Thank God for Unaccountable Activist Judges, Part XLI

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Proposition H, the absolute handgun ban proposed last year by rageaholic city supervisor Chris Daly and approved by 58 percent of San Francisco voters, has been struck down by a Superior Court judge hearing a suit from the National Rifle Association. Judge James Warren ruled against the ballot initiative on the grounds that city law can't supersede state law in this case. San Francisco's city attorney has pledged to appeal. The Second Amendment Foundation says Daly should have to pay for the appeal—an attractive idea, if only for the prospect of bringing on another of Daly's Rumpelstiltskin tantrums.

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  1. San Francisco really gets pissed off everytime they create or eliminate another constitutional right and the judges that are supposed to support their rewriting say no.

  2. Between this and issuing gay marriage licenses despite state law otherwise, why doesn’t San Franciscio just take the secession plunge?

    Oh, that’s right, they’d need guns for that.

  3. Just for the record: California judges *are* accountable – they are elected by the People.

  4. Brutal, Abdul.

  5. Just two comments in, and Abdul has already won the thread.

  6. Am I the only one who read that as “Preparation H?”

  7. dave b,
    The joke writes itself

  8. As a San Franciscan, I beg the rest of the US not to let my city seceed. I’ll be waiting for the liberators with candy and flowers if it does. The average San Franciscan seems reasonable until they reach the ballot box; then they vote for the most moronic of candidates. Our city (and county) government is insane. Please don’t leave me without the protection of the US Constitution!

  9. At the risk of sounding a bit cliche (yes, I know, ruling I like: good law; Ruling I don’t like: Activist judge blah blah blah) how is this deemed the ruling of an activist judge?

    I haven’t read the linked article, but taken at face value, this seems rather reasonable. It’s like the whole ATM fee controversy where that town or county in Kalifornia banned ATM fees, and it got smacked around like a red-headed stepchild by the courts because small towns in Kalifornia “can’t regulate banking”. Clearly, SF has tried to be too ambitious on this whole gun thing. Why don’t they just do what Chicago does: Demand that everyone get a permit to own a gun, then refuse to issue permits by creating a darkened ‘storefront’ office with a sign on the door reading “Beware of the leopard!”

  10. Re: gay marriage — don’t blame the entire city of San Francsico for the grandstanding illegalities of one activist mayor acting entirely on his own.

  11. “how is this deemed the ruling of an activist judge”

    It’s sarcasm. If you follow WND and numerous other populist conservative websites, they will predictably accuse any judge who invalidates a law they support as a “liberal activist judge” (or some variation on that) even when the judge has a reputation as a law-and-order conservative and strikes down the statute on well-grounded and uncontroversial constitutional law principles.

  12. I knew that San Fran was a “special” sort of town when I saw a sticker added to stop signs around town by activist biker gangs… bicycle gangs, that is.

    Newly converted, the signs now read: “STOP Driving – Ride a Bike!”

    Sorry, you just can’t convince me that San Franciscans are only crazy at the ballot box.

    (That said, it’s still one of my favorite cities to visit, though I’d never, ever want to live there.)

  13. Clean Hands,

    Please notice the qualifiers “average” and “seems”. And I wasn’t trying to convince anyone of anything other than to not let SF seceed.

  14. In conservative speak, an activist judge is any judge that issues a ruling you disagree with. A strict constructionist is any judge that issues a ruling you agree with. Even those definitions are superseded by the Democrat/liberal = activist judge and Republican/conservative = strict constructionist standard. The actual merit of the legal decision is never even considered when deciding which label to use.

    Example: Ginsburg and Souter are activist judges even when they vote to uphold the 4th Amendment in cases like the drug dog and thermal imaging cases. Scalia is always a strict constructionist even when he is granting power to perform searches without warrants or allow Federal preemption of state medical marijuana laws using the Commerce Clause.

  15. Chris Daly — what an embarassment to San Francisco. It was a true pity when he beat out Roger Gordon in ’02. He is a reasonable man who does reasonable things to improve District 6, (http://tinyurl.com/htb53)but the voters stupidly overlooked him in favor of Daly, possibly on the basis of recognition factor only (he does manage to get some attention).

    Of course, residents of the Tenderloin/SOMA are among those who could most use handguns for personal protection. It’s just my own theory cooked up in my own little head, but having lived in the TL for several years, I think many of the worst assaults and murders that take place there are committed by people from outside the neighborhood or even outside the city who come there looking for fun, easy victims. That is, drunks stumbling home through a downtown neighborhood where altercations tend to be ignored and the streets are dominated by the indigent after the bars close. For women in particular, it’s dangerous because so many men come there cruising for prostitutes.

    I’m not sorry I abandoned SF for Oakland. The violent crime rate is higher over here, but as in San Francisco, risk is fairly neighborhood-specific. And I just can’t imagine an initiative to ban all handguns in Oakland ever passing.

  16. First, I applaud Abdul’s post.

    Second, I seem to recall that about a year ago Reason had an issue with articles praising the independent judiciary and the contributions that activist judges have made to the cause of freedom in America. Good stuff.

  17. “Just for the record: California judges *are* accountable”

    Except that, again to a certain audience, all judges are per se “unaccountable” even if they do have to run for election or are subject to retention votes. For example, Florida county judges must run for election, but here’s an article describing Judge Greer in the Terry Schiavo: “Greer’s actions indicate an out-of-control and unaccountable wielding of power.” http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/adamo/050331

  18. Chris Daly — what an embarassment to San Francisco. It was a true pity when he beat out Roger Gordon in ’02. He is a reasonable man who does reasonable things to improve District 6, (http://tinyurl.com/htb53)but the voters stupidly overlooked him in favor of Daly, possibly on the basis of recognition factor only (he does manage to get some attention).

    As a resident of District 6, I couldn’t agree more. (I voted for Gordon.)

  19. Bill, that makes two of us. On this forum, that is.

    It really is depressing when there is a candidate who has genuine promise, yet is defeated by a sanctimonious bully with the psychological development of a two year old.

  20. van,

    This is one reason I despise party politics. The Dems threw money behind Daly and Gordon got screwed. The fact that the Democratic Party in SF would rather support a nutcase like Daly, while practically ignoring someone like Gordon, proves (to me at least) that the Dems are a major negative force in SF.

  21. What is XLI? 41?

  22. Think of all the better uses that money could go to,” [SAF’s] Gottlieb suggested

    Notice how, since SF is being discusssed, not spending the money at all isn’t one of them?

    Kevin

  23. Here’s a personal irony. When I moved to San Francisco back in those lazy, hazy, crazy, seed-financing-phase-y days of the dotcom boom, I was wowed by the fact that there were two full-bore gunshops right in the heart of the city. The San Francisco Gun Exchange was two doors from my office. I’m not interested in guns, but it was pretty cool knowing they were there, and for a while made me think San Francisco might have some wildness or freewheelingness that New York was lacking. So much for that! Both shops have since gone out of business-not because of any legislation but for lack of business.

  24. “So much for that! Both shops have since gone out of business?not because of any legislation but for lack of business.”

    Market Failure! MARKET FAILURE!!!

  25. We left San Francisco, um, many moons ago.
    Now we’re in San Jose and I recently found out we violated an ordinance by having a tree removed from our yard. Still, it’s better than SFO.

  26. “STOP Driving – Ride a Bike!”

    When I lived in SF I worked at a hotel near the Wharf and I got SO sick and tired of warning all the tourist guests to NOT BRING THEIR GODDAMN CAR. They seemed to think that SF was going to be the easy-motoring California utopia pictured on American television. Naturally they all bitched and moaned when they found out the hard way that that was not the case.

    SF being the city with the 2nd highest population density in the US, and with the public transit sucking so hard – mainly due to the traffic caused by residents pretending real hard that they live in the easy-motoring utopia mentioned above, a bicycle is probably going to be the best way to get around for many people. Why is that crazy?

  27. Bill,

    >”The Dems threw money behind Daly and Gordon got screwed. The fact that the Democratic Party in SF would rather support a nutcase like Daly, while practically ignoring someone like Gordon, proves (to me at least) that the Dems are a major negative force in SF.”

    It seems that a substantial proportion of San Franciscans are either blind to reality or perversely bent on maintaining all the city’s problems to satisfy their leftist principles. Symbolic actions by the school board against the U.S. military and placing restrictions on the supply of housing seem to give people around here a lot of satisfaction. Apparently, they believe that the rest of the country is watching and will one day have its consciousness raised by the beacon of moral correctness that is San Francisco. They get upset when America laughs and says “fine, we don’t want you in the country anyway,” and then they continue on their usual course. The party that panders to this childish smugness is the one that will continue to win votes.

    Mind you, I’m not saying Oakland is much better. I really don’t know a thing about Oakland politics, except that the teachers’ union seems to be a really big deal over here and criminal organizations that operate under the guise of black power (Black Panthers and the “Your Black Muslim Bakery” empire) seem to be pretty well tolerated.

    Tim,

    >”I’m not interested in guns, but it was pretty cool knowing they were there, and for a while made me think San Francisco might have some wildness or freewheelingness that New York was lacking. So much for that!”

    I’m not particularly interested in guns either. I don’t own one. But I tend to live in areas with higher crime rates & lower housing costs, and I want to know I can buy a gun if I want one. As for wildness in San Francisco, well, you can express it, but only through the proper avenues, like wearing assless chaps to the Folsom Street Fair maybe…

    My cynicism notwithstanding, I still love it in the Bay Area, though I’m not sure why.

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