U.S. District Court Judge Walter H. Rice
In a recent article in Military.com, senior federal judge Walter H. Rice was quoted. The judge has been with the District Court since 1980. His opinion about federal jurisdiction over legal carry on federal facilities is correct as to the state of current law, as far as I have determined. At the moment, federal officials can bar the carry of private arms at their facilities with proper signage.
But it was the statement of the judge’s personal opinion about the Second Amendment that was interesting. Judge Price said he supported the Second Amendment. He then said that open and concealed carry laws were a danger to any community.
Employees and others also cannot bring their guns to the federal court building in Dayton, said U.S. District Court Judge Walter H. Rice.
“Federal installations are not bound by the state law except in certain situations which I don’t think are relevant,” Rice said. “My opinion is that it is not applicable to federal facilities unless the federal installation decides to adopt that portion of the law. What I said applies to the parking lot as well.”
Rice said Ohio’s expansion of open carry and concealed-carry laws concern him.
“I think open carry (and concealed-carry) laws, with all due deference to the Second Amendment, which I support…are dangerous to any community because of the epidemic of mental health issues throughout this country,” he said. “Putting guns in the hands of mentally incompetent people is a recipe for disaster.”
Judge Rice was appointed in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter. He is 80 years old. Judge Rice entered senior status in 2003, when he was 66. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton School of Law. Senior status means he receives full salary, but can have a reduced workload at the District Court.
Judge’s may have there personal opinions, of course. Perhaps Judge Price could put aside his personal opinion that actually being able to bear arms under the Second Amendment is the same as “Putting guns in the hands of mentally incompetent people…” and rule on the law instead of what he wishes it to be.
It is likely a long held view. The evidence that restoring Second Amendment rights make communities more safe, has only been widely published for 20 years. The facts are disputed in liberal circles, but evidence is lacking to reinforce their talking points.
Judges are sometimes asked to recuse themselves, because their comments, rulings, or conduct would cast doubt on their ability to hear the case without bias, or that a reasonable observer would think they would be biased.
The chances of Senior Judge Rice ruling in a Second Amendment case are not insignificant. Perhaps knowledgeable readers can let us know if there are grounds to ask for recusal in such an event.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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