Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bloomberg's Hand Picked Judge

Yeah, it's a bit old, but it still is irritating.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry's trade association, said today it was outraged but not surprised to learn that Brooklyn, N.Y.-based federal court judge Jack B. Weinstein had appointed a lawyer handpicked by New York City Mayor Bloomberg to monitor several small out-of-state "mom and pop" gun stores that had been sued by Bloomberg earlier this year.

The lawyer, Andrew Weissman, is a partner with the Chicago- based law firm of Jenner and Block. The firm represents the Violence Policy Center (VPC), a Washington, D.C.-based gun control group known for its extremist positions, which include advocating a ban on civilian ownership of handguns. Jenner & Block filed a brief for VPC supporting the City of Chicago's attempt to obtain highly sensitive law enforcement data on guns traced by law enforcement during criminal investigations. Jenner and Block's brief for VPC argued the data should be released to the public despite opposition from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that it would endanger ongoing criminal investigations and a federal law that specifically bars public disclosure. A federal appeals court rejected Jenner and Block's arguments. Chicago had sought the data for use in its lawsuit against gun makers, which was ultimately dismissed by a state appeals court.

"Judge Weinstein's Halloween Day order appointing a lawyer handpicked by Mayor Bloomberg for whose firm has strong ties to a radical anti-gun group gives new meaning to the phrase, 'Trick- or-Treat,'" said Lawrence G. Keane, chief spokesperson for the firearms industry. "We fear it will be a nightmare for these small businesses."

In a series of earlier rulings in a related case, Judge Weinstein ruled the City of New York could have and use privileged gun trace data in its civil suit against gun makers. The case, originally filed in June 2000 by then-mayor Rudy Giuliani and continued by Bloomberg, is now before a federal appeals court in New York.

Gun makers have long been concerned with Judge Weinstein's bias and have even asked Judge Weinstein to recuse himself in the city's suit against the manufacturers. Weinstein refused to step aside.

Bloomberg's suit against 15 out-of-state "mom-and-pop" gun dealers claims they participated in "simulated straw-purchases." Bloomberg, despite promises made at a press conference announcing the suit, has failed to make available evidence of the alleged illegal conduct to the ATF, whom he had described as "asleep at the switch." The actions of Bloomberg's private investigators, done without the knowledge of either ATF or the New York City police department, interfered with as many as 18 ongoing criminal investigations and are now being investigated by ATF.

Simulated straw-purchases? Did they buy the guns or not? They did, and thus it was a straw purchase. No simulations, just more news that is a lie.

As for Weinstein, looks like NY has some judges in need of review as well.

And the ATF's investigation continues on it's glacial rate.

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