The right-wing outrage machine has kicked
itself into high gear over a brief I recently filed challenging New York
State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York. Brought by NRA
plaintiffs, this case goes after a New York City law that imposes rules on
carrying firearms outside the home.
Recently, the city of New York repealed the law
at the heart of the case, in theory giving the plaintiffs what they wanted. The
case should have ended there on grounds of mootness, as I made clear in the
brief. Currently there’s no dispute, so there’s no need for the Supreme Court
to weigh in.
Yet the NRA plaintiffs won’t drop the
case, because they consider the Supreme Court a vital partner in their
political “project,” and they expect a favorable ruling.
It’s easy to understand why they’re so
optimistic. For decades, anonymous right-wing donors have bankrolled
organizations like the Federalist Society and Judicial Crisis Network in a
concerted effort to capture the Supreme Court and turn it into a partisan
institution. Now their efforts are paying off.
The Roberts Court reliably issues partisan 5-4
decisions in favor of Republican donor interests, and with hand-picked justices
like Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch on the bench, the front groups have even more
reason to expect the Court will rule on their behalf.
My brief dares question the workings
of this oily operation, hence the far-right freak-out.
Not since I suggested the DOJ investigate
whether the fossil fuel industry had lied about climate change as demonstrably
as the tobacco industry lied about the deadliness of its product have I
encountered such vitriol from the likes of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal,
and all the other mouthpieces for right-wing partisan donors.
Extremist conservatives view the Supreme Court
as an instrument for advancing an agenda voters won’t support, so they’re
desperate to hold this prize and furious when anyone dares point out the
situation. It is revealing – confessional, in a way – that my brief has
provoked such right-wing media hysterics. Evidently the donor interests don’t
wish to engage in an open discussion about their methods and motivations. Their
response is to shout down anyone who raises questions.
The future of our courts is at stake, and this
is a fight worth having. Try as they might, the special interests won’t keep me
quiet. I’m taking them on by challenging bunk lawsuits like NYSRPA v. City
of New York – and I thank you for your support.