Attorneys that won the Supreme Court 2A case were forced out of their firm for, well…winning the Supreme Court 2A case

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WASHINGTON, DC – Paul Clement and Erin Murphy are the two lawyers who successfully argued New York Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. versus Bruen before the Supreme Court.

The SCOTUS decision ruled that the state of New York has been infringing on New Yorker’s Constitutional rights by legislating restrictive gun control measures, such as requiring them to show cause for needing a concealed carry permit in order to be issued said permit.

So, how did the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP celebrate this landmark decision and huge win for the 2nd Amendment?

Paul Clement told Politico:

“We were given a stark choice. Either withdraw from ongoing representations or withdraw from the firm.” 

Thanks to pressure from clients and other attorneys at the firm, Kirkland & Ellis will no longer handle 2nd Amendment cases. They told Clement and Murphy to cease representing their 2A clients or leave the firm.

What did the duo choose?

“Anyone who knows us and our views regarding professional responsibility and client loyalty knows there was only one course open to us,” Clement added. “We could not abandon ongoing representations just because a client’s position is unpopular in some circles.”

The firm confirmed the separation but did not provide reasoning for their decision to stop taking on gun-related cases.

“We wish them the best of luck in the future, and we look forward to collaborating with them in the future in matters not involving the Second Amendment,” Jon Ballis said in a statement.

Clement and Murphy penned a response to the ordeal that was published in the Wall Street Journal.

In part, they wrote:

“The Constitution is the foundation of American liberty, but it isn’t self-executing. It depends on lawyers who are willing to take on controversial matters and on judges who are able to hear the best possible arguments from both sides.

The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is limited to cases and controversies, which means the justices can’t uphold rights without an advocate to make the argument.

The American legal profession’s willingness to take on and stand by controversial clients has made our system of justice the envy of the world. The profession shouldn’t back down from its willingness to tackle the most divisive issues. We certainly won’t.”

The pair raised a significant question: what if all attorneys simply refused to accept clients because they happen to disagree with them, or their stance was unpopular?

There would be a lot of unrepresented individuals/companies across the country.

And while a firm is perfectly free to accept or refuse cases based on their areas of expertise, one would never expect their refusal to be centered around something as pivotal as not wanting to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States.

“The scope of the Second Amendment and the plague of gun violence are more controversial than the Federal Arbitration Act or even religious speech,” the opinion piece continued.

“But that makes resisting the pressure to drop an unpopular client all the more crucial. The problems posed by the spate of recent violent gun crimes are real. But the solution isn’t to fire clients who have just vindicated a fundamental constitutional right. We are sticking with our clients.”

Ironically, this isn’t the first time that one of them left a firm after defending a client’s position deemed unpopular by the firm.

In 2013, Clement left Atlanta’s King & Spalding after they tried to put distance between themselves and Clement.

In that instance, Clement was hired to fight for the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that banned same-sex marriages. During that corporate divorce, Clement commented:

“I resign out of the firmly held belief that a representation should not be abandoned because the client’s legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters. Defending unpopular clients is what lawyers do.” 

Clement and Murphy, independent of their personal views of the 2nd Amendment, deserve our applause and thanks. Their desire to uphold a defend the US Constitution is commendable, and one that lawmakers in DC should emulate.

We spoke with 2nd Amendment advocate, author and commentator Dan Wos, who wrote the Good Gun Bad Guy series of books dismantling the anti-gun narrative. He is also the host of a weekly podcast called Loaded Mic.

“The ‘Woke’ mentality has seemed to permeate all segments of society. Even some law firms appear to choose political positioning over Constitutional law,” he said. “What a shame that honest attorneys can’t practice unless they tow the liberal line. Due to the ‘historical precedent’ requirements written into the Bruen decision, it is likely that these two attorneys will be very busy winning more 2nd Amendment cases in the future.”

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DIG DEEPER

A Supreme Court justice suggested getting rid of 2nd Amendment to stop school shootings

WASHINGTON, DC- He didn’t retire a moment too soon for those who embrace the Second Amendment. “He” is the late Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. The Washington Post reminds us of a suggestion made four years ago after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida: Get rid of the Second Amendment.

Stevens made the suggestion after 17 people were killed in the shooting in February 2018. The shooting spurred protests across the country and spurred the “March for Our Lives” protest in Washington, DC the next month.

That same month, Stevens praised those who gathered to protest the shooting in Florida in a New York Times op-ed and their call for stricter gun control measures. However Stevens believed they weren’t going far enough.

“But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform,” he wrote the year before he died at age 99. “They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”

According to Stevens, the amendment was put into the Bill of Rights over concern that a national standing army would pose a threat to the security of the states, an issue which he said today “is a relic of the 18th century, he wrote.

Stevens said such a repeal would be a “simple but dramatic action [that] would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform,” and claimed such action would make school kids safer.

The fact Stevens claimed repealing the amendment would be “simple” flies in the face of the mountain that would have to be climbed in order to do so. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that it would be virtually impossible for gun control advocates to achieve such a milestone.

The Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress to overturn an amendment, followed by three-fourths of the states, which by our count comes out to 38 states. It is fairly easy to reach 13 states (actually many more) where they wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting it passed and repealing the Second Amendment. By our count, there are at least 25 states and probably more where this would never pass.

The Post admitted that Stevens’ proposal didn’t generate much momentum at all, however it did get somewhat significant pushback, including from fellow liberals.

“I admire Justice Stevens but his supposedly ‘simple but dramatic’ step of repealing the 2d Am is AWFUL advice,” tweeted Laurence Tribe, Harvard law professor. “The obstacle to strong gun laws is political, not legal. Urging a politically impossible effort just strengthens opponents of achievable reform.”

Expanding on his argument, Tribe wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post titled “The Second Amendment isn’t the problem.”

“The NRA’s strongest rallying cry has been: ‘They’re coming for our beloved Second Amendment,” he wrote. “Enter Stevens, stage left, boldly calling for the amendment’s demise, thereby giving aid and comfort to the gun lobby’s favorite argument.”

Stevens claimed that in order to overturn the controversial 2008 Supreme Court Decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, repeal of the Second Amendment was necessary. That ruling, passed by a 5-4 majority ruled Americans had an individual right to bear arms. Stevens was one of the four dissenters.

“For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation,” Stevens claimed in the op-ed.

Stevens was actually nominated to the Supreme Court in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, a Republican. Another solid liberal vote, the soon-to-retire Stephen Breyer was also nominated by a Republican, George H. W. Bush. Of course back then, Supreme Court nominations weren’t quite as political as they are today, with Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork being an exception.

After Stevens’ call went nowhere in 2018, the latest shooting in Uvalde, Texas last week has renewed calls among some leftists to repeal the Second Amendment, a fool’s errand to be sure.

One of those calling to repeal the amendment is far-left liberal Michael Moore, who appeared on one of MSNBC’s cellar-dwelling (ratings-wise) programs, “All In With Chris Hayes.”

Yet another liberal to call for repeal of the Second Amendment is Walter Shapiro, fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU school of Law and a lecturer in political science at Yale University.

Writing in the New Republic last week, Shapiro said “the hard truth is that the core problem is the Second Amendment itself. And America is going to reel from one mass murder to another unless the Second Amendment is repealed or the Supreme Court drastically reduces its scope.”

Continuing, he said, “As a starting point, Democrats should drop the mealy-mouthed formulation, ‘Nobody supports the Second Amendment more than I do, but still…’ Claiming fidelity to the Second Amendment has never convinced a single NRA supporter of a candidate’s sincerity, but it has stopped bold thinking about lasting solutions to America’s gun crisis.”

The first U.S. school shooting occurred in 1853, resulting in the death of a teacher. However repeal of the Second Amendment hasn’t been embraced in the mainstream, even among Democrats.

Even Biden said last month, “I support the Second Amendment,” although he repeated his oft-debunked claim that the Second Amendment wasn’t “absolute,” and repeated his repeatedly fact-checked claim that “you couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was ratified,” which is a lie.

Stevens’ suggestion to eliminate the Second Amendment came only a few years after he had proposed amending the Second, in his book “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.” The book was excerpted in a 2014 Washington Post op-ed.

In that excerpt Stevens suggested adding five words (in italics below) to the Second Amendment, which would render it pretty much useless:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

Yeah, that won’t work.

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DIG DEEPER

U.S.A.  Just imagine:  You are sitting in your living room watching a movie with your family.  The night is quiet and calm.

Suddenly, the serenity is interrupted by the front door bursting open, as two gun-wielding assailants, seeking to prey on an innocent family, kick it in.

The two men are shouting unintelligibly and pointing their weapons at your family.

Fearing for your life and the lives of your family members, you reach for your own firearm, and fire at both attackers, who go down.

A family member calls 911, requesting an ambulance and police.  You and your loved ones even administer first aid to the best of your ability to the very men who attacked you in the first place.

You’ve done everything you think is right, with only seconds to respond.

Perhaps in the fairest of worlds, this would be a clear-cut case of self-defense, and close to the end of the story.

However, real life is not always that simple.

Laws vary from state to state, and procedures vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the arrival of first responders may bring a confusing, chaotic set of events.

You may be handcuffed.  Law enforcement will want to question you.  Your weapon may be confiscated.

Charges may be filed against you.

Regarding the first aid you administered, a prosecutor may use your actions against you and say you displayed remorse by trying to save the persons you shot.

What can come next can be a lengthy, expensive march through the criminal justice system, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.  A murder trial can take up approximately 1000 costly attorney hours.

Even if you are acquitted of any charges, further legal proceedings may still follow, such as civil action, retrials, or appeals.

So what is a law-abiding gun owner to do?

The answer lies in dependable, affordable legal coverage for self-defense incidents.

U.S. LawShield is a well-known, highly-respected provider of such coverage.

According to Kristi Heuring, VP of communications at U.S. LawShield, U.S. LawShield was founded in 2009 by a trial attorney.

This attorney, she told me:

“wanted to form U.S. LawShield to help self-defenders and law-abiding gun owners defend themselves and their families.

“He was seeing some of the injustices in the legal system, and how the good guys were being treated like the bad guys.”

The company started out as Texas LawShield, and then branched out to cover other states.  Coverage is now available for 46 states, excluding New York, Rhode Island, Alaska, and Maine.

Over 700,000 members strong, U.S. LawShield offers “legal defense for self-defense.”

Base coverage, which costs only $10.95 per month, covers the member from the moment a self-defense incident happens through the completion of criminal and/or civil proceedings.

All legal fees are covered, with no caps, limitations, or deductibles.  Members pay nothing out of pocket over their monthly fee.

The coverage includes more than firearms for self-defense.  Any legal weapon used for self-defense, from a baseball bat, to a frying pan, to bare hands, and even to a vehicle, falls under the plan.

As a U.S. LawShield member in the above scenario, the second call you would make after calling 911 would be to the U.S. LawShield emergency hotline number, which is answered 24/7/365 not by a call center, but by a vetted independent program attorney in your state.  This call is completely confidential and cannot be used in court.

The program attorney will begin handling legal matters from there, from speaking with the police, to mounting any defense as necessary.

U.S. Law Shield program attorneys all specialize in self-defense and firearm laws.  Many are former prosecutors who now work for the defense.

U.S. LawShield also features considerable educational materials and resources available to members.

For example, members can call a non-emergency line at any time to be connected with a program attorney in their state to answer legal questions and concerns about firearms and self-defense laws.

U.S. LawShield also provides its members with many informational local seminars and workshops to attend.  There, independent program attorneys update members on laws and how to handle themselves in the event of a self-defense incident.

In addition, U.S. LawShield has a YouTube channel featuring hundreds of videos on various topics.  The channel also hosts a YouTube live event every other Tuesday.  These events feature at least two program attorneys, and often the president of U.S. LawShield, and they often include a question and answer session afterwards.

Heuring told me:

“We want to keep everybody armed and educated, so we try to provide as much information as possible to where we can break down the law and make it more digestible for our members.

“Everyone is a law-abiding gun owner, as far as our members, but sometimes that law can be difficult to understand, and there are so many nuances, so we try to make that much easier for our members to know what they need to do to stay on the right side of the law.”

Add-on protections are also available to combine with the base membership fee of $10.95.

For instance, one of the most popular add-ons is multi-state protection, which proves very useful for members who are traveling with a firearm.

Members can even call U.S. LawShield to inquire about the best route to take through various states, and about areas to avoid.  They can also download travel guides by state in order to have the best understanding of state-specific laws where they are traveling.

Another add-on is minor child coverage.  Children in the house under the age of 18 will be protected in the event of a self-defense incident.  For example, if a minor child defends himself or herself on the playground and the opposing family sues for emotional distress, U.S. LawShield benefits will apply.

In addition, U.S. LawShield offers a HunterShield add-on for hunters and anglers, covering outdoor-sport-specific circumstances such as accusations of trespassing.

For those in law enforcement, it is very important to note that U.S. LawShield covers law enforcement members for both on-duty and off-duty self-defense incidents, even if the officer carries other coverage through the Fraternal Order of Police or other organizations.  Both criminal and civil proceedings are covered.

One of the most well-known U.S. LawShield members is Jack Wilson, the man who stopped a shotgun-wielding gunman in December 2019 at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, TX.

The gunman shot and killed two parishioners at the church during a service.  Wilson, a firearms instructor and the head of the church security team, stopped the threat with a single shot to the gunman’s head.

Although he saved countless lives that day with his heroism, Wilson still faced legal action.

Fortunately, Wilson, a U.S. LawShield member since 2013, called the emergency number for U.S. LawShield after the shooting, and program attorney Katherine Reed met him right there at the church.

Reed walked Wilson through the legal processes that followed, and she was with him throughout a long, stressful nine months as Wilson waited for a grand jury verdict.

Finally, in September 2020, a Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict Wilson for the fatal self-defense shooting.

Attorney Katherine Reed stated after the grand jury returned their decision:

“The good thing about [U.S.] LawShield… is that they know the procedures, and they know who to contact. 

“The average citizen has no idea what’s going to happen, and they feel sometimes overwhelmed by the idea that there are these big systems that are thinking about them and considering their cases, and if they don’t understand what’s happening, that could be daunting, and, I’m sure, stressful.

“So, having an attorney on your side to explain some of that procedure hopefully gives some comfort and allows them to live their life while this is pending.”

Wilson also stated after the grand jury decision was returned:

“When the grand jury did issue the No Bill, that was a pleasant relief, to not have that hanging over my head at that point.

“I knew that I didn’t have anything to worry about, going through the grand jury process, because when I made the phone call, talked to an attorney that afternoon, within… about an hour and fifteen minutes, Ms. Reed was on-site….

“If you deal with U.S. LawShield, you do not have to worry, if you use your firearm, about what you’re going to do after the fact.”

For more information on U.S. LawShield, please visit their website here.

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