IL Supreme Court: Defends 2nd Amendment Civil right


From the Up is Down/Black Is White file , some good news out of non-other than Illinois for once.

CHICAGO — The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled a woman’s misdemeanor battery conviction can’t permanently prevent her from registering for a state FOID card and owning a gun, and said the right to keep and bear arms should be considered a civil right, on par with the right to vote, under the state’s firearms regulation.

Shawna Johnson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery in June 2001. In 2010, she obtained a Firearm Owners Identification Card, saying a local sheriff advised her she could mark “no” when the form asked her if she had a prior domestic violence conviction. However, she was denied her request to buy a handgun, and the Illinois State Police revoked her FOID card. She then sued in Wabash County Circuit Court in far southern Illinois. A judge ordered her card reinstated, and ruled the state’s FOID law was unconstitutional, as it applied to Johnson.

Justice Mary Jane Theis wrote the unanimous opinion on the ISP’s appeal, issued Jan. 24.

Theis said the question centered on whether granting Johnson a FOID card — which Johnson argued is a proper restoration of her Second Amendment rights — runs contrary to the federal Gun Control Act, which “prohibits the shipping, transport, possession, and receipt of firearms and ammunition by any person ‘who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.’”

The justices noted Johnson’s conviction has not been expunged or overturned, and a 2012 gubernatorial pardon application was rejected. However, Theis pointed to a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Logan v. United States for its description of the “civil rights restored” provision, under which the “government relieves an offender of some or all of the consequences of his conviction.” Theis further explained the state’s FOID Card Act has a specific rights restoration provision by establishing an individual hearing process to determine if the applicant is likely to be a public safety concern.

“Federal courts have not had occasion to recognize a state process like that of Illinois for restoration of firearm rights or to even consider whether firearm rights are ‘civil rights’ as that term is applied under the federal statute,” Theis wrote.

She said courts have typically listed three such civil rights: The rights to vote, serve on a jury and hold elected office. She noted Johnson never lost those rights as a result of her misdemeanor conviction.

The State Police argued that because Johnson never lost the right to vote, sit on a jury or run for office, she isn’t entitled to the restoration exception in the FOID law. But the justices disagreed, saying “a limited ‘three rights’ view is not sustainable.”

“Congress recognized that different states have different laws and procedures for restoring civil rights to people and, depending on the conviction, an offender may lose all, none or some of those rights through different mechanisms,”

Who could have seen that one coming?


  1. “that a law repugnant to the constitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument.”
    Marbury v Madison

    “Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
    For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

    The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

    TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242

    Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”


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