Gov. Newsom Attacks Federal Judge as Child-Killing, Extremist, Right-Wing Zealot Owned by the NRA

It seems that we continue to struggle with a chief executive who goes on social media to personally attack judges who have ruled against his laws or policies. No, it is not Donald Trump. This week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) went on Twitter/X to denounce U.S. Judge Roger T. Benitez as “an extremist, right-wing zealot with no regard to [sic] human life.” Four years ago, I wrote how Democrats were becoming more Trump-like in their attacks on judges and hyperbolic rhetoric. There is no better example than Gavin Newsom.

Many of us criticized Trump for his attacks on judges, including Judge Gonzalo Curiel over his hispanic heritage. Trump would often savage judges for being Democrats or liberals when there were good-faith legal disagreements over his policies.

Newsom seems increasingly to be morphing into the man that he once denounced for such “toxic” rhetoric.

Benitez earned the ire of Newsom by ruling yesterday that California’s limit on high-capacity magazines violates the Second Amendment. He previously ruled against the ban in a partial stay in 2019.

There are good-faith arguments that these bans contradict Supreme Court cases on the scope and meaning of the Second Amendment. It is certainly an open question but gun-rights advocates are challenging these laws as without constitutional or historical foundation. In New York State Rifle &Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen142 S.Ct. 2111 (2022), the Supreme Court held that

[W]hen the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct. To justify its regulation, . . . the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. Only if a firearm regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the Second Amendment’s ‘unqualified command.’

As a lower court judge, Benitez is required to follow that precedent and, while some may see room for a contrary ruling, he wrote a lengthy opinion in Duncan v. Bonta (below) on why the California law fails under this precedent:

There is no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity and the 10-round limit has no historical pedigree and it is arbitrary and capricious. It is extreme. Our federal government and most states impose no limits and in the states where limits are imposed, there is no consensus. Delaware landed on a 17-round magazine limit. Illinois and Vermont picked limits of 15 rounds for handguns and 10 rounds for a rifles. Colorado went with a 15-round limit for handguns and rifles, and a 28-inch tube limit for shotguns. New York tried its luck at a 7-round limit; that did not work out. New Jersey started with a 15-round limit and then reduced the limit to 10-rounds. The fact that there are so many different numerical limits demonstrates the arbitrary nature of magazine capacity limits.

Rather than attack the basis for the opinion, Newsom followed the common practice today in commentary and Congress in attacking those who hold opposing views. He posted on Twitter/X:

BREAKING: California’s high-capacity magazine ban was just STRUCK DOWN by Judge Benitez, an extremist, right-wing zealot with no regard to human life.

Wake up, America.

Our gun safety laws will continue to be thrown out by NRA-owned federal judges until we pass a Constitutional Amendment to protect our kids and end the gun violence epidemic in America.

So, rather than offer an opposing view on the historical foundations and constitutional justification for the law, Newsom called the judge a child-killing, extremist, right-wing zealot owned by the NRA.

That is not at all “toxic.”

Such trash talking is now the norm in American politics as members of Congress regularly attack journalists, whistleblowers, and others personally rather than address their underlying views. I have testified over 100 times in Congress over decades and I have never seen the degree of ad hominem attacks on witnesses by members. It is meant to not only appeal to the most extreme elements in our political system, but to chill other witnesses who may be considering testimony that a party opposes.

The attacks on judges by our political leaders are particularly chilling. I denounced it in Trump and it is no less “toxic” by Newsom. Yet, while the media universally condemned Trump in these attacks, reporters have been largely quiet or neutral in reporting the attacks by Newsom.

As for Newsom, he knows that, in the age of rage, the most rageful reigns supreme.

Here is the opinion: duncan-v-bonta-order

170 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom Attacks Federal Judge as Child-Killing, Extremist, Right-Wing Zealot Owned by the NRA”

  1. There is a substantive difference between calling a jodge BIASED – which Trump does constantly,
    And the attacks that Newsome is engaging in.

    Our political leaders should take care regarding their attacks on the judiciary.

    But one thing that BOTH perties universally agree on is that the judiciary is biased – whough they do not agree on which judges are biased and in what way.

    Trump’s claims of bias PALE in comparision to Schumers attacks or Newsoms or the constant attacks of ordinary democrats.

  2. Trash talking in politics is nothing new. Quite the contrary. The early founders of the United States were well versed in the tactic. Albeit, the language of the time was far more flowery and dripping with sarcasm and insult disguised as high praise. But readers knew the implications and understood. It’s like watching an argument in the UK Parliament which is both eloquent but vicious at the same time. So while modern speech is far more direct and dare I say it, crass and crude. There isn’t much difference in the overall messaging. Other than the anger is far greater nowadays.

  3. There are certain states (California, New York, and Massachusetts) that have a long history of knowingly violating the Constitutional rights of their citizens, have the law struck down only to pass another law to effectuate the same prohibited objective, all the while the the people’s rights are infringed for years while the issue is tied up with endless lawfare funded by the tax payer. This particular law was first ruled unconstitutional over 4 years ago. In that time we have had a global pandemic of a killer virus and an “insurrection” that was the greatest threat ever to our sacred democracy. (Everything short of the zombie apocalypse.). And during that entire time, California has effectively kept its citizens impermissibly limited to only 10 shots. Professor Turley has commented several times on New York’s sometimes self destructive willingness to repass laws even after a similar one was struck down. They have a demonstrated history of violating their citizens’ Constitutional gun rights.

    It is time to take a page from voting rights. Time to enjoin the state legislatures from passing gun control measures until a federal court holds the regulation constitutional. In case of constitutional rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights, the default should be to enhance freedom and restrain government, not to allow Constitutional violations to persist for years through judicial stays.

  4. Oh stop already with the false balance and constant anti-Trump crap.

    “Four years ago, I wrote how Democrats were becoming more Trump-like in their attacks on judges and hyperbolic rhetoric…”

    That’s like comparing Nazis to Winston Churchill.

    1. Please, the only difference between Trump’s mean tweets and a Democrat’s caustic tweets is that Trump’s tweets were occasionally entertaining.

  5. Let us not forget the words of Judge Wayne Andersen.

    “The erosion of the rights of people on the other side of town will ultimately undermine the rights of each of us,” Andersen said in refusing to lift a ban he imposed last month.

  6. “Shall not be infringed” … the four most clear words in our English language … twisted beyond reason by anti-American zealots.

  7. the governor of California is an ignoramus with the correct pedigree. it shows daily. he is like a credit card. look from the front, or the back, there appears to be substance. looking from the side, on the other hand, reveals the lack of much, if any, substance.

  8. Wow, FOUR YEARS of the lefty loons getting away with it.
    ” He previously ruled against the ban in a partial stay in 2019. ”
    So they count on YEARS of their illegal crimes skating by until it somehow makes it to a courtroom and judge after the endless stalling tactics and backlogged system.
    That will be interesting to see how many can be jammed into the gulag and for how many years.
    So far we have at least 2.5 years plus for the solitary prison confinement no charges for many of the thousands of J6 innocents.

    1. Make no mistake, had a Trump offspring found himself/herself, on the Board of Burisma, our nation would have stopped functioning. The radical left, in control of most media outlets, would have focused on Nothing except impeaching Trump for this terrible, glaring and most obvious form of blackmail.

  9. The problem is Germany has weapons like dew that just gag ppl. Looks natural…but ensures their mols keep up their work too…lest they gag to death. Until we get an actual space force that protects us from electronic harassment….crystal clear….we are kinda screwed. Except there is still 6 billion of us with inners…who can communicate despite them all. It’s the 99 vs vs the one. 6 billion vs vs so few. Luckily few is aimed at them. Can’t aim at all 6 billion of us. At once. And no he doesn’t get away with a skipping generation for his spy ring. No back door replacement. He does it 50 50…at least. Poor Jake. Shifty set up. Now what gold diggers? You pull out your dmsv? 6 billion baby. You got a toner cartridge? George a 4 million lock box? LL. Facts observable…not your opinion….but facts. Not “allegedly mistakes” …facts. not cover stories and excuses. Cat paw. M

  10. Off topic:
    (1) On Sept. 11 Trump’s lawyers filed Motion for Recusal of Judge Chutkah in the DC USA vs Trump case.
    (2) Per Order, on Sept 14 the DOJ filed it’s Response in opposition.
    (3) Per Order, on Sept 17 Trump’s lawyers filed a Reply to the DOJ Response, whereupon the Motion became ripe for ruling.
    (4) As of 9pm today, Sept 23, Judge Chutkan has yet to enter a ruling onto the docket, despite having had more time to rule on the Motion for Recusal than she gave the parties time to file the Response and Reply COMBINED, and despite the Motion for Recusal being based ENTIRELY on Judge Chutkan’s clear statements of record that need ZERO research, compared with the Code of Judicial Conduct which requires recusal if a judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

    I propose a new rule — that if a judge fails or refuses to timely rule on a motion for recusal, disqualification of that judge should kick in automatically.

  11. the public will was to kill homosexuals, like in some countries today in Africa and Asia, lynch blacks like Democrats orchestrated and infanticide by Ancient Greeks. Yeah, you dont strike us as black nor an infant, so that means if you were a homosexual, you would be killed if you lived in Africa or Asia.
    the public will indeed. Stupidity is your name, which is why you use Anonymous

  12. The singular American failure has been and remains the judicial branch, with emphasis on the Supreme Court.

    No legislation infringing or denying the right to keep and bear arms, to any degree or in any aspect or facet, is licit or constitutional and must have been struck down contemporaneously and immediately.

    The right to keep and bear arms is not negotiable.

    The right to keep and bear arms is natural and God-given and is possessed by citizens.

    People naturally possessed the right to keep and bear arms before government was conceived.

    Human beings possessed the right to keep and bear arms when they acquired sticks and stones, clubs and rocks, for sustenance and self-preservation.

    The 2nd Amendment is not qualified by the Framers anywhere in the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute.

    The 2nd Amendment shall not be infringed.

    Citizens are not asking the government for the right to keep and bear arms; citizens already possess the right to keep and bear arms through the 2nd Amendment

    That one does not support or approve of a statutory or fundamental law does not nullify, abrogate, or otherwise diminish the weight and full force of that law.

    1. Amen! Our embarrassment of a governor, stymied in his unlawful efforts to deprive Californians of their God-given rights to arm themselves for LAWFUL purposes, as they see fit, goes on a temper tantrum. That alone should give folks pause if ever “Pretty Boy” with the Brylcreem hairdo is proposed as the Dummycrat’s POTUS candidate. Unfortunately, the people of California were suckered into re-electing this bad joke of a Chief Executive in 2022, so we’re STUCK with him until January of 2027, unless we can mount an actual recall effort that won’t be STOLEN this time!

  13. I am waiting for the day when the political class will understand that the issue is that there are many ways a person can die, and that trying to prevent death is a loser’s game. As Benjamin Franklin very clearly stated more than 200 years ago, “The only things certain in life are death and taxes.” Since the message from the courts is that guns are weapons of defense, there is very likely no political way of eliminating them in the United States.

    So the political class decides to try to get around such rules by declaring that certain armaments are of a different category. Hence, we end up with some guns being classified as “assault weapons,” and the crafting of rules to make these illegal. Taking note that certain politicians specialize in twisting the common meaning of words to create a definition that never existed before (militia, anyone?), they try to outlaw common items with language. And when their legislation to make certain weapons illegal gets struck down by courts, they decry the judges for their “wrong-headed” thinking.

    In the thinking about “high-capacity magazines,” the usual complaint is that their elimination will get rid of mass murder incidents. Or, to use their parlance, mass shootings.

    The elimination of high-capacity magazines will not eliminate mass shootings; it will only make them slightly more difficult to carry out.

    Even the largest mass shooting event in United States history resulted in 58 deaths in Las Vegas in 2017. That is the same number of people that would die if a loaded school bus drives onto a patch of ice, careens off the road, and heads into a ravine. Yet one event gets blamed on “a gun ,” while the other gets blamed upon what? A school bus? The bus driver? The barricade on the side of the road that didn’t stop the bus?

    Why is it the mass shooting event isn’t blamed on the person pulling the trigger? Oh, that’s right; we’re instructed that we are not supposed to identify mass shooters by name. So we conveniently blame the gun instead.

  14. I assume Mr. Turley previously wrote columns on Schumer villifying and attacking judges. And of course, also on the the remainder of Schumer’s fellow elected Soviet Democrats on not only their attacks on judges, but their attempts to destroy their lives as well, i.e. the politicians attacking Judge Kavanaugh and Comey-Barrett. How about the unrelenting personal attacks from multiple elected Soviet Democrats on Associate Justice Thomas… I’m sure Mr. Turley has written at least one even though I can’t recall it as I write this.

    Surely, given Mr. Turley’s special expertise and focus on the legal aspects of issues, Mr. Turley is aware of all of these attacks on judges – not just Newsom now and Trump who he equates him to. You DID write similar condemnations of those verbal attacks by Democrats as you take great pains to remind us you condemned Trump’s attacks on judges, didn’t you, Mr. Turley?

    Presuming you’re consistent in your principles, did you forget to add their names to that of Trump when you reminded us you have called this kind of behavior out before? You forgot you did that and so only mentioned Trump? Or does interjecting Trump’s name into a legal rebuttal of Newsom not liking this judge’s decision get more monetizing clicks, while adding the names of Schumer, Pelosi, Biden, et al alongside that of Trump not have the same desired affect.

    So… is it reasonable that a thoughtful person – at least as thoughtful as Mr. Turley – might ask him why he could only think of Trump as a politician who verbally condemned a judge to compare to Newsom? With no mention of Newsom’s fellow Democrats who have said far more about judges than Trump? Including the ones who made suggestive threats – something that Trump never did?

    Mr. Turley, your legal analysis of the legal issues here and the complaints of Newsom et al is spot on. As far as your starting with running to “BUT MUH TRUMP!!!!” goes, it reminds me of why you continue writing you are “bewildered”, etc by Merrick Garland’s actions who you attempt to prop up at the same time you criticize his actions – when most rational people would realize that this former Circuit Court judge is acting as a politically motivated police state fascist.

    Mr. Turley, I don’t question your knowledge and analysis of law. But here, as it often does, your slip is showing… not just your loathing of Trump, but in the friendship and brotherhood you feel for creatures like Merrick Garland. You diminish yourself, just as you occasionally point out Trump diminishes himself.

    1. Thanks for the reminder. With all of Professor Turley’s senseless obligatory Trump-bashing used as a prelude whenever he finds himself having to criticize a democrat, I’d forgotten all about THIS, which makes a far more pertinent introduction to criticism of Governor Hair Gel’s attack on a judge:

      1. We’ve all witnessed, far too many times, what can happen when the deranged and cowardly turn to the firearm to gain the limelight. In the video clip posted by de Minimis, Mr. Schumer demonstrates what can happen when one turns to the microphone.

      2. Newsom is the one that has no respect for human life. Like most extremist left wing democrats – who have taken over the party – he is a fanatic on abortion rights. He will not compromise on the issue, unborn children can be ripped out of the womb up until one day before they are born. He wants US taxpayers to fund abortion too. Like abortion fanatics Sen. Chuck Shurmer and Senator Patty Murray, Newsom would like to see the number of abortions go up in the USA, Newsom would like to see an abortion clinic on every block. Newsom’s position on abortion is immoral and agaisnt the teachings of the Catholic Church (Newsom was raised Catholic, he attended Catholic grammar schools, Catholic high school and Catholic College. Apparently he was asleep. durring religion classes because the Catholic churches teaches that abortion is immoral and contrary to God’s plan. Sad to see a person raised Catholic like Newsom mouthing pro-abortion slogans to get votes, but that is what he is doing when it comes to his position on abortiion. The murder of the unborn is an abomination.

    2. @Richard James: Mr. Turley did in fact write about every topic you listed: Schummer, Soviet democrats (although, not by that name), Kavanaugh, Comey-Barrett, Thomas, any many, many, many, many other similar egregious behaviors — from either side as appropriate. Because he has done so and you simply “can’t recall” (are you related to our dear friends Mr. Comey or Mr. Garland??), the rest of your post has no foundation upon which to stand.

      “So… is it reasonable that a thoughtful person – at least as thoughtful as” Mr. James might conclude that you’re slightly unhinged, need to take a breath, and examine reality before launching into a diatribe at the Internet. Indeed, “[y]ou diminish yourself, just as you” attack Mr. Turley. He may very well loath Mr. Trump, but this article and comparison do nothing to evidence it. I despise TDS as much as anyone on the right, but let’s focus our attention on the true enemies: leftism. That is the cancer seeking to proliferate. That is the blight on our republic. That is what is relentlessly pursuing the demise of liberty. Not Mr. Turly.

  15. thinkitthrough@2:13

    People who do not know enough about guns to use the right nomenclature would be wise to keep quiet, and for the safety of the rest of us to stay away from guns entirely. An “empty clip” is never ejected from a gun and replaced no matter how much practice one has or how much time one takes to do it. Clips are used to charge magazines. Magazines go into guns. It’s really pretty simple if you pay attention.

    1. @Anonymous…

      Uhm… you are talking about stripper clips.
      But I should remind you of the 8 or now 5 round clips used in an M1 Garand which are ejected after the last round is fired.

      Clearly you don’t know as much about firearms as you think.

      Also note. Some will differentiate magazines for pistols and rifles by using the term clips to talk about pistol mags.
      (I don’t share this view, they are both magazines. )

      Just keeping things real.

      1. Anon at 12:13

        The en bloc clips for M1 Garands have been obsolete since around the time I was born, and I am a geezer. Odds are they’re before your lifetime too. In either event they are irrelevant to a current discussion of guns. Some may “differentiate” “clips” for pistols, but they are as mistaken as if they had “differentiated” by prohibiting loading guns with milkshakes.

        It is not that I know so much about guns. It is that most of the terms are very straightforward and have very specific meanings. My original observation stands. Those who have chosen not to learn the nomenclature and to remain ignorant have no standing to be listened to about guns.

        1. @Anon,
          You again don’t know firearms.
          Today you can buy an M1 in either .30-06 or .308 either with an 8 or 5 round clip.
          Stripper clips are used to top off mags that are attached to the rifle.
          The M14/M1a are the only rifles that I think currently uses them. (Stripper clips)

          Outdated? Maybe.
          But by your reasoning so too is a bolt action.
          (Since military grade firearms do not use them outside of sniper weapons systems and anti-material precision rifles are bolt action)
          [Skipping LEO use cases …]

          The reality is that if you look at the laws on the books in Kalifornia, the M1 Garand is one of the few semi-auto rifles that are not considered ‘Assault Weapons’ because they do not have a pistol grip, detachable magazines, and can only take a max of 8 rounds. Thus they could be making a comeback in popularity.

          My point is that your knowledge of firearms is limited and you shouldn’t be chiding others.

          The interesting thing is that multiple firearms use a short stroke piston and op rod configuration. Yet some are and some are not ‘assault weapons’.
          This is the core component that allows for semi-automatic, select fire, and auto fire….


          1. “Gabbin’ Nonsense” will find a way to outlaw both the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine (which only the M1A2 “Paratrooper” version qualifies as an “assault rifle” under CA’s unconstitutional law) if that happens. Like ALL “gun-grabbers”, he wants Americans COMPLETELY disarmed.

          2. anon @ 6:53

            Gumby you’re a twit. Dunno why you are struggling so hard to dance on the head of a pin of one rifle that has not been produced in about 70 years and that was obsolete before that. My original comment was the general misuse of the term clip to describe the mechanism that is inserted to hold rounds in a firearm. The correct term is magazine. Clips are used to charge magazines, external detachable magazines, and their capacity are the items of contention.

            My original point stands, those who are ignorant of guns should not be criticizing the 2nd amendment. Your comments appear to be attempts to distract from that. Your need to make ad hominem attacks on my level of knowledge, however slight or profound it may actually be, seem to derive from the frivolousness of your own assertions. Get a life.

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