Monday, May 09, 2016

People v. Wade (Cal. Supreme Ct. - May 9, 2016)

Last year, I said:  "The California Supreme Court should grant review of this opinion.  I'm not saying that because I believe Justice Kriegler's decision to be necessarily wrong and/or pernicious.  It's just that it's in irreconcilable conflict with an earlier Court of Appeal decision, and the resulting split is jurisprudentially untenable."

The California Supreme Court was apparently of the same view.  It indeed granted review.  And today, it resolved the conflict.

Unanimously, even.  "Is a person wearing a backpack that contains a loaded revolver carrying a loaded firearm on the person? We conclude the answer is yes."

That answer made me smile, for admittedly idiosyncratic reasons.  It Reaffirmed the one legal story that my father told me -- time and time again -- as I was growing up (and to which I referred last year).  He would always say that, in Virginia, it counts as having a firearm "on your person" when it's in a backpack (or in a pocket) due to an old case that held that a firearm was "on your person" when it was in your saddlebag.  He always got a chuckle about the use of that precedent.

Backpacks:  The modern day saddlebag.

(Which I guess makes us the horse.)