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‘This Is Legally Illiterate:’ Let’s All Laugh at Shannon Watts’ Clueless Take on the Supreme Court

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Earlier today (and in a VIP post the other day), we talked about U.S. v. Rahimi, the biggest case decided today in the Supreme Court. The short version is that the Supreme Court said that people who are subject to a domestic restraining order where they were found to present a danger to themselves or others, can be stripped of their right to keep and bear arms. Like it or hate it, we tend to think that as a practical matter, the Supreme Court was always going to carve out an exception to the Second Amendment that applied to people subject to these kinds of restraining orders and the question we had was how much damage they might do to the law in doing so. And as we said earlier, the answer was that it did as little damage we can hope for.

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So, the pro-gun-control crowd won, a little bit. Therefore, a gun grabber like Shannon Watts should be happy, right?

Oh, no, she is mad that the Supreme Court even considered the case:

We try not to make fun of non-lawyers for not fully understanding how the courts work, but this is a bit too much. After all, she presents herself as someone who knows anything about Supreme Court policy, to the point that she is willing to advocate for overthrowing the Supreme Court, much like Senator Warren … 

… and yet, judging by her post on today’s decision, Watts doesn’t know anything about the Court. So, if this was some random lay person, we probably wouldn’t make fun, but she presents herself as knowing something about the Supreme Court and she plainly doesn’t.

You see, here’s the problem with her argument: Rahimi won in the lower court. If we were gun grabbers like Shannon Watts, we would be glad the Supreme Court took the case and overturned it. In fact, the very name in the caption—U.S. v. Rahimi—tells you that it was the United States that lost below, and the United States was trying to overturn all or part of the decision below.

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Again, we don’t expect lay people to know all that without being told, but if you write an entire piece for CNN calling for the Supreme Court to be basically destroyed as an institution, shouldn’t you know something about how they operate?

To put it in a little more detail, in the district court, Rahimi pled guilty to the charge of possession of a gun while subject to a domestic restraining order, under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8). There is a lot of complexity that we are going to gloss over, but basically from there he appealed to the Fifth Circuit. At first, he lost there, but then the Supreme Court ruled in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022). That case cast enough doubt on the original Fifth Circuit opinion that they withdrew their own decision and reconsidered their decision in light of Bruen. This time, the Fifth Circuit found in Rahimi’s favor and said he was wrongfully convicted of that particular gun charge. So if nothing was done, Rahimi would have had that conviction vacated, and so would every other person convicted of that crime.

And then at that point the United States filed a petition to the Supreme Court basically asking them to hear the case. And we glossed over this in our last piece, but the Supreme Court really doesn’t have to take most appeals. There are a few narrow categories of cases where the Supreme Court has to hear a case, but most of the time, they get to decide which cases they will review and, frankly, the vast majority of cases that deserve to be reviewed are ignored. In hindsight, it is exceedingly clear that the main purpose the conservatives on the Supreme Court had in taking the case was to reverse the Fifth Circuit, with a message of ‘Fifth Circuit, we like the Second Amendment, but what the actual eff are you doing here?’

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Seriously, like this ruling or hate it, but the Supreme Court was never going to say that people under a true domestic violence protective order, obtained fairly and otherwise in line with the Constitution, was allowed to lawfully carry a gun—at least not anytime soon.

So again, if a complete lay person had made Watts’ mistake, we wouldn’t be calling that person out like this. But when it is someone who claims to know enough about the Supreme Court to basically argue for destroying it as an institution, we are going to point and laugh at her ignorance.

And there was much pointing and laughing. For instance, there was at one point a community note attached to her post, but it keeps disappearing and reappearing. This is what it said the last time it appeared and if you see it, we suggest you rate it as ‘helpful.’

Sadly, you cannot also rate it ‘hilarious.’

We think we detect sarcasm…

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We think she wouldn’t understand the question.

Technically, a guilty plea is a conviction. And he agreed to the restraining order.

Right, that area being the Fifth Circuit, basically Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Seriously, how does she have this many followers? Other than conservatives following her to see what dumb thing she says next?

Mr. Adler is a professor of law.

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Seriously, straight into our veins.

Sir, we are told that the politically correct term is womenopause.

Sorry, we are now being told that the gender inclusive term is 'people who identify as womenopause.' We apologize for the error.

Details, details.

Seriously, her post has over 2,700 likes. How does over 2,700 people think this is a good post?

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Yeah, we have heard that theory before in some contexts, claiming that this person or that person is ‘is stupid like a fox.’ But we think this is more likely to be a case of something Reagan said:


And that’s what this really is, just insane, knee-jerk hatred so deep that she doesn’t understand that, from her gun-grabbing perspective, she won. She should be glad the Supreme Court took the case, and glad that they ruled the way they did. We’re sure she also wishes the Supreme Court would to more to undermine the Second Amendment, but a person in her position at least be happy with this outcome.

Finally, mirror universe Spock had an observation:

It is incredible that she hasn't deleted it yet, approximately nine hours and counting later.

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