Briefs Filed in Support of
Silveira v. Lockyer
Defendant Does Not Oppose Petition for Hearing
(updated with links to briefs Sept. 29, 2003)
-- Several gun rights organizations met the August 7 deadline for filing an amicus brief in support of the
Silveira v. Lockyer lawsuit. The organizations who filed "friend of the court" briefs in support of the case
are as follows:
Sensible Gun Laws
• Amicus brief: cover
pg, brief, table, proof of
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
• Amicus brief
Women Against Gun Control
• Amicus brief
Second Amendment Sisters
• Amicus brief
National Rifle Association
There is no
record on the Supreme
Court docket of any anti-gun groups filing in
Emerson had zero
amicus briefs filed. Bean had zero until after
cert was granted -- and only had two from our side even
then. (The pro-RKBA briefs in Bean were filed more
than two months after anti-gunners had already
filed an amicus brief.)
The most surprising among the above list was the NRA.
Attorney" had earlier attempted to have the case dismissed. After he failed to have the case dismissed, he later
threatened to file a brief in opposition to the case when it was appealed to the Supreme Court.
Gary Gorski, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said the law firm NRA had chosen to file the brief contacted him last week
(end of July) and congratulated him on a quality Certiorari Petition to the Supreme Court.
According to Gorski, the firm's representative informed
him that NRA's brief would be in support and would be filed by the deadline.
This is a welcome redirection of NRA's resources -- much
better than having their attorney try
to kill the case with the silly
arguments he posed.
Each of the other organizations listed above was already expected to file in support of the
Silveira plaintiffs -- the Silveira team sought
them out, urged them to file and helped facilitate their
presence in this matter. Gorski worked with their respective representatives to help them through the process as needed, and they got the job done. Kudos to each of them -- and to the many people involved -- for standing up for the Second Amendment in what could be the first pure Second Amendment case to be heard by the Supreme Court since 1939.
The Justices return to the High Court the first week in October. They are expected to announce some time in their first week or two whether or not they will hear the
Silveira case. (See update;
this has changed.)
Attorneys for the Silveira plaintiffs are working on the plaintiffs' brief in anticipation of the case being heard. They believe the chances for the case being heard are "better than 90%." A recent action -- or inaction -- by California attorney general Bill Lockyer, a defendant in the case, might be another indicator of the case's potential for hearing. The State of California and Mr. Lockyer have chosen
not to file a brief in opposition to the Petition filed by the plaintiffs. Typically, one would expect vehement opposition from defendants in such a high profile and potentially volatile case.
FUNDS STILL NEEDED
Once the Petition was
filed at the Supreme Court, donations for the lawsuit dropped off sharply.
This is to be
expected, as some people want to know if the case will be
heard before they pitch in their hard earned dollars.
However, crucial work is currently being done to prepare
for an eventual hearing, and that work needs immediate
At this point, the main consideration to
preparing a Supreme Court case is the realization that
it's folly to file a case and then stop working until you
are certain that a hearing will be granted. Winning briefs aren't simply thrown together; they are crafted and
re-crafted, edited and refined -- over extended periods of time and with great forethought and careful analysis and calculation. If we stop work now and then find that we were correct -- that the Court is going to hear the case -- we've sold our objective short of its full potential. And, unfortunately, unless we come up with some money soon -- to pay the primary attorney doing the immensely powerful legal legwork -- work on the brief and many additional preparations is going to cease. And if we lose him to another project, he may not be available again once the Court agrees to hear the case.
So please, if at all possible, trade a meal
at a restaurant, a day at the shooting range or another
small treat for a contribution to support a winning
Supreme Court case. Liberty is worth every penny.
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