Going after SARC


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legaleagle_45
July 14, 2009, 04:57 PM
<Legaleagle gets on soap box...>

As most of you know, the Second Amendment Research Center (SARC) is an anti 2nd Amendment group funded by the Joyce Foundation (which also funds the VPC and a host of other anti gun groups). Headed by Saul Cornell, it masquerades as a scholarly group which seeks to influence courts rather than the general populace. In fact, their "research" is oftentimes cited by courts for authority (Stevens cited their work in his dissent in Heller, for instance). Here is what Alan Gura recently wrote about SARC and the Joyce Foundation:

It might be useful to note that Cornell serves as the Director of something called “The Second Amendment Research Center,” created in 2002 with a $399,967 grant by the Joyce Foundation. Citation to Newly Published Authority Per Rule 28(j), at 2, Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370 (D.C. Cir. 2007) (No. 04-7041) (citing the Joyce Foundation website). The Second Amendment Research Center’s website now claims it is “supported by a generous grant from the Joyce Foundation.” Second Amendment Research Center, http://secondamendmentcenter.com/about_us.asp
(last visited May 26, 2009). The Joyce Foundation is the nation’s preeminent and perhaps most lavish sponsor of extremist gun prohibitionist groups and publications, including the Violence Policy Center, Handgun Free America, and Legal Community Against Violence. The Joyce Foundation, Grant List:

http://www.joycefdn.org/Programs/Gun...GrantList.aspx (last visited
Mar. 31, 2009).

It is unlikely that anything funded by the Joyce Foundation, or produced by its “Second Amendment Research Center,” would conclude the Second Amendment has any meaning as an individual right. I do not question the Joyce Foundation’s logic in funding work that supports its political objectives, nor would I fault Cornell for accepting support from sympathetic donors. Indeed, it is only natural and proper that people seek out and support those with whom they agree. The money does not alter the merits, if any, of their work. My point is only that political advocacy should not be taken at face value as neutral scholarship, regardless of the manner in which it is presented.

What Gura was referring to was Cornell's assertion that "newly uncovered lecture notes of St. George Tucker revealed that he believed that the 2nd served primarily a militia purpose". This supposedly undermines Tuckers later formulation which cast the 2nd as clearly an individual right. The dissent in Heller relied upon this as Gura points out:

The dissent’s citation to Tucker’s lecture notes appears to come from the subsequently referenced law review article, Saul Cornell’s St. George Tucker and the Second Amendment: Original Understandings and Modern Misunderstandings. That article has been debunked. The passage cited by Cornell does not come from Tucker’s lecture notes regarding the Second Amendment, but his notes concerning the militia clauses of Article I:
[T]he dissent relied uncritically on the portions of the lecture notes
quoted by Saul Cornell in a 2006 article, which the dissent cites as authority.
The article sets out quotations cited by the dissent and argues that
they reflect Tucker’s “earliest formulation of the meaning of the
Second Amendment,” and “casts the right to bear arms as a right of
the states.” In fact, the article’s quotations are misleading; they come from
Tucker’s discussion of the militia clauses of the original Constitution,
which predictably deal with military power and the States. . . . When,
less than twenty pages later, Tucker does discuss the Bill of Rights, the
language he uses closely parallels his 1803 Blackstone’s Commentaries,
usually down to the word.

SARC is headquartered at Ohio State, and Ken Hanson of Buckeye Firearms Assoc. decided it might be interesting to see if Joyce had placed any limitations, restrictions or parameters on the funding to SARC... here is what happened, according to Ken:

We did a public records request to Ohio State University, which is where the SARC is housed, for the Joyce grants to see if there are funding restrictions requiring that the research “results” be skewed one way or another. Despite being CLEARLY public records subject to disclosure under Ohio law, OSU is hiding the papers. We have been waiting for sufficient funds to file the mandamus action to force release of those papers, but it is always a case of too little funds available for too much potential litigation, and this public records project has taken a back seat to litigation over actual criminal prosecutions against gun owners by Cleveland etc. (our injunction suits.) We’d hoped to force the disclosure in time for Heller part 2 (incorporation) at the SCOTUS but it appears that won’t happen.


I have posted a plea for your support of Ken in the Activism forum. Here is a link:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5755750&postcount=1

<Legaleagle gets off soap box.>

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damien
July 14, 2009, 05:10 PM
Since Heller rejected that argument and stare decisis now acknowledges that the 2nd Amendment is a right to keep and bear arms by individual citizens disconnected from any military service, does SARC's "reasearch" really matter anymore? I mean, in some case it might be cited by one side, but with Heller cited by the other side, will it have any influence at all? It should not.

legaleagle_45
July 14, 2009, 05:46 PM
Since Heller rejected that argument and stare decisis now acknowledges that the 2nd Amendment is a right to keep and bear arms by individual citizens disconnected from any military service, does SARC's "reasearch" really matter anymore?

As to that issue, perhaps, but SARC is not a one trick pony. They will be involved with the incorporation fight and their handy work will be cited in briefs opposing the incorporation. It would be great if we could undermine them even more than we already have.

Phatty
July 14, 2009, 06:24 PM
It would be great if we could undermine them even more than we already have.
Even if you succeeded, they would merely pop up again under a new organization with an innocent and patriotic name such as American Institute of Second Amendment Scholarship.

damien
July 14, 2009, 06:42 PM
American Institute of Second Amendment Scholarship

:cuss:

legaleagle_45
July 14, 2009, 06:48 PM
American Institute of Second Amendment Scholarship.

LOL, perhaps, but it would make things more difficult, and we could still trace the funding to Joyce. Besides, Hanson wants to spring it on em at the briefing stage of the incorporation battle. They wont have time to adjust.

Phatty
July 14, 2009, 07:36 PM
I don't know about Ohio, but here in Illinois you can get your attorney's fees reimbursed if the state wrongfully withholds records you are entitled to.

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