A few days ago, the incumbent AG moved to intervene in the case of Peruta v. County of San Diego. This was done only a few short days after the Ninth Circuit, guided by recent Supreme Court precedent in the Heller (2008) and MacDonald (2010), effectively granted Peruta’s motion for summary judgement in the District Court, holding that San Diego’s “good cause” permitting requirement infringed his Second Amendment right to bear arms in self defense. The AG moved to intervene only after the County of San Diego announced that it would not take any action to overturn the ruling.
In a nutshell, two of the three justices on the panel held that because California does not allow open carry of firearms and restricts concealed carry to special circumstances at the discretion of the police, this infringes the individual’s right to bear arms in self-defense. By so doing, the Court came to a common-sense result fully in accord with recent Supreme Court cases. There was one dissenting justice. Had the Ninth Circuit gone the other way, the case could have been appealed to the Supreme Court. As the case fails squarely in the cracks between Heller and MacDonald, the Supreme Court would likely have taken the case and reversed the Ninth Circuit.
By intervening now and petitioning for a rehearing en banc, the AG is increasing the probability that a rehearing will be granted, by throwing the full weight of the State of California behind the petition. A rehearing will only inject delay in ultimate resolution of the case, which given the continuing reign of Obama and state of 2nd Amendment jurisprudence, favors those who oppose 2nd Amendment rights. By the time the case is ripe for hearing by the Supreme Court, perhaps another 2nd Amendment-friendly Justice will have been replaced by an Obama appointee hostile to the 2nd Amendment. Heller and MacDonald might be ignored or overturned before this case reaches it, and Californians may never have the opportunity to learn first hand that the legal right to bear arms responsibly makes communities safer, not more dangerous.
It need hardly be pointed out that this action by the incumbent AG is extremely prejudicial and hostile to the individual right of self-defense. It is not the action of a law officer sworn to uphold the California Constitution, which recognizes the right of self-defense explicitly. If California needs any AG, if needs one that respects this right as well as other individual rights. A Constitutional-compliant AG would not have intervened in Peruta.