Judge Marcia Krieger wrote she did not want to be viewed as a super legislator (did you take note of that Don Quick?), yet her very ruling betrays her as such. Instead of ruling on the law as is, she ruled on the law as she interpreted it. What’s been lost in all this hoopla about the gun laws being ruled “constitutional” (for now), is that the defacto magazine ban on what 9News said was “essentially all magazines” still exists. As Kyle Clark himself reported:
“If one line in this bill is interpreted literally… it could ban sales and transfers of ammunition with a removable baseplate, and that’s essentially all magazines.”
Interpreted literally? Isn’t that how Krieger is supposed to be reading the law? As it stands, now, Coloradans are at the mercy and temperament of whoever is Governor or Attorney General. Little confidence is inspired when the best defense gun control advocates had against such an accusation was this:
“They don’t think that will happen.”
We’ve already got a Democratic Attorney General candidate in Don Quick who feels his knowledge of law is superior to the Supreme Court and his will trumps those of all the Coloradans who passed a constitutional amendment; what hope do Colorado gun owners have if he suddenly decides to interpret the magazine ban more broadly than current Attorney General Jon Suthers? The law as it currently stands, only doesn’t ban virtually every magazine because of a directive Suthers wrote. Should Quick become Attorney General—or, another liberal Democrat somewhere down the line—and decide to write a new directive, there would be nothing stopping him from doing so.
We only have to look at the overreach of the EPA over the past decade, where unelected bureaucrats decided a congressional law passed in the 70’s gives them pretty much an unlimited scope of power over all the air and water across the country. Good luck finding a piece of private property where they can’t get you now.
The right and prudent ruling (and, the one where the judge does not act as a super legislator) would have been for Krieger to strike down the law because of that one line alone. Forget whether the rest of the law was constitutional, that one line was so egregious, she should have written she could not ignore the ambiguous power a hastily written law granted the government. If Hickenlooper and Democratic legislators decided it was still in Colorado’s best interests to have such a law on the books, he could certainly call a special session. And, with Democratic majorities in both houses, they should have no problem passing an identical bill minus that unconstitutional line.
As a judge, Krieger has to read the law as is, not how she wants it be. Deciding this law was constitutional despite the defacto magazine ban still being in it, shows she failed to do that.