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mustang454
02-01-2010, 7:31 PM
http://www.jpfo.org/kirby/kirby-nra-elbows-way.htm

The NRA elbows its way into
the McDonald Case
By Kirby Ferris
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.

Copyright JPFO 2010




One wonders if NRA members should be proud of their organization’s apparent newfound fiduciary conservatism. The so-called “premier” gun rights organization has now managed to finagle its way into the spotlight after someone else’s sweat and money rented the hall, built the stage, and set up the sound system.

NRA lawyers are now second guessing pro-gun lawyer Alan Gura’s expertise. And this, after Gura masterminded and navigated the vitally crucial landmark Heller case to a victorious decision in favor of the Second Amendment.

The NRA’s leadership must have looked at each other and realized that (coming so close on the coat tails of Heller) McDonald actually had a good chance at victory. I can just hear them clinking their drinks in toast and chuckling: “Gura will likely win this one too. Let’s get on board now!”

All that might not be so bad, but look who the NRA has hired as their head counsel in this wedge into McDonald: Paul Clement, the very attorney who advocated against our gun rights in Heller!

That’s right, Clement led the federal government’s charge to protect the Washington D.C. ban on handgun ownership!

Here are some of Paul Clements espousals during Heller. These are from Clement’s oral arguments to SCOTUS and from the written brief filed in the case. He penned or uttered these little nuggets of liberty loving patriotism.

“In our view it makes a world of difference, Justice Ginsburg, because we certainly take the position, as we have since consistently since 2001, that the Federal firearm statutes can be defended as constitutional, and that would be consistent with this kind of intermediate scrutiny standard that we propose.”

Oh yeah?

Now take a look at this one:

“The Second Amendment talks about "the right to bear arms", not just "a right to bear arms". And that preexisting always coexisted with reasonable regulations of firearms.”

Don’t you love the word “reasonable”? It sound so…so reasonable! Unfortunately what Clement is talking about here is a ban on the possession of a handgun in your own home for your own self defense!

And here’s an intriguingly slippery one for you:

“Absolutely, Justice Ginsburg, and just... I mean, to give you a clear example, we would take the position that the kind of plastic guns or guns that are specifically designed to evade metal detectors that are prohibited by Federal law are not "arms" within the meaning of the Second Amendment and are not protected at all.”

Hmmm…. Very lawyerly. I’m not going to comment on that one. Just read it a couple of times for your own smell test.

And now a couple of tidbits from Paul Clement’s written brief in Heller:

"Given the unquestionable threat to public safety that unrestricted private firearm possession would entail, various categories of firearm-related regulations are permitted by the Second Amendment."

How does “shall not be infringed” somehow sneak past this guy’s obviously impressive intellect?

Some icing on the cake:

“Nothing in the Second Amendment, properly understood -- and certainly no principle necessary to decide this case — calls for invalidation of numerous federal laws regulating firearms.”

Oh boy…

Yes, friends, this is the man the NRA has hired to defend your gun rights in the unbelievably crucial McDonald vs. The City of Chicago case.

This is the same NRA that still believes the BATFE has a warm and fuzzy place in our lives. See: "NRA Letter"

This is also the same NRA that has not called for the completed destruction of “gun control” laws. And it’s the same NRA that does not appear to have a problem with Nazi “gun control” laws used as a basis for “The Gun Control Act of 1968”. See: this handbill and see also: the film "No Guns for Negroes".

In a recent JPFO alert article I speculated on what might knock McDonald off the rails. See: "Will Your Gun Rights Live or Die?" This present turn of events should certainly not deter our fears. JPFO is not alone in our concern with this NRA/Clement issue. See: this Cato @ Liberty article.


Paul Clement is like a shark who just tried to bite our legs off. And now the NRA has crashed the pool party and tossed him in with us! Is it “hire a crook to catch a crook” logic? How can Clement’s oral arguments in the upcoming McDonald case possibly be all that effective? Those nine Justices (four of whom are obviously anti-gun Liberals) might truly wonder to themselves: “Hey! This guy was here about a year ago and argued the exact opposite of what we’re hearing now!”

Hey NRA, do you call that good legal strategy? And more importantly: Do you really want a McDonald victory?

adamsreeftank
02-01-2010, 7:42 PM
The NRA - doing it's best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
:mad:

bwiese
02-01-2010, 7:44 PM
The criticisms have some measure of correctness, but they are reduced coming from JPFO.

Again I note this drama about Clement emerged from one person in ILA and not NRA itself, and other NRA legal staff were apparently not consulted.

mblat
02-01-2010, 8:05 PM
The criticisms have some measure of correctness, but they are reduced coming from JPFO.

Again I note this drama about Clement emerged from one person in ILA and not NRA itself, and other NRA legal staff were apparently not consulted.

Please, Bill..... Is that "person" fired? Reprimanded? NRA defends his :rolleyes: decision. Based on public reaction coming from NRA they are perfectly fine with it.

BTW: I am NRA life member and BIG NRA supporter. But when they ****ed up they ****ed up.

yellowfin
02-01-2010, 8:05 PM
Can the other NRA legal staff take action against this accordingly?

PORCH
02-01-2010, 8:11 PM
The criticisms have some measure of correctness, but they are reduced coming from JPFO.

Can you elaborate Bill?

7x57
02-01-2010, 8:14 PM
Can you elaborate Bill?

Pedantically speaking, how would one "elaborate Bill"? :D

I'm pretty sure his point is along the lines of the JPFO not being exactly the most strategically wise organization around, so their opinion on The Right Way does not carry much weight.

One cannot, however, fault them in any way for enthusiasm. :eek:

7x57

bwiese
02-01-2010, 8:20 PM
Can you elaborate Bill?

Generally other gun groups (GOA, GOC, etc) like to pile on the NRA for entirely bogus reasons (fundraising, separate agendas, or just to make noise) with bogus logical support.

A perfect example is how the GOA lied and falsely called the NICS Improvement Act the "Veterans Disarmanent Act" - when it was a very strategic response to the VA Tech tragedy and actually opened up avenues to cleaning up veterans' records to allow firearms ownership.

In this particular case I don't think anywhere near the whole NRA acted on this particular aspect - as nearly as we can tell ILA's Chris Cox went solo re: Clement. I do hope & believe some internal things may happen to somewhat 'fix' the issue - NRA Board members have become aware not just from grassroots but from legal blogs and other communications.

The good news: we're gonna win Chicago, and nicely. I'm just hoping Clement doesn't get us in a situation due to former issues in Heller where some future issues we can win become diluted. I do think there's a chance that can be managed.

The organizational issue is separate and in some ways worse --- we ended up hiring a guy that moved against gun rights and the NRA: so much so, in fact, Vice President Cheney had to write an (excellent, pro-gun) separate-from-Administration brief in opposition to the Solicitor General's (Clement's). We strive here in California to stop both antigunners and those wearing pro-gun hats but working against us/using our platform for separate political agendas... I'd've hoped our good "California solidarity model" would be relevant On High.

dantodd
02-01-2010, 8:27 PM
The good news: we're gonna win Chicago, and nicely. I'm just hoping Clement doesn't get us in a situation due to former issues in Heller where some future issues we can win become diluted. I do think there's a chance that can be managed.

"can be managed" is the best news I've heard all day.

mblat
02-01-2010, 8:35 PM
Bill got banned? What for?

PORCH
02-01-2010, 8:37 PM
Generally other gun groups (GOA, GOC, etc) like to pile on the NRA for entirely bogus reasons (fundraising, separate agendas, or just to make noise) with bogus logical support.

A perfect example is how the GOA lied and falsely called the NICS Improvement Act the "Veterans Disarmanent Act" - when it was a very strategic response to the VA Tech tragedy and actually opened up avenues to cleaning up veterans' records to allow firearms ownership.

In this particular case I don't think anywhere near the whole NRA acted on this particular aspect - as nearly as we can tell ILA's Chris Cox went solo re: Clement. I do hope & believe some internal things may happen to somewhat 'fix' the issue - NRA Board members have become aware not just from grassroots but from legal blogs and other communications.

The good news: we're gonna win Chicago, and nicely. I'm just hoping Clement doesn't get us in a situation due to former issues in Heller where some future issues we can win become diluted. I do think there's a chance that can be managed.

The organizational issue is separate and in some ways worse --- we ended up hiring a guy that moved against gun rights and the NRA: so much so, in fact, Vice President Cheney had to write an (excellent, pro-gun) separate-from-Administration brief in opposition to the Solicitor General's (Clement's). We strive here in California to stop both antigunners and those wearing pro-gun hats but working against us/using our platform for separate political agendas... I'd've hoped our good "California solidarity model" would be relevant On High.


Thanks for the quick answer. That's what I was looking for.

PORCH
02-01-2010, 8:39 PM
Bill got banned? What for?

Hmmm? I bet it was just some kind of accident.

SLYoteBoy
02-01-2010, 8:44 PM
just noticed that also

dantodd
02-01-2010, 9:12 PM
Wouldn't be the first time. Kestryll is on the board of CGF but runs CGN as his own forum, being on the board of CGF doesn't prevent Kes from banning you.

k1dude
02-01-2010, 9:16 PM
Perhaps Clement was hired by the NRA to keep him from being hired by the anti's. A defensive move?

dantodd
02-01-2010, 9:53 PM
Perhaps Clement was hired by the NRA to keep him from being hired by the anti's. A defensive move?

He's working pro bono. While it might be nice to suggest that LCAV or The Brady Campaign or some other group is paying him to sabotage McDonald I believe that ignorance on the part of Cox or simply believing he's a "good guy" because he's part of the same insiders' circle is more likely than any sort of malice. That is not to say that I don't believe there needs to be repercussions for such an idiotic move. There should and the NRA ILA can find a better leader in the wake of this.

As for Clement's motivation? I don't know, perhaps he feels he owes gunnies something for trying to screw us in Heller, or perhaps he is just trying to re-write his participation in the fight from being on the wrong-side to being on the right-side when history looks back at this important time in Civil Rights. Others have also suggested that he may feel a need to make amends to Scalia. I do not know the real answer but don't really care and would rather my dues go to pay someone who hasn't worked against us than to accept free work from Clement.

7x57
02-01-2010, 9:58 PM
Perhaps Clement was hired by the NRA to keep him from being hired by the anti's. A defensive move?

Geeze. Nobody's playing chess that deep here, and nobody is the Indispensable Man that would change the outcome singlehandedly if the other guys got him. My bet is that the justices already know how they'll rule, and oral arguments won't change that unless someone totally screws up.

7x57

7x57
02-01-2010, 10:06 PM
I do not know the real answer but don't really care and would rather my dues go to pay someone who hasn't worked against us than to accept free work from Clement.

My sense of honor is involved with other things, and if the best minds agreed that the law firm of Soros, Feinstein, and Satan were the most effective strategy I'd swallow hard and hire them. My interest is only in whether Mr. Clement's former arguments are going to come back to haunt us more if he's before the court again, and whether it sends the wrong message about what the NRA will and won't tolerate (and therefore hurts us indirectly).

As for whether Chris Cox should go, I do not have enough information to have an opinion. All the posturing is fine, but again for me it is pure pragmatics and I would have to be able to weigh all pros and cons (which I can't). Nobody is perfect, and I don't know if this is his first major-screw up and how he does normally compared to whoever else the NRA could hire.

Funny me arguing the pure pragmatics side, isn't it?

7x57

wildhawker
02-01-2010, 10:38 PM
And, what's more, arguing such a position in 5,000 or fewer words. :p :D ;)

My sense of honor is involved with other things, and if the best minds agreed that the law firm of Soros, Feinstein, and Satan were the most effective strategy I'd swallow hard and hire them. My interest is only in whether Mr. Clement's former arguments are going to come back to haunt us more if he's before the court again, and whether it sends the wrong message about what the NRA will and won't tolerate (and therefore hurts us indirectly).

As for whether Chris Cox should go, I do not have enough information to have an opinion. All the posturing is fine, but again for me it is pure pragmatics and I would have to be able to weigh all pros and cons (which I can't). Nobody is perfect, and I don't know if this is his first major-screw up and how he does normally compared to whoever else the NRA could hire.

Funny me arguing the pure pragmatics side, isn't it?

7x57

hoffmang
02-01-2010, 10:41 PM
Bill got banned? What for?

Nothing to do with this thread. There is a thread in off topic that lead to a wide array of bans this evening. I do believe most of them are temp bans but that's mostly speculation on my part.

Carry on.

-Gene

dantodd
02-01-2010, 10:51 PM
My sense of honor is involved with other things, and if the best minds agreed that the law firm of Soros, Feinstein, and Satan were the most effective strategy I'd swallow hard and hire them. My interest is only in whether Mr. Clement's former arguments are going to come back to haunt us more if he's before the court again, and whether it sends the wrong message about what the NRA will and won't tolerate (and therefore hurts us indirectly).

Unlike some here I do not worry significantly about Clement's briefs in Heller being brought up. I have not seen any evidence of other attorneys' previous claims in unrelated cases being brought up by the court. Thankfully we have a parallel in Citizens United where one of the attorneys for Citizens United was previously the SG and argued the opposite side of a McCain Feingold case. A very similar situation and the court chose not to pursue the arguments he had previously made. However; there are plenty of excellent attorneys who could have been chosen and who haven't argued for limiting our 2A rights. Unless Clement is some super attorney who will make or break an argument based solely on being "The Man" there is no reason to reward him over other, friendlier attorneys.

As for whether Chris Cox should go, I do not have enough information to have an opinion. All the posturing is fine, but again for me it is pure pragmatics and I would have to be able to weigh all pros and cons (which I can't). Nobody is perfect, and I don't know if this is his first major-screw up and how he does normally compared to whoever else the NRA could hire.

Funny me arguing the pure pragmatics side, isn't it?


I should have prefaced my statement with "If Chris Cox is responsible for hiring Clement." This is something I took on faith as it was posted by a board member with inside information. If that is the case, then he should not continue to represent us in a leadership role.

Leading the ILA, like representing us in front of SCOTUS, is a demanding job and it takes someone of skill and connections. But there are a handful of people who could perform admirably at either task. A mea culpa and a highly visible shift at ILA would go far toward convincing me that Cox deserves a second chance. Before he was the man in charge and had my faith until proven undeserving of it. Right now he's the one who has to convince me that he deserves the job.

dantodd
02-01-2010, 10:52 PM
And, what's more, arguing such a position in 5,000 or fewer words. :p :D ;)

he should argue for the pragmatic side more often!

7x57
02-01-2010, 10:56 PM
And, what's more, arguing such a position in 5,000 or fewer words. :p :D ;)

I knew I forgot something important. Um...here, I'll just copy in some filler from the bylaws of the Republican Party of LA County I happen to have laying about. Happy now?

PS: Do you mean to suggest it is not normal to have a personal, intimate, ongoing relationship with the post length limit? :eek:

7x57

7x57
02-01-2010, 11:03 PM
Leading the ILA, like representing us in front of SCOTUS, is a demanding job and it takes someone of skill and connections. But there are a handful of people who could perform admirably at either task.

Probably. I have not heard that Cox is indispensable in the same way Wayne LaPierre is. What I hear is that it'll take several people to replace Wayne, costing more than the admittedly handsome salary we pay him (though perhaps not so handsome compared to what he might get doing the same kind of work for a for profit corporation.

But so far as I know, that is not the case with Cox. Again, however, I take no sides on that as I cannot judge whether we'd be better off.

My sense of honor is far more heavily invested in ensuring that living honorably is not a crime, or at least more of a crime than it already is.

7x57

sreiter
02-01-2010, 11:38 PM
Generally other gun groups (GOA, GOC, etc) like to pile on the NRA for entirely bogus reasons (fundraising, separate agendas, or just to make noise) with bogus logical support.

ok, well lets forget generally and move onto specifically what has the jpfo done thats makes you say "well, yeah, valid points, but "generally" f them, their opinions dont matter


In this particular case I don't think anywhere near the whole NRA acted on this particular aspect - as nearly as we can tell ILA's Chris Cox went solo re: Clement. I do hope & believe some internal things may happen to somewhat 'fix' the issue - NRA Board members have become aware not just from grassroots but from legal blogs and other communications.


really, and yet they continue to let him be the lead and continue to let him have his 10 mins

thats really acting fast..lets hope the fast acting board members of the NRA isnt acting us right out of incorporation

heres a thought, ever think they're just using cox as a fall guy ?

dantodd
02-01-2010, 11:53 PM
My sense of honor is far more heavily invested in ensuring that living honorably is not a crime, or at least more of a crime than it already is.


We are currently in a place where "at least more of a crime than it already is" would actually be a below expectation performance. It is nice to know that, after all these years the tide of incrementalism has shifted. Now, if only we can keep the NRA from coming down with a case of Republicanitis. It is a terrible disease that set in back in 1994 when the Republicans got a majority in the house and the senate and suddenly realized they had no clue how to lead but were only really good at being the minority party.

7x57
02-02-2010, 12:17 AM
It is a terrible disease that set in back in 1994 when the Republicans got a majority in the house and the senate and suddenly realized they had no clue how to lead but were only really good at being the minority party.

I ignore the first part, as it seems likely to lead to no good result. But I evaluate quite a few opinions here (not necessarily yours, I'm not being that coy) as having the same species of bias they throw at the NRA. Which is not, at least in an individual, in the slightest bit dishonorable.

On the second, that is not I think precisely the problem with the Republicans in 1994. The problem had a lot to do with absolute-state neocons getting themselves elected by voters who wanted smaller Constitutional government. Notice that the grass-roots is treating Newt as untrustworthy now--he backed the most liberal Republican ever on party unity grounds, and they really don't care to hear about it.

The current interesting "cold civil war" in the Republican party is a direct result of the dissatisfaction of those voters with the representation they have had for just about the entire period since Reagan (whose sainthood appears to still be fairly secure). Quite a few now think that it was better that McCain lost, because if he'd won it would simply have been more of the same. The frogs, it seems, were not being cooked slowly after November 2008.

November 2010 we shall see not simply how many seats the Democrats will loose but also how many scalps the grass-roots have been able to collect. I regard that as a very pleasant sport myself.

7x57

dantodd
02-02-2010, 12:21 AM
I ignore the first part, as it seems likely to lead to no good result. But I evaluate quite a few opinions here (not necessarily yours, I'm not being that coy) as having the same species of bias they throw at the NRA. Which is not, at least in an individual, in the slightest bit dishonorable.

On the second, that is not I think precisely the problem with the Republicans in 1994. The problem had a lot to do with absolute-state neocons getting themselves elected by voters who wanted smaller Constitutional government. Notice that the grass-roots is treating Newt as untrustworthy now--he backed the most liberal Republican ever on party unity grounds, and they really don't care to hear about it.

The current interesting "cold civil war" in the Republican party is a direct result of the dissatisfaction of those voters with the representation they have had for just about the entire period since Reagan (whose sainthood appears to still be fairly secure). Quite a few now think that it was better that McCain lost, because if he'd won it would simply have been more of the same. The frogs, it seems, were not being cooked slowly after November 2008.

November 2010 we shall see not simply how many seats the Democrats will loose but also how many scalps the grass-roots have been able to collect. I regard that as a very pleasant sport myself.

7x57

at the risk of driving this poor thread right off the cliff can we simply agree that keeping a grip on the party and keeping it unified is a big part of knowing how to lead? It is much easier to be a diverse party when you are fighting to stop a common enemy than to try and keep that coalition when you have to actually put together and execute a plan that both keeps the coalition together and keeps the base happy.

7x57
02-02-2010, 12:29 AM
It is much easier to be a diverse party when you are fighting to stop a common enemy than to try and keep that coalition when you have to actually put together and execute a plan that both keeps the coalition together and keeps the base happy.

Agreed. That is how "big tent" strategies generally fail--they create parties that stand for nothing and coalitions that cannot be held together. The Democrats may have done this in 2008, but we won't know for a while yet.

Parties cannot be too narrow in an English-style winner-take-all system, but yet they cannot be all things to all people or the brand becomes damaged and the party discredited as cynical opportunists. If that were not so, then "The Party Of Guys Who Want To Be Elected" would the be ruling party. Somewhere in between lie the viable strategies.

ETA: just as a nod to the actual thread topic, that all probably does have something to do with the NRA's current issues. There certainly is an implicit discussion of not simply what will work but also what is too far over some ethical or ideological line even if it does work, in the case of Clement. Also in the complaints that the NRA is "too Republican." The problem is that all issues of freedom have a certain coupling to each other, though one hopes those couplings are primarily the concern of individuals and not the NRA. But there is a certain Libertarian issue "cross-talk" on the subject of P&I incorporation, as I pointed out somewhere. Also as I pointed out elsewhere, that is a completely honorable position. I think the NRA probably is being held to a slightly different standard than, say, the SAF and Gura simply due to issue crosstalk, but not enough to make me spill a lot of virtual ink over it.

I don't ask that the British and American generals refrain from cursing at each other at combined staff meetings. I just insist that they win the war anyway.

7x57

Californio
02-02-2010, 9:53 AM
The criticisms have some measure of correctness, but they are reduced coming from JPFO.

Again I note this drama about Clement emerged from one person in ILA and not NRA itself, and other NRA legal staff were apparently not consulted.

Then that one person has too much power, they need some checks and balances so the pooch doesn't get screwed. These cases are way to important!

Liberty1
02-02-2010, 2:50 PM
Nothing to do with this thread. There is a thread in off topic that lead to a wide array of bans this evening. I do believe most of them are temp bans but that's mostly speculation on my part.

Carry on.

-Gene

Tell Bill to come over to OCDO if he is having withdrawal symptoms. It's a free fire zone over there as long as it's on topic...:D