A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected an effort by New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco to require the Pentagon to do a better job of reporting service members who were disqualified from owning weapons to a national background check system.
By a 3-0 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia said judges lacked jurisdiction under the federal Administrative Procedure Act to compel the Department of Defense to fix what the cities called a “broken” reporting system, and supervise its progress.
The cities sued seven weeks after a mass shooting on Nov. 5, 2017, when former Air Force member Devin Kelley killed 26 people at a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church before killing himself.
Kelley, 26, had been convicted in a 2012 court martial of assaulting his wife and stepson and should not have been allowed to possess weapons. But his conviction had not been entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The cities said the Pentagon had failed to report some 15,000 current or former military personnel who could not own guns because of court martial convictions or dishonorable discharges, and that this undermined their ability to fight violent crime.
Writing for the appeals court, Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson acknowledged the challenges that cities and towns face in protecting the public from “horrific” violence that is “far too often” committed by people who should not have firearms.
“The municipalities’ efforts to combat these threats are commendable,” Wilkinson wrote. “The APA, however, does not permit their efforts to include judicial supervision of the myriad programmatic workings of the federal government.”
Spokesmen for New York’s and Philadelphia’s law departments had no immediate comment. San Francisco’s city attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The U.S. Department of Justice, which represented the Pentagon, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Wednesday’s decision upheld an April 2018 ruling by U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton in Alexandria, Virginia.
The case is City of New York et al v U.S. Department of Defense et al, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 18-1699.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Bill Berkrot
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
‘Go back to Harlem!’: Florida woman has n-word laced meltdown after bumping black woman’s shopping cart
On Saturday, the Atlanta Black Star reported an incident in Florida, in which a white woman screamed racial slurs at a black woman at a Publix supermarket in Miami after their shopping carts jostled each other.
After the woman allegedly banged into Nicki Johnson's cart, she refused to apologize, saying, "I didn't hit you with my cart, and f**k you, you f**king n****r."
Johnson whipped out her cell phone camera, and began recording the incident, saying "You, why don't you call me a n****r again?"
"You thinking I'm sorry?" snapped the woman. "Let me tell you something, I don't have to call you anything. Get away from me, I will call security and there are surveillance videos. Get away from me!"
‘I’m a nurse, what are you?’: Tennessee lawmaker humiliates anti-choice activists in brutal public grilling
Anti-choice activists in Tennessee were unprepared for the grilling they got from a Democratic Party lawmaker when making the case for a bill that would outlaw abortion before many women knew they were pregnant.
One of the speakers in favor of the fetal heartbeat bill was Baptist Pastor Randy Davis, who was questioned by state Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis).
"How many women executive pastors do you have in your convention?" Robinson asked Davis. "Or senior pastors."
"None," Davis replied.
"So is it the same ideology that restricts access to women being able to lead a congregation that leads you all to support women not being able to make a medical decision about their body?" Robinson asked.
Trump is doing everything he did in 2016 to get elected — and it’s failing this time: columnist
On Saturday, Washington Post columnist Dan Balz wrote that President Donald Trump is relying on the same old bag of tricks that let him lurch blindly to a surprise victory in 2016 — but that that playbook is unlikely to get him elected again, let alone deliver sound domestic or foreign policy.
"After a week in which the threat of recession rocked global financial markets, his trade war with China showed no signs of progress and the government of Israel got into a nasty dispute with two members of Congress, President Trump went to bed Thursday night with other weighty issues on his mind. 'Great news,' he tweeted. 'Tonight we broke the all-time attendance record previously held by Elton John at #SNHUArena [Southern New Hampshire University] in Manchester!'" wrote Balz. "This is the frivolous mind-set of the president of the United States. Trump’s flurry of statements over the past few days have brought into focus once again something fundamental about him: He has little understanding of what it means to govern. He would rather tweet from the bleachers."