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View Full Version : My message to the NRA-ILA and response


Maestro Pistolero
02-05-2010, 12:10 AM
Dear NRA-ILA,
I'm sure by now that you are aware of the grave concerns in much of the 2A community regarding Paul Clement's inclusion at orals for McDonald vs Chicago.

I share their concerns and can only hope that Mr. Clement has learned from past mistakes vis-a-vi foreclosing future NFA battles, and the subject of what level of scrutiny is to be applied to the application of the Second Amendment to individuals under state law. The time for quid pro quo is over.

In short, and to be extremely blunt, if Mr Clement does or says anything to negatively impact the future litigation of those two specific issues, the NRA will have seen the last of the membership and legislative contributions from this supporter, and many thousands of supporters like me. Please do not underestimate the concern of members on these issues.

Sincerely,
*********
Dear Mr. **********,

Thank you for your message about former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement's representation of the NRA in McDonald v. City of Chicago, which involves the question of whether the Second Amendment applies to the states.

The NRA chose Solicitor General Clement for oral argument in this case because he is one of the leading Supreme Court advocates of our time and has argued dozens of cases before the Court. In the case at hand, he represented 251 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 58 U.S. Senators in filing an historic and very important friend of the court brief, which makes a strong and effective case in favor of incorporation. A link to this brief can be found here: http://www.nraila.org/media/PDFs/litigation/mcdonald_ac_congress..pdf

During oral argument, Solicitor General Clement will ensure that the Court hears all the arguments for applying the Second Amendment to the states under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court could reach that result either through the Privileges or Immunities Clause (as the plaintiffs in the case have emphasized), or through the Due Process Clause (as the Supreme Court has chosen to apply nearly all of the other provisions of the Bill of Rights). The NRA's solitary goal in this case is to ensure that the Supreme Court applies the Second Amendment to all Americans throughout the country, no matter which method the Court chooses to use.

Obviously, we realize that Solicitor General Clement represented the federal government's position in District of Columbia v. Heller. In that case, the government took the position that the Second Amendment does protect a pre-existing individual right to keep and bear arms, but that the Court should apply an "intermediate" standard of review, less favorable to Second Amendment challenges to federal gun laws than the standard advocated by the NRA. On the standard of review issue, we disagreed with the government's position at the time and we still disagree with it.

However, it is critically important to remember that this position was the government's, not its lawyer's. At the time, Solicitor General Clement had a duty to represent the position of his client. Now that he is representing the NRA, just as when he was recently representing a bipartisan majority of Congress, he will strongly represent the interests of NRA members and all other Americans who believe the Second Amendment should apply equally throughout our nation.

Cordially,
Kaelan Jones
NRA-ILA Grassroots Division

ZombieTactics
02-05-2010, 7:27 AM
So ... in other words ... Clement is a soulless hack who will argue any position for a buck, and we hired him 'cuz he's a "big time" soulless hack.

Roadrunner
02-05-2010, 8:18 AM
Interesting. So to be a successful lawyer, you have to get rid of, or at least ignore your moral compass, void yourself of emotion, and ignore principal.

mblat
02-05-2010, 8:19 AM
This is canned response, BTW. I got the same - word to word....

7x57
02-05-2010, 9:03 AM
Interesting. So to be a successful lawyer, you have to get rid of, or at least ignore your moral compass, void yourself of emotion, and ignore principal.

That doesn't seem to describe Alan Gura, and it would be hard to argue that he is not "big time." I do not believe he took what became Heller because he thought it would pay out well (but it's going to :43:). It certainly doesn't describe Don Kilmer working for ten unpaid years on Nordyke, though admittedly he hasn't argued and won a huge case before the supreme court.

7x57

CAL.BAR
02-05-2010, 9:31 AM
Interesting. So to be a successful lawyer, you have to get rid of, or at least ignore your moral compass, void yourself of emotion, and ignore principal.

No, but a singer who only sings Christmas songs only works once a year.

In other words, an atty argues. Sometimes those arguments concur with his personal beliefs and sometimes not. The job is to present the case as well as possible. If an atty were only to take cases which advance his personal beliefs, he might not work too long or too often.

The cops still protect all citizens - not just those with similar beliefs.
Firemen will put out a fire at the clan compound if called.
Paramedics will still give mouth to mouth to a murderer
the list goes on.. . .
see my point

DavidRSA
02-05-2010, 9:50 AM
Well stated djandj..I was about to write something similar but you hit the nail on the head.

sholling
02-05-2010, 10:00 AM
Interesting. So to be a successful lawyer, you have to get rid of, or at least ignore your moral compass, void yourself of emotion, and ignore principal.
You said "Lawyer" and "ignore your moral compass, void yourself of emotion, and ignore principal", isn't that redundant? :p

Roadrunner
02-05-2010, 10:36 AM
That doesn't seem to describe Alan Gura, and it would be hard to argue that he is not "big time." I do not believe he took what became Heller because he thought it would pay out well (but it's going to :43:). It certainly doesn't describe Don Kilmer working for ten unpaid years on Nordyke, though admittedly he hasn't argued and won a huge case before the supreme court.

7x57

Certainly there are exceptions to the rule. However, I believe that if it was a losing proposition, they would not have done it simply for the intellectual exercise or because of principal.

No, but a singer who only sings Christmas songs only works once a year.

In other words, an atty argues. Sometimes those arguments concur with his personal beliefs and sometimes not. The job is to present the case as well as possible. If an atty were only to take cases which advance his personal beliefs, he might not work too long or too often.

The cops still protect all citizens - not just those with similar beliefs.
Firemen will put out a fire at the clan compound if called.
Paramedics will still give mouth to mouth to a murderer
the list goes on.. . .
see my point

Um, no not really. Cops are paid to enforce laws, not necessarily protect people and firemen are paid to put out fires. Both are government employees and are paid with taxpayer money. Lawyers on the other hand are, in most cases, self employed and have the latitude to pick their clients. A lawyer, working both sides of the issue, suggests that principal has no bearing on who he represents so long as he's paid in the end.

You said "Lawyer" and "ignore your moral compass, void yourself of emotion, and ignore principal", isn't that redundant? :p

Probably.

gotgunz
02-05-2010, 10:54 AM
I heard that lawyers are buried 12 feet under when they die (rather than the normal 6').....

Because deep down they are nice people.

LOL.

Shotgun Man
02-05-2010, 11:19 AM
Jerry Brown refused to defend Prop. 8 because he believed it was unconstitutional.

A government lawyer's primary fidelity should be to the constitution not the current administration's fleeting and transitory position.

It strikes me as bad form in such an important case to have someone who could arguably be labeled as a traitor to the constitution defending our cause.

At the very least, it shows the NRA was in this instance insensitive to its members' views.

Glock22Fan
02-05-2010, 12:32 PM
I believe Lex Arma summed it up (in another thread) when he said that there are some cases he would not represent (however much money was involved) and some he would even though the client was objectionable.

Lawyers are paid to defend whatever side of the fence they are sitting on. I listen to some people on this forum and you would think from their attitude that a prosecution attorney (whose job it is to make everybody look guilty) should never cross over to be a defense attorney. I have visions, if they are right, of the presiding judge saying "Mr. Crossover. Whenever you have appeared before me before, you have always argued that the defendant must be guilty because he was arrested for the crime and surely the police would not have accused an innocent man. And now you are telling me that you have found the first innocent defendent ever? How can this be?"

Come on, we all know that attorneys will defend a client that they believe, or even know, to be guilty. We expect them to be blind to that and to do their best job because society depends upon fair representation. Even Ted Bundy deserved an attorney doing his or her best. What's the difference?

If I was the NRA, I would have interviewed Clement very carefully to make sure that he could do a fair job with no emotional carry over from the Heller case. I would also have considered other attorneys and compared them with Clement. And how do y'all know that they didn't?

Maybe he'll be a mess, and we'll end up regretting it. However, I do not see this as so inevitable as some of the users on this forum think.

hoffmang
02-05-2010, 6:39 PM
What is missing from the analysis is this. The Solicitor General of the United States of America has two and only two bosses - The Attorney General, and the President of The United States of America. As such, he's not just "some lawyer representing his client" but is an actual policy maker. If this wasn't Mr. Clement's policy then it was Mr. Bush or Mr. Mukasey's position. Mr. Bush owed the Oval Office to the NRA. Mr. Mukasey was busy dealing with Mr. Gonzales' mess... That leaves Mr. Clement out there making the policy of the US Government.

Anyone who thinks he's just a lawyer as Solicitor General is being naive about his role.

-Gene

krazz
02-05-2010, 8:21 PM
The NRA is doing its best to appear legit after Heller. That was a massive FAIL on the NRAs part. Clement working for the NRA is a political move...plain and simple...they don't give a f$!k about gun rights. They're a money maker

pitchbaby
02-05-2010, 11:21 PM
I've known plenty of soulless lawyers. As long as he knows what to say in the case of MCD V Chicago.... I don't really care.... WHY you might ask..... Cause.... 1. He's good at what he does 2. No amount of whining about how I really feel about it is going to change it anyway.

Conclusion: Worrying about it is wasted energy.

Maestro Pistolero
02-05-2010, 11:52 PM
They're a money makerIf they fK this up, not for long. Not saying they will, I'm just saying . . .

CalNRA
02-06-2010, 2:09 AM
If they fK this up, not for long. Not saying they will, I'm just saying . . .

there is gonna be lotsa membership cancellations.

bigcalidave
02-06-2010, 2:15 AM
I still believe in the NRA. I try to imagine the positions we would be in WITHOUT the NRA.

I signed up for a life membership last week.

Maestro Pistolero
02-06-2010, 2:30 AM
I still believe in the NRA. I try to imagine the positions we would be in WITHOUT the NRA.

I signed up for a life membership last week.

If this goes well, I will, too. I still believe in their motivation, but sometimes question their strategy. Overall, we'd be screwed without the NRA. I'm glad they aren't still having to do it all on their own. Heller came our way in spite of NRA missteps.
It's better politically if the wins come from diverse sources (SAF, CATO, CALGUNS, ETC). It helps take the wind out of the sails of our adversaries who don't know what to do without the "GUN LOBBY" for a punching bag.

bigcalidave
02-06-2010, 2:47 AM
The CGF can't lobby. We NEED the NRA. Please support them. Calguns will be focused on getting small steps achieved for California gun owners. The NRA will keep the political playing field as close to even as possible.

You realize that ANYONE who is pro gun will be called "gun lobby" by the media. Who cares what they think as long as we win.

BobB35
02-06-2010, 9:17 AM
I still believe in the NRA. I try to imagine the positions we would be in WITHOUT the NRA.

I signed up for a life membership last week.

Without the NRA there would be another group fighting for gun rights. Don't ever tie the fight with and organization. Think about this for a second. What would life be like without the Dem or Repub parties? Hmm there would be some other party that takes its place.

The problem with organizations, ANY organization, is that at some point a group of people takes over and the organization strays from what it was intended to do. At that point a reset needs to occur and barring that the organization needs to go away, usually through lack of interest and funding. Look at the AARP right now, they are going through this. I could list a lot of organization that have gone through his activity, some survive others do not.

At this point the NRA is facing one of these challenges, the outcome of this case if Clement does something foolish could be the death of the NRA (maximum) or the birth of a different organization that will defend the rights of gun owners. Heck CGF didn't exist 20 years ago and look at it now. Change the name to National Guns Foundation - NGF...get a growing membership base, keep winning in the courts and you have a replacement for the NRA. Think about the mistakes the NRA has made in the last few years, something needs to change and this may very well be the catalyst that starts that change.