendment rights of every responsible, gun-owning citizen desiring to lawfully buy ammunition.”
“Common sense” and “gun control” are two opposing concepts. And for those who can’t see why gun stores should even be open during the pandemic, Benitez calmly explained the reasons.
The judge said he was mindful that a majority of state voters had approved the proposition. However, at the end of the ruling he referenced both the longstanding principle that constitutional rights provide a shield from the “tyranny of the majority” and drew on the current emergency situation in the nation from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Presently, California and many other states sit in isolation under pandemic-inspired stay-at-home orders,” Benitez wrote. “Schools, parks, beaches, and countless non-essential businesses are closed. Courts are limping by while police make arrests for only the more serious crimes.
“Maintaining Second Amendment rights are especially important in times like these. Keeping vigilant is necessary in both bad times and good, for if we let these rights lapse in the good times, they might never be recovered in time to resist the next appearance of criminals, terrorists, or tyrants.”
Benitez also received some notoriety when he tossed a similar attempt at “gun control” by banning high-capacity magazines.
“The Second Amendment does not exist to protect the right to bear down pillows and foam baseball bats. It protects guns and every gun is dangerous,” Benitez wrote.
He added that if the “too lethal” standard is applied, the government may eventually decide the only guns “safe” to possess and powerful enough to provide self-defense may only hold a single round of ammunition.
Bring on the comfy chair!
The decision will be appealed and you can bet liberals will try and find a judge more in agreement with their political agenda. But Judge Benitez stands out as a no-nonsense jurist who is unafraid to interpret the law in accordance with the Constitution and not his personal beliefs.
A rare bird, indeed.