SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) — Challenges against Illinois’ gun ban continue in courts up and down the federal judiciary.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted the ban on more than 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines over certain capacities on Jan. 10. Part of the law requires grandfathered firearms to be registered with Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024. Criminal penalties could apply for those found out of compliance.
Lawsuits were filed in state and federal courts shortly after the measure was enacted. Outcomes since then range from a preliminary injunction against the law being issued in federal court being stayed, thousands of temporary restraining orders being issued in state courts being vacated, and continued filings challenging the law on Second and 14th amendment grounds among other issues.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court docketed a case brought by Illinois state Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, challenging the state’s gun and magazine ban. Separately in the Southern District of Illinois federal court Tuesday, a judge denied the state’s motion to delay responding to plaintiffs seeking an injunction against the Jan. 1 registry deadline. Also this week, a second separate motion was filed by plaintiffs out of Naperville to have the entire Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals review the case.
In the case Caulkins brought to state court earlier this year, plaintiffs received a favorable ruling against the law in Macon County. The Pritzker administration brought an appeal directly to the Illinois Supreme Court. Caulkins’ attorneys then motioned for two of the Illinois Supreme Court justices who each received $1 million in campaign contributions from Pritzker to recuse themselves in hearing the case. That was denied and in August the Illinois Supreme Court sided with the state.
In March, Pritzker said concerns of conflict of interest because of his donations to the then-candidates for the Illinois Supreme Court were “ridiculous.”
On Wednesday, Caulkins was hopeful the U.S. Supreme Court will look at the perceived conflicts and disqualify the two Illinois Supreme Court justices, which could lead to the state’s gun ban being overturned.
“This is an affront on our republican form of government, separation of powers,” Caulkins told The Center Square of the perception of a conflict of interest. “Really, that is why we took this case to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Separately, despite two of three judges from the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling the state had a likelihood of succeeding on the merits in the case, Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois and other plaintiffs motioned this week for a preliminary injunction against the Jan. 1 deadline to register banned items. On Tuesday, Southern District of Illinois Judge Stephen McGlynn denied the state’s motion to delay responding, giving a Dec. 21 date for a status hearing.
Gun rights advocate Todd Vandermyde said on his YouTube channel Wednesday, he bets oral arguments come very soon.
“It is possible that we get oral arguments in the very early part of December hopefully in time to seek an injunction staying the end date on the registration component,” Vandermyde said.
In updates from other cases, a separate motion has been filed by plaintiffs out of the Naperville case for a full appeals bench review of the Second Amendment challenge. Attorney Thomas Maag had earlier requested a similar appeal in the Seventh Circuit for the plaintiffs group he represents.
Maag has a separate challenge of the state’s ban and registry, arguing it is unconstitutionally vague, pending in the Southern District of Illinois. MgGlynn heard a motion for final judgment in that case in October.
By GREG BISHOP for the Illinois Radio Network
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