Monday, June 15, 2020

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Gun Restriction Appeals

The Supreme Court Declined to hear a Challenge to New Jersey's Gun Restrictions and other Second Amendment Cases on Monday, Signaling its Reluctance to wade back into the National Battle over Gun Rights.

After Refusing to Rule on a Challenge to New York City Gun Restrictions because they were Rescinded while the Case was Pending, the Court turned Away All Potential Replacements that would have given its Conservative Justices a chance to Strengthen the Second Amendment.

Instead, the Justices Left-in-Place Limits on the Right to Carry Weapons in Public in Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

They also Declined to Review: a California Handgun Control Law; Massachusetts’ Ban on some Semi-Automatic Firearms and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazines; and a Half-Century-Old Federal Law Banning Interstate Handgun Sales.

By Refusing to take a New Case so quickly after Declaring the New York City Case Moot, the Justices Denied Gun-Rights Groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) what they have been seeking, an Opportunity to put State and Local Limits before an Increasingly Conservative Court.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, wrote a Dissent in the Court’s Denial of a New Jersey Resident’s Appeal seeking the Right to Carry a Gun in Public for Self-Defense. Rather than take on the Constitutional Issue, Thomas wrote, “the Court simply looks the other way. In several jurisdictions throughout the country, law-abiding citizens have been barred from exercising the fundamental right to bear arms because they cannot show that they have a 'justifiable need' or 'good reason' for doing so. One would think that such an onerous burden on a fundamental right would warrant this court’s review."

Three of the Court's Conservatives Dissented in April when it Declared the New York Case Moot, rather than Striking Down Transportation Restrictions on Legally Owned Guns taken Beyond City Limits. But Kavanaugh, a Fourth Conservative, made Clear his Desire to Engage on the Second Amendment. "The court should address that issue soon, perhaps in one of the several Second Amendment cases with petitions for certiorari now pending before the court," he wrote then.

Since its 2008 and 2010 Rulings Striking Down Gun Restrictions in the District of Columbia and Chicago, the Court has Refused to Hear Dozens of Cases challenging Lesser Limits on who can Own what Types of Guns, where they can be Taken, what Requirements must be Met and more.

During that time, Lower Courts have Resolved more than 1,000 Second Amendment Cases, Upholding many Gun Control Measures.

If Conservatives have their way, the Court would Extend Second Amendment Rights beyond the Home, or at least Require that Lower Court Judges Demand more Specific Justifications for State and Local Restrictions.

When the Justices Agreed to Hear the New York Challenge 15 months ago, Gun-Control Groups Feared they would Use it to do just that. So they Lobbied the City and State to Retreat, ultimately Convincing the Court to Declare the Case Closed.

That didn't sit well with Thomas and Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. "By incorrectly dismissing this case as moot, the court permits our docket to be manipulated in a way that should not be countenanced," Alito wrote for the Trio in April. "If a case is on our docket and we have jurisdiction, we have an obligation to decide it."

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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