Kopel blog Archive November-December 2010

Victory for firearms preemption in New York

David Kopel • December 31, 2010 2:08 am

Nassau County, on Long Island, New York, enacted an ordinance which bans handguns in non-traditional colors, such as pink. The ordinance declares such firearms to be "deceptively colored."

On December 28, the Appellate Division, Second Department (the intermediate court of appeals) ruled 4–0 that the Nassau ban is preempted by New York State's handgun licensing law. While the state law, Penal Law sect. 400.00, is not explicitly preemptive, the Appellate Division found implicit field preemption because: 1. The licensing law is detailed, and describes what kinds of handguns may not be licensed. 2. The state statute declares that a license shall be valid in every county of the state, but Nassau County's law prohibited licensed persons from other counties from entering Nassau County with their licensed colored handguns. "In effect, the amended ordinance places a restriction on all licenses granted throughout the state, and deprives all licenses that were lawfully granted to owners of "deceptively colored" firearms of their stated benefits. If each of New York's 62 counties enacted ordinances that placed additional restrictions on licenses, as the amended ordinance effectively does, the uniformity in firearm licensing that the Legislature intended would be destroyed."

Congratulations to longtime Nassau activist Alan Chwick for his victory in Chwick v. Mulvey.


HSBC provides propaganda and banking services for the Iranian tyrants

David Kopel • December 27, 2010 2:41 pm

Jennifer Rubin's Washington Post article, "A bank that proudly does business in Iran," explains it all. As a result, I just called HSBC to cancel my credit card.


Barack Obama and Gun Control: Effective and Shrewd

David Kopel • December 14, 2010 1:01 pm

The Encyclopedia Britannica Blog is running a series this week assessing the Obama presidency. My entry, with the title above, argues that President Obama has been successful at promoting gun control, taking into account the fact that Obama has faced a Congress with strong pro-gun majorities, and that the Obama administration determined to spend its finite political capital on other issues. For a person who supports the agenda of the gun control lobbies, but who does not agree with the lobbies' assertion that gun control is politically popular, President Obama's low-key strategy has been intelligent and productive.

Categories: Guns, Obama, Politics 96 Comments

Podcast on Virginia v. Sebelius

David Kopel • December 14, 2010 6:00 pm

And on the other Obamacare cases in federal district courts. Rob Natelson and I discuss the various issues. 25 minutes, MP3 from iVoices.org.

Categories: Constitutional Law, Health Care 5 Comments

Final score on 2d Amendment in the November elections

David Kopel • December 10, 2010 5:20 pm

Now that all congressional races have been decided, here the final tallies for how the election affected Second Amendment support in Congress, according to the NRA's top federal lobbyist Chuck Cunningham:

19 of 25 U.S. Senate candidates endorsed by the NRA-Political Victory Fund won their races. The net gain is +7 votes (Ark., N.H., N.D., Oh., Penn., W.V., Wisc.) with no offsetting losses.

After the 2008 elections, there were 43 Senators with an A rating from NRA, 2 with a B, 9 with a C, 12 with a D, and 34 with an F. The changes in the new Senate will be +7 A, +1 C, –7 D, and –1 F.

The 12 pro-gun Senate freshmen are: John Boozman (Ark.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Rob Portman (Oh.), Pat Toomey (Penn.), Mike Lee (Utah), Joe Manchin (W.V.) and Ron Johnson (Wisc.).

In the U.S. House, 227 of the 283 endorsed by NRA-PVF won.

After the 2008 elections, there were 226 Representatives with an A rating, 18 B, 14 C, 22 D-rated, 151 F, and 4 ? (had refused to answer questionnaire). The new House will be +36 A, –7 B, - 1 C, –16 F, -- 3 ?.

There were 29 districts where the grade improved: AZ-1, AZ-5, AR-2, FL-8, FL-22, FL-24, ID-1, IL-8,IL-10, IL-14, IL-17, KS-3, MI-7, NV-3, NH-1, NJ-3, NY-13, NY-19, NY-24, NY-25, NY-29, NC-2, OH-1, OH-15, PA-3, PA-7, PA-8, SC-5 and WA-3. In 3 districts the grade declined: AL-7, HI-1 and LA-2.

The NRA identifies 86 pro-gun House freshmen: Martha Roby (AL-2), Mo Brooks, (AL-5), Paul Gosar (AZ-1), Ben Quayle (AZ-3), David Schweikert (AZ-5), Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), Jeff Denham (CA-19), Scott Tipton (CO-3), Cory Gardner (CO-4), Steve Southerland (FL-2), Rich Nugent (FL-5), Daniel Webster (FL-8), Dennis Ross (FL-12), Allen West (FL-22), Sandy Adams (FL-24), David Rivera (FL-25), Rob Woodall (GA-7), Austin Scott (GA-8), Raul Labrador (ID-1), Joe Walsh (IL-8), Adam Kinzinger (IL-11), Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Bobby Schilling (IL-17), Marlin Stutzman (IN-3), Todd Rokita (IN-4), Larry Bucshon (IN-8), Todd Young (IN-9), Tim Huelskamp (KS-1), Kevin Yoder (KS-3), Mike Pompeo (KS-4), Jeff Landry (LA-3), Andy Harris (MD-1), Dan Benishek (MI-1), Bill Huizenga (MI-2), Justin Amash (MI-3), Tim Walberg (MI-7), Chip Cravaack (MN-8), Alan Nunnelee (MS-1), Steven Palazzo (MS-4), Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), Billy Long (MO-7), Joe Heck (NV-3), Frank Guinta (NH-1), Charlie Bass (NH-2), Jon Runyan (NJ-3), Steve Pearce (NM-2), Michael Grimm (NY-13), Nan Hayworth (NY-19), Chris Gibson (NY-20), Richard Hanna (NY-24), Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25), Tom Reed (NY-29), Renee Ellmers (NC-2), Rick Berg (ND-AL), Steve Chabot (OH-1), Bill Johnson (OH-6), Steve Stivers (OH-15), Jim Renacci (OH-16), Bob Gibbs (OH-18), James Lankford (OK-5), Mike Kelly (PA-3), Pat Meehan (PA-7), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Tom Marino (PA-10), Lou Barletta (PA-11), Tim Scott (SC-1), Jeff Duncan (SC-3), Trey Gowdy (SC-4), Mick Mulvaney (SC-5), Kristi Noem (SD-AL), Chuck Fleischmann (TN-3), Scott DesJarlais (TN-4), Diane Black (TN-6), Steve Fincher (TN-8), Bill Flores (TX-17), Quico Canseco (TX-23), Blake Farenthold (TX-27), Scott Rigell (VA-2), Rob Hurt (VA-5), Morgan Griffith (VA-9), Jaime Herrera (WA-3), David McKinley (WV-1), Sean Duffy (WI-7) and Reid Ribble (WI-8).

Categories: Congress, Guns, Politics,

The Chinese dictatorship's reaction to the Nobel Peace Prize

David Kopel • December 9, 2010 3:46 pm

I'll be discussing the topic on NRA News tonight, at 11:40 Eastern Time. The program will remain available for replay at the website for a few days thereafter.

In the meantime, please feel free to provide your own thoughts and analysis in the comments.

Categories: "Bullying" Bans, Freedom of Speech 68 Comments

UNICEF harms children

David Kopel • December 6, 2010 7:16 pm

International Adoption: The Human Rights Position is an article in Global Policy by Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Bartholet. A response article from Paulo Barrozo of Boston College Law School amplifies some of her points.

In brief: UNICEF has been at the forefront of pressuring national governments to set up so many hurdles as to make international adoption rare and extremely time-consuming. The result is that children languish in miserable, hellish orphanages for years. During the critical early months and years in which interaction with loving parents is essential to a child's normal brain development, the children are neglected and left in squalor.

According to Bartholet, all this is a violation of international treaties about the rights of children, which one might expect UNICEF, of all entities, to be especially scrupulous about obeying. Besides, you don't need to be an international lawyer to see the flaws of policy that leaves children in terrible orphanages, or as menial servants and de facto slaves in "the community, "rather than in loving homes.

In a 2007 article, I discussed UNICEF's record in propagandizing for Palestinian terrorism, and its collaboration with the North Korean dictatorship and with the Saddam Hussein regime.

So in short, if you want to give to a charity which does not spend any money on harming children, UNICEF is a poor choice. Unfortunately, UNICEF has a ready supply of funds from good-hearted, uninformed people. American schoolchildren "trick or treat for UNICEF" without realizing that some of the money they raise will be spent on terrorist training camps, or on lobbying to keep children trapped in horrible orphanages. If you followed David Post's advice to watch the outstanding soccer game between Madrid and Barcelona, you saw that the Barcelona players had "UNICEF" on their jerseys. Some transatlantic airlines, including Aer Lingus, subject passengers to long commercials (broadcast on the airplane's public address system) urging people to put their leftover foreign change into special envelopes for UNICEF. Instead, I wrote a note on the special envelope explaining why I was not donating.

It's great for children, sports teams, or airplane passengers to raise money to help poor children in the Third World. But when you donate to UNICEF, some of your money is helping to keep neglected and helpless children separated from parents who would give them the love and the care that they need.

Categories: Uncategorized 70 Comments

The new Spanish letter: @

David Kopel • December 6, 2010 2:36 pm

In Spanish, there are many nouns which end in a "o" if referring to a male, and "a" if referring to a female. For example: chico/chica (child), maestro/maestra (teacher), hijo/hija (son/daughter). The nouns are pluralized with an "s". So a group of boys is "chicos"; and a group of girls is "chicas". In a mixed group, the male version is always used. So when we are talking about 99 girls and 1 boy, it's "chicos". To some people, the masculinization of mixed plurals seems unfair.

While in Spain last month, I found that some Spaniards have invented a new plural form. When writing about a mixed group of boys and girls, they write chic@s. Pretty clever, in my estimation. Except for the problem of auto-correct trying to convert the word into an e-mail address. The new letter "@" is not yet part of formal usage. I read a variety of newspapers, and never saw the @ used as a letter. But on the Madrid subway, some cars have slim TV monitors attached to the center poles, and those televisions show short news items and commercials, along with captioning. On one news report, I did see the "@" used in the captioning for a mixed-gender plural.

In other Spanish alphabet news: The Spanish Royal Academy has voted to remove "ch" and "ll" from the official Spanish alphabet. Further, the names of two other letters have been changed. "V" is now pronounced (in Spanish)"uve" rather than "ve". Further, "Y", which is traditionally called "i-griega" ("Greek i") may now also be called "ye".

UPDATE: Although the use of "@" as a letter is new to me, some commenters point out that it's been around at least since the1990s.

Categories: Uncategorized 92 Comments

Arrest warrant for Julian Assange

David Kopel • November 30, 2010 7:42 pm

Several days ago, Sweden issued an arrest warrant against Julian Assange for rape. Today, that warrant went global, thanks to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).

While some in the media have reported that Interpol itself issued an arrest warrant, that claim is not precisely accurate. Interpol, which is based in Lyon, France, has no law enforcement powers, and thus cannot issue warrants. Rather, Interpol's purpose is to share information among different national police agencies, subject to whatever restrictions the originating agency wishes to impose. (For example, the United States does not allow Iran, Cuba, Sudan, or Syria to access fingerprints which it has provided to Interpol.) Interpol also provides expert forensic or investigative services, such as bomb scene analysis, when requested by police agencies.

Regarding Assange, Interpol today issued a "Red Notice." According to the Red Notice, the warrant was issued by the International Public Prosecution Office in Gothenburg, Sweden.

As I detail in the monograph I am writing on Interpol, when a nation (here, Sweden) requests Interpol to issue a Red Notice, the nation affirms that there is, in that nation, a valid arrest warrant or court order for that person, and that the nation will seek extradition of the person if he is apprehended. Before Interpol publishes the Red Notice, Interpol staff review the application to ensure that there really is a validly-issued arrest warrant or court order, and that publication of the Red Notice would not drag Interpol into political, military, religious, or racial issues, which are forbidden by Article 3 of Interpol's Constitution.

Countries make their own decisions about how to treat a Red Notice. Some countries treat a Red Notice as an actionable request for an arrest; the United States does not. In 2008, Interpol published 3,126 Red Notices.

Interpol cautions that any person who is the subject of a Red Notice should be considered innocent until proven guilty. Persons having information about Assange's whereabouts are requested to contact their local or national police, or Interpol.

Categories: INTERPOL 273 Comments

Another good internship program for libertarian-minded law students

David Kopel • November 15, 2010 7:16 pm

The Independence Institute's Future Leaders Program. As a law student, you would work directly for me or for Rob Natelson (retired U. Montana constitutional law professor, and perhaps the most knowledgeable person in the world about American legal thought and practice in the Founding Era).

The Independence Institute is a think tank, not a public interest law firm. However, we do sometimes get involved in important constitutional cases, and my recent interns have worked on cases such as McDonald v. Chicago. We are involved in the constitutional challenges to ObamaCare, and plan to stay involved all the way to the Supreme Court. That said, your work at Independence Institute would probably involve more time helping with Issue Papers, op-eds, law review articles, and other publications than it would with brief-writing.

Nazism, Firearm Registration, and the Night of the Broken Glass"

David Kopel • November 9, 2010 6:12 pm

Reichskristallnacht was 72 years ago. Stephen Halbrook's 2009 article in the St. Thomas Law Review details the close connection between the disarmament of the German Jews and what came next. From the conclusion:

Over a period of several weeks in October and November 1938, the Nazi government disarmed the German Jewish population. The process was carried out both by following a combination of legal forms enacted by the Weimar Republic and by sheer lawless violence. The Nazi hierarchy could now more comfortably deal with the Jewish question without fear of armed resistance by the victims.

It may be tempting to argue that the possession of firearms by the German Jews would have made no difference, either in the 1938 pogrom or later in the Holocaust, when the majority were deported and then eradicated in death camps. Yet this fatalistic view ignores that the Nazis themselves viewed armed Jews as sufficiently dangerous to their policies to place great emphasis on the need to disarm all Jews. In 1938, it was by no means certain that Jewish armed resistance movements could not develop, and even less certain that individual Jews would not use arms to resist arrest, deportation, or attacks by the Nazis.
Consistent adherents of a "Never Again!" policy – which assumes that what has happened in history, could again happen – would seek policies to help ensure that it does not indeed occur again.

That brings us back to Alfred Flatow. [The article provides a case study of Flatow, a Jewish veteran of the German army, who competed for Germany in the 1896 Olympics.] What if he – and an unknown number of other Germans, Jews and non-Jews alike – had not registered his firearms in 1932? Or if the Weimar Republic had not decreed firearm registration at all? What if the Nazis, when they took power in 1933 and disarmed social democrats and other political enemies, or when they decided to repress the entire Jewish population in 1938, did not have police records of registered firearm owners? Can it be said with certainty that no one, either individually or in groups small or large, would have resisted Nazi depredations?

One wonders what thoughts may have occurred to Alfred Flatow in 1942 when he was dying of starvation at the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Perhaps memories of the 1896 Olympics and of a better Germany flashed before his eyes. Did he have second thoughts, maybe repeated many times before, on whether he should have registered his revolver and two pocket pistols in 1932 as decreed by the Weimar Republic? Or whether he should have obediently surrendered them at a Berlin police station in 1938 as ordered by Nazi decree, only to be taken into Gestapo custody? We will never know, but it is difficult to imagine that he had no regrets.
Categories: Guns, Registration 416 Comments

Commerce in the Commerce Clause: A Response to Jack Balkin

David Kopel • November 4, 2010 6:39 pm

A recent issue of the Michigan Law Review features Jack Balkin's article Commerce. (109 Mich. L. Rev. 1 [2010].) The article argues that in the original meaning of the Constitution, "commerce" was understood to include a broad variety of social relationships, including relationships that had nothing to do with economic activity. Accordingly, writes Balkin, the original meaning of the interstate commerce power justifies not only the entire New Deal, but almost every expansion of congressional power since then.

In a reply article for the Michigan Law Review's on-line supplement, First Impressions, Rob Natelson and I challenge Balkin's analysis. We argue that "commerce"–as it was actually used in the Constitution–includes mercantile exchange, and a few closely-related activities, such as navigation.

For example, for dictionary definitions of "commerce," Balkin relies entirely on the 1785 edition of Samuel Johnson, whose first word in the definition of "commerce" is "intercourse." We look at the 1786 edition of Johnson, as well as six other influential dictionaries of the period. All of these dictionaries have less expansive definitions.

In addition:

Balkin entirely fails to address a decisive historical fact: during the ratification debates, the Constitution's advocates repeatedly and clearly represented to the general public many areas over which the new government would have no power at all, at least within state boundaries. Their lists included education, social services, real estate transactions, inheritance, religion, manufacturing, agriculture and other land use, business licensing, most road building, civil justice within states, local government, and control of personal property outside mercantile commerce. All of these are within Balkin's broad definition of "commerce," but control over all, the Federalists informed the public, were outside federal authority."

As for whether the expansions of federal power during the presidencies of FDR, LBJ, GHWB, BHO, et al., are constitutionally justifiable, we leave that issue to whatever theory of living constitutionalism (or, per Woodrow Wilson, discarding the Constitution as outmoded) that one wishes to adopt (or to reject). We disagree with the first sentence of Balkin's article, that "A good test for the plausibility of any theory of constitutional interpretation is how well it handles the doctrinal transformations of the New Deal period." For otherwise, he writes, "we could not have a federal government that provides all of the social services and statutory rights guarantees that Americans have come to expect. The government could neither act to protect the environment nor rescue the national economy in times of crisis."

We disagree. The original meaning is what it is, not what people in the 21st century might wish it to be. "The original meaning of the Constitution does not depend on whether it comports with Jack Balkin's policy preferences on the welfare state any more than whether it comports with John Yoo's policy preferences on habeas corpus or John McCain's policy preferences on campaign speech." Of course the judicial and political branches, the legal academy, and the American public do not necessarily have to consider themselves restrained by original meaning.

Incidentally, for any law student who aspires to be a better legal writer, I highly recommend reading the Balkin article, or any other Balkin article. Balkin is superb at presenting sophisticated topics in a straightforward style that is engaging to read. Particularly outstanding is Balkin's Framework Originalism and the Living Constitution. Whether or not you are entirely persuaded that Balkin's particular synthesis of originalism and living constitutionalism should be the framework for constitutional interpretation, Balkin's description of when, why, and how courts actually decide to enforce or not enforce various parts of the Constitution is very perceptive.

Categories: Commerce Clause, Constitutional History, Economy, Originalism 120 Comments

"New Stimulus Plan Without Congressional Approval"

David Kopel • November 6, 2010 1:33 am

Jack Balkin provides the details in an excellent post on the Federal Reserve's announcement that it will buy $600 billion in Treasury bonds. As Balkin puts it, "Last Tuesday, the people made clear: no more big bailouts to banks, no second stimulus, no runaway federal spending." Yet the Federal Reserve is doing all three.

Balkin characterizes the Federal Reserve as an example what Sandy Levinson and he "call distributed dictatorship. Bernanke and the Fed do not control every part of American policy. They cannot order troops to go to war, for example. But in their specific area of expertise and authority–the use of the Fed's resources for economic policy–he and the Fed are effectively accountable to no one. And that is why Bernanke did what Obama and Congress could not do–ordered a second 600 billion dollar stimulus package for banks and other bondholders...."

One more reason why Rep. Ron Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve is a good idea. And a good starting place for progressives, libertarians, and conservatives to work together to start shutting down the bipartisan system of crony capitalism and corporate welfare that helped cause the current economic problems.

Categories: Economy 106 Comments

2d Amend. Results

David Kopel • November 2, 2010 7:55 pm

Senate: +6

House: +18.75

Governors: +.5

Constitutions: +4

Hawaii Gov. Dem. Abercrombie wins open seat, vacated by Linda Lingle. –75.

Undecided Governor races: Connecticut (potential +1), Repub. Foley leads by 3%, with 87% in. Florida (potential –1), Repub. Sink leads by 1% with 99% in. Minnesota open seat (potential –1), Mark Dayton leads by 1% with 90% in. Oregon (potential +1), Repub. Dudley leads by 2% with 81%in.

Undecided Senate races: Washington (potential +1), Murray (D, F) leads by 1% with 60% in. Colorado (potential +.5), Bennet (D, C) trails by 1% with 77% in. Alaska, Murkowski leading, with 51% in; all candidates are A-rated, but Republican Miller would probably be a more energetic activist.

Ill. Gov. Anti-gun incumbent Quinn hanging on, with 99% counted. Will make passage of licensed carry difficult.

Colorado State House of Representatives: Repubs. take control. So re-districting will be bi-partisan. Bad news for U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D, F), who needs a carefully-drawn district to win in 2012.

From Ben Smith @ Politico: Repubs. now fully control redistricting in Ind., Penn., Ohio, Ala., Mich, Wisc. My view: RKBA effects unclear, because all those state have lots of strongly pro-2d Amendment Dems. But probably a net plus for RKBA.

Wash. 2. John Koster (R, A)unseats Rick Larsen (D,B-).

Big race on the cusp. Less than 8,000 votes separate Illinois Gov. candidates, with 97% in. If Republican Brady wins, Illinois will get concealed carry.

Ariz. right to hunt and fish: Nearly 90% of precincts in. Losing by 13%. I project defeat.

Minn. 8. Chip Cravaack (A, R)unseats long-term incumbent Jim Oberstar (D, B+).+.25

Conn. Gov. retraction: With 81% of precincts reporting, Republican Tom Foley leads Dem. Dan Malloy by 3%. Possible pro-gun pickup.

Colo. Atty. Gen. Repub. John Suthers re-elected. Fends off challenger who attacked him for filing amicus briefs against gun control and health control.

Ohio Atty. Gen. Former U.S. Sen. Repub. Mike DeWine wins. Setback for 2d Amendment.

Ariz. 5.David Schweikart (R, A)beats incumbent Harry Mitchell (R, C-).+.5

Mich. 7.Tim Walburg (R, A) ousts Mark Schauer (R, B-).+.25.

N.Y. 19. Nan Hayworth (R, A) defeats incumbent John Hall (D, F).+1

N.Y. 13.Mike McMahon (D, F) ousted by Mike Grimm (R, A).+1

The official name of R.I. is the "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." Voters defeated a proposal to remove the second half of the name. As Brunonian, I am delighted.

N.H. 2. Charlie Bass (R, A) wins open seat vacated by Paul Hode (D,A-).

R.I. Gov. Independent Lincoln Chafee wins open seat.–1

Wash. 3. Open seat of retiring Brian Baird (B in 2008). Won by Jaime Herrera (R, A).+.25

Nev. Senate: Reid wins. Given a Democratic Senate, very good new for gun owners. Without Reid, the Majority Leader would have been Charles Schumer or Richard Durbin, either of them would be the first Majority Leader who was not only anti-gun, but strongly motivated and well-informed on the issue. Presuming that Reid is re-elected as Majority Leader, this means that both houses of Congress will have pro-gun leadership.

Ill. Sen. Mark Kirk (R, F) wins. Sponsored an "assault weapons" ban in the current Congress. Will be only strongly anti-gun Senator in GOP caucus. At least he's a staunch critic of United Nations malfeasance.

Right to hunt and fish trailing in Arizona, 56–44. One million votes counted so far.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R, B) ousts Ted Strickland (D, A+). Kasich voted wrong on the "assault weapon" ban in 1994, now claims to have seen the light. -.25

Ark. 2. Tim Griffin (R, A) takes open seat vacated by Vic Snyder (D, F in 2008). +15.25

Ohio 15.Steve Stivers (R, A) takes the seat from Mary Jo Kilroy (D, F).+1

Ohio 1.Steve Chabot (R, A) ousts Steve Driehaus (D, D).+1

Kan. 3.Dennis Moore (D, F in 2008) is retiring. His wife, Stephene Moore (?) was defeated by Kevin Yoder (R, A).+1

Conn. Gov. Dan Malloy (D, F) wins. Replaces term-limited Jodi Rell (R,F).

Penn. Senate. Pat Toomey (R, A) wins. Replaces inconsistent Arlen Specter. +.5

Great idea now circulating on Twitter: Replace Eric Holder with Russ Feingold.

Mo. 4. House Armed Services Chair Ike Skelton (D, A) defeated by Vicky Jo Hartzler (R,A).

Fla. 8.Allen West (R, A) unseats Ron Klein (D, F).+1

N.C. 2.Incumbent Bob Etheridge (D, D) narrowly beaten by Renee Ellmers (R, A).+1

Cal. Gov. Jerry Brown (D, D+) defeats Meg Whitman (R, C+). No net change from outgoing Gov. Schwarzenegger.

Ill. 14.Randy Hultgren (R, A-) vs. unseats Bill Foster (D, D).+1.

Penn.8: Repub. Mike Fitzpatrick (R, A) ousts Patrick Murphy (D+). Congratulations to the Snowflakes team!+1

S.C. 5: House Budget Chairman John Spratt (D, D) defeated by Mick Mulvaney (R, A). Good for 2d Amendment, and the public fisc.+1

Ill. 17. Bobby Schilling (R, A) takes the seat from Phil Hare (D, F).+1

Louisiana. Joseph Cao (R, C) unseated by Cedric Richmond (D, F). First net loss of the evening. -.5

Republicans take State House of Representatives in Pennsylvania. Good news for RKBA.

South Carolina and Arkansas Constitutions: Right to hunt and fish amendments have been declared winners. Still awaiting results from similar amendment in Arizona.

Penn. 7. Joe Sestak's open seat is taken by Pat Meehan (R, A).+1

Kansas Constitution: "Shall the state amend its Constitution to include an individual right to bear arms?" With 19% of precincts reporting, the question leads 87% to 13%. I project that it will win.

Wisc. Sen. Ron Johnson (R, A) unseats Russ Feingold (D, C). Feingold has been a great leader on many civil liberties issues. I hope he finds a way to stay on the national scene. +.5

N.J. 3. Jon Runyan (R, A) unseats John Adler (D, D).+1

Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker (R, A) wins open seat. Very important. Means that Wisconsin has a very good chance of enacting licensed carry next year.

Penn. 3. Kathy Dahlkemper (D, C) unseated by Mike Kelly (R, A).+.5

Tennessee Constitution. With over half the precincts in, the right to hunt and fish amendment to the state constitution is leading 90% to 10%. I hereby declare it a winner.

Penn. Gov. Tom Corbett (R, A) wins, replacing the retiring Ed Rendell. +1

N.H. 1. Frank Guinta (R, A) unseats Carol Shea-Porter (D,F).

Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick re-elected. Unfortunate.

Kan. Gov. Sam Brownback (R, A) wins. Replaces the Lt. Gov. who succeeded Sebelius and who did not run.+5.

Fla. 2. Alan Southerland (R, A) beats incumbent Alan Boyd (D,D).

N.D. Sen. John Hoeven (R, A) takes seat held by retiring Byron Dorgan (D, D+).+1

Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder (R, refused to answer NRA questionnaire) defeats F-rated Dem.

Tenn. Gov. Mike Haslam (R, B-) defeats Mike McWherter (D,C-).

Ark. Gov. Incumbent Mike Beebe (D, A-) beats Jim Keet (R,B+).

Fla. 8. Daniel Webster (R, A) defeats Alan Grayson (D, B).+.25.

W.V. Sen. Manchin (D, A) wins. Takes the seat of the late Robert Byrd.+1

Conn. Sen. Blumenthal (D, F) wins, replacing Chris Dodd. Will be even more of an anti-gun leader.

Ark. Sen. Boozman (R, A) defeats Blanche Lincoln (D, D+).+1.

Fla. 24. Suzanne Kosmas (D, F-rated) loses. +1.

N.H. Gov. Lynch (Dem, C-rated by NRA) re-elected.

Fla. Rubio (R) win. Keeps seat pro-gun.

Missouri. Blunt (R) defeats Carnahan. Keeps seat in pro-gun hands.

N.H. Ayotte (R) wins. Improvement over retiring Judd Gregg (R).+.5

Ohio: Portman (R) defeats former Handgun Control, Inc., board member Lee Fisher. Will replace usually-anti George Voinovich. +1

Kentucky: Rand Paul wins. Replaces retiring Jim Bunning. Will probably be more of a leader on the issue than Bunning was.

Indiana. Dan Coats (R) wins. When previously in the Senate, was sometimes good, but not always. Dem. Brad Ellsworth would have been better. Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh was always bad.+5.

Vermont. Pat Leahy (D) re-elected. Much better to have him as chair or ranking member of Judiciary than Herb Kohl.

Categories: Congress, Guns, Politics 16 Comments

Second Amendment election returns

David Kopel • November 2, 2010 11:47 am

I'll be providing them here tonight, once the polls close, and results start coming in. I'll also be doing updates via Twitter, @davekopel.

Besides the candidate races, there are five important ballot issues. Kansas will be voting on whether to restore the individual right to keep and bear arms to state constitution, undoing the judicial nullification in Salina v. Blaksley (1905). Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee will decide whether to give explicit constitutional protection to the right to hunt and fish.

The Washington Examiner has this useful guide to some of the key races, organized by when the polls close. Some early races to watch, all of them with poll closings at 7 pm. eastern time:

Peninsular Florida, eastern time zone: 22d district (incumb. Dem. Ron Klein) and 24th (incumbent Dem. Suzanne Kosmos), both terrible on gun rights, and both facing pro-gun opponents. 8th District, where incumb. Dem. Alan Grayson has a B rating from the NRA, but his opponent Daniel Webster has an A (and Grayson's outrageous incivility provides a non-ideological reason to hope for his defeat).

Indiana, central time zone (polls close at 6 p.m. locally). Open seat, with Dem. Brad Ellsworth (perfect record on Second Amendment) vs. Repub. Dan Coats (uneven record). Either would be superior to retiring Evan Bayh, and Coats has a huge lead in the polls.

South Carolina. 5th District, House Budget Chairman John Spratt. By far the most senior and powerful anti-gun congressman who is at serious risk, among the early poll closings.

Virginia, 11th Dist. Incumbent Dem. Gerry Connolly appears to have a tighter race than expected. Michael Bloomberg has been spending heavily on Connolly's behalf recently. Conventional wisdom says that Connolly survives a wave, but not a tsunami.

Further information on the gun issue in the 2010 election is available in my guides to the House races and the Senate races.

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