First of all, if you didn’t attend the court session then you missed a very interesting hearing and fun luncheon hosted by Calguns. We had the privilege of hearing both Paul Clement and Alan Gura (the rock star of the 2nd amendment) plea their cases in front of a 3 judge panel that seemed somewhat sympathetic to our cause.
None of the legal beagles tried to speculate after the hearing on what the rulings would be, so the following is purely my novice view. Since I am no expert this could be a very biased and wrong view of the potential outcome. So it is purely my feelings from what I saw and heard.
First of all of our lawyers kicked ass. One of the judges was interested in how Heller and McDonald addressed the fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self defense outside of ones home. Gura answered this clearly by sighting statements in both rulings that supported the right outside the home. Another judge was hung up on the standard of review to use.
Gura handled this well by saying any standard would come to the same conclusion that the denial of CCW based on a just cause of self defense was unconstitutional because it denies the fundamental right. However he would prefer strict scrutiny.
The third judge kept coming back to the issue that Sacramento County modified their “just cause” approach to comply with the constitution and wondered why Yolo County and Sacramento County had not.
The lawyers for the government were in a tough state because they were outgunned by much stronger arguments by the real experts. They all basically admitted that the right does probably exist outside of ones home but all tried to argue in one way or another the government’s need to severely limit the right (essential ban) outweighed the peoples right. This argument failed in Heller and McDonald so I don’t know why it would work here.
They all tried to imply or state categorically that the fundamental right changes (essentially goes away) when one leaves their home. I believe one of the judges asked if there were any other fundamental rights we have that behave that way. On top of that, the lawyer for Yolo County grossly misstated the law in California, claiming we can open carry loaded guns almost anywhere in California except sensitive places which was most everywhere people live and work and drive. The government’s lawyers did not serve the anti rights folks well. (Yea!)
My conclusion is that we win. Slam Dunk! (Unless reason is abandoned for some sinister agenda which was not displayed in the court.)
Alan Gura’s oral arguments. Brilliant!!!