I happen to like people like Rodney “Rod” Class, even if I often disagree with them. Some people call him a “gun nut.” He refers to himself as a “constitutional bounty hunter.” He likes his guns, and has a very healthy distrust of government. Rod’s case will be argued late next week in the Supreme Court, and the main issue is whether a guilty plea waives a challenge to the constitutionality of the criminal offense to which the person entered a plea. I wrote about Rod’s case last Winter, and sort of predicted it might be accepted for review by the Supreme Court. Turns out it was accepted, and it is a big deal in our business.
Without guilty pleas, the criminal justice system would likely collapse. That is one big reason why this case is important. Mr. Class, foolishly representing himself, pled guilty to a federal crime of possessing “readily available” firearms on the property of the U.S. Capitol grounds. Now, I happen to agree with a law that says no one should have a firearm on such property, but Rod thought he was within his rights. Nevertheless, he pled guilty, got a “time served” sentence, which normally would have ended the situation. But, as I mentioned above, Rod is an “interesting” person. He wanted to continue his fight against this particular law up through the appellate courts. He wanted to challenge whether it is a crime for a law-abiding citizen to have a constitutionally protected gun, on the property of his own Capitol, for gosh sakes! Continue reading