Another Monday With No Cert Grants on the 10 2A Cases Before SCOTUS Could Be a Bad Sign

dick heller DC v heller scotus decision

Dick Heller signs an autograph outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 26, 2008, after the court ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to keep guns in their homes for self-defense, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun control in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Ten gun rights-related cases are still awaiting a determination by the Supreme Court. The cases involve everything from “may issue” carry permits to banning “assault weapons” to the interstate sales of handguns. After the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association case was declared moot by the Court, gun rights supporters have had high hopes that the Justices would grant cert to one or more of these for consideration next term.

But that hasn’t happened. At least not yet and this term is winding down. The Court continues to punt the cases along…not denying cert, but not granting it either.

That could be a bad sign. Back in the pre-Kavanaugh days when Justice Anthony Kennedy was the Court’s swing vote, the conservative Justices were reluctant to take up certain cases — RKBA-ralated cases among them — because they were unsure how he’d rule. They made the calculation that the status quo was better than an adverse decision.

That may be where we are now. As TTAG’s legal advisor tells us . . .

Amy Howe at SCOTUSBlog is now speculating that the reason for nothing on the 2A cases (despite having 4 justices clearly on record as wanting to address the lower courts’ refusal to take Heller seriously) is because the pro-2A justices fear Roberts has gone squishy and might vote to overrule or gut Heller.

Direct quote from Howe: “We’re back in the Anthony Kennedy days.”

Now, the Court is also holding fire on a LOT of other cases (the order list has been pretty short for the last 2 weeks), so it could be that the Court is just busy and keeps putting these off.But I agree with another of Amy’s speculations: the longer they keep re-listing the 2A cases, the more likely it is that something is going on.

And the only thing I can see that could possibly explain things is that Roberts has gone so squishy that it has spooked the four pro-2A justices (and/or they are delaying things as much as possible to see if Ginsburg is gone before the end of the term).

As always, watch this space.

comments

  1. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

    Not any expert, but I have been wondering if maybe they are also waiting for a big case that they know they will get a majority on that will be rather substantive/sweeping, as opposed to a smaller case that might be rather wishy-washy ruling-wise. The thing is that while you might get a pro-2nd Amendment wishy-washy smaller case ruling, for a solid pro-2nd big case ruling, they may not have the votes due to Roberts right now. I don’t know how many 2nd Amendment cases the court can take up, but I am assuming only one or two very infrequently, and so maybe they want the one they do take up to be more substantive/sweeping, and for that they can’t trust Roberts.

    1. avatar TruthTellers says:

      That was NYS Pistol and Rifle and both Roberts and Kavanaugh mooted it and in the process created ways for cities/states to avoid having to pay legal fees on settled cases by reversing course the moment SCOTUS grants cert.

      I said NYS Pistol & Rifle was the best chance we had and it being mooted was a death knell for all 2A cases going forward, but people didn’t listen because they falsely think something better will come.

      It isn’t, it’s over, and SCOTUS can go to Hell. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are a disgrace, Roberts is a traitor.

  2. avatar grumpster says:

    Roberts just sided with the four “liberal” justices ruling about churches Covid 19 restrictions. Given that I can certainly see why the other four Pro Second Amendment Justices do not trust him to support the Second Amendment anymore not to mention some of his other votes including the one to uphold obamacare. Roberts would very likely side with those that think more gun bans are OK due to “public health concerns”.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/05/supreme-court-coronavirus-california-churches.html

    “Friday at midnight, the Supreme Court rejected a church’s challenge to California’s COVID-19 restrictions by a 5–4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberals. In a pointed opinion, Roberts indicated that he will not join conservative judges’ escalating efforts to override public health measures in the name of religious freedom.”

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      This. Roberts is now clearly lost.

      It would be best, given this shameful performance by Roberts, to wait until RBG is replaced, hopefully with a originalist justice. It’s clear that the Constitution is nothing more than bathroom tissue to Roberts.

      1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

        Agree.

        I hold out a small hope but after they ruled against the First Amendment and set it aside because of Covid I’m not so sure anymore.
        Perhaps Churches should rename their religious service/gathering to ””Protest Rally’s against Satan”’ because evidently protests no matter how much they resemble riots seem to be Ok.

      2. avatar LKB says:

        I fear it’s worse that that.

        During the Obama administration, Roberts demonstrated that he could be a craven coward in the Obamacare decision. There were all sorts of rumors that the Obama administration “had something” on him and was blackmailing him (and after all the recent revelations from the Flynn case, I can’t dismiss those as tinfoil-hat theorizing). Whether or not that was the case, the bottom line is at the last minute he chickened out and did a 180.

        But Obama has been gone for three years . . . and yet Roberts’ continued refusal to stand for anything resembling principles continues. Instead, like Kennedy before him, it seems he now realizes that as long as he is the swing vote, he is perhaps the most powerful man in the country.

        There’s no doubt that having such power for a number of years went to Kennedy’s head, and warped him beyond recognition. (See his gay marriage decision, which boils down to nothing but “I want this to be the law, so it is.” That wasn’t the Anthony Kennedy of the 1980’s-2000’s.) And having such power feeds on itself — towards the end, it seemed that Kennedy kept changing his prior positions and principles as long as it meant that he’d be the swing vote and thus could dictate the outcome. Anthony Kennedy was a case study that proved Lord Acton’s maxim (“power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”) once again.

        And that’s what I truly fear is now motivating Roberts. And giving a coward with no real principles that kind of power should scare us all.

    2. avatar Dude says:

      Roberts thinks it’s okay to impose restrictions on churches as long as some other businesses like a theater or a concert are restricted? Are these the same things? What if those businesses are unjustly restricted? Does his argument still work? And then he goes on to say it isn’t their place to assess public health, as if that’s the question at hand? Isn’t this more of a civil rights question? What the heck.

      1. avatar binder says:

        The point is that the laws are not targeting a religion or an organization because they are religious. Just like churches are required to obey fire codes and building standards.

    3. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      So now it’s official. There is no 1st amendment in the United States of America. At least it’s clear to christians. To atheists who like George Carlin and his 7 dirty words. The 1st amendment is still very strong.

      They believe it was written for George Carlin and Larry Flint.
      No addressing your representatives for redress of grievances. That’s gone too.
      But you got Porn and nasty words.

      Just like trading legalized recreational marijuana intoxication, for your gun rights.

      1. avatar raz-0 says:

        If you want to go to church, go to church. Have everyone bring their AR. Make the government put up or shut up. I’m pretty sure they will get the point.

  3. avatar Hannibal says:

    “Direct quote from Howe: “We’re back in the Anthony Kennedy days.””

    And we always will be. There will always be a magical number of justices “squishy” enough to excuse not taking the case. It’s almost as if everyone just wants to maintain the status quo because it’s good politics.

    Ever feel like Charlie Brown going to kick the football and Lucy manages to pull it away every time?

    1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      ““Direct quote from Howe: “We’re back in the Anthony Kennedy days.””

      And we always will be.”

      Leftists sure seem to have a knack for corrupting SCOTUS justices.

      C’mon, pancreatic cancer. Get with the metastasizing and get that witch to meet her well-deserved bucket of water… 🙂

  4. avatar Jimmy Beam says:

    Roberts. Chalk up one more bad consequence to the presidency of Georgie II, the RINO King.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      Or as they say these days (when complaining about Trump), a “real” republican. 😉

    2. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Some people get soft and squishy in their old age, some loose their mind, some remain sharp and may get less tolerant of foolishness. Roberts he’s the soft and squishy kind.

  5. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    The SCOTUS has said previously that blacks were not really citizens of the United States. Because If they were they’d be able to carry guns and travel wherever they please with them.
    Just as the court has said you have no expectation of the police to protect you. You can’t rely on the courts to protect your rights either. We as a society dont think the same any more.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    Roberts is a classic example of the corrosive and corrupt effect of power on individuals. He has power and relishes it so much that he will deprive we the people of any power we might have or want to have.

    What a fvck!ng snake.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      I don’t see it so much as power as reputation. Roberts wants to be maintain his self-image, the esteem of his colleagues, and the prestige of the Court. If that means tossing the Constitution under the bus, then so be it.

      1. avatar LKB says:

        I dunno about that..
        If Roberts is indeed going squishy on supporting the 2A (and the 1A), he certainly won’t enjoy the “esteem” of Thomas, Alito, Goresuch, or Kavanaugh. (Scalia and Kennedy were apparently livid with him about his last-minute switch on the Obamacare decision.) And while the anti-2A wing of the Court would certainly welcome his conversion, do you think they are really going to have much respect for somebody who so easily abandons what he said were his principles (whether due to his ability to be intimidated or his own desire to exercise power)?
        As far as the arguments that Roberts is somehow concerned about maintaining the “prestige” of the Court (or the related claim that he’s worried about his place in history), those strike me to be akin to those of a cowardly boy who justifies his unwillingness to stand up to the schoolyard bully because he’s decided he’s actually a pacifist. Just convenient excuses to cover the fact that he’s become too cowardly to stand up for something other than his own ego (and/or that he is really enjoying being the new Anthony Kennedy).

        Bush the Elder blew it by nominating Souter rather than Edith Jones (which to his credit he later admitted was a huge error). I truly hope that our tea leaf reading is inaccurate, but it’s sure looking like Bush Junior similarly blew it by deciding to go with Roberts rather than Mike Luttig.

  7. avatar Mad Max says:

    It appears to me that we may be reaching an inflection point where SCOTUS rulings will be irrelevant for a least some period of time.

  8. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Until another Originalist is named to the court don’t count on anything happening in the way of natural Constitutional rights as CJ Roberts is of the Left.

    Until he is removed/replaced as he has proven the Constitution is not his first duty, nothing will change.

  9. avatar Jaque says:

    Ginsberg holds the cards. Roberts is healthy and communist. Ginsberg is sickly and communist.

    It is Ginsberg that holds the cards and she knows how important she is to her comrades. Most other Justices would have retired long ago if they were as sickly as Ginsberg. But she is holding on in the hope Trump is defeated in November and the new communist president appoints her replacement, another communist Judge of course. Otherwise Ginsberg will hang on until she dies

    Too bad Ginsberg doesn’t visit the same hunting lodge Judge Scalia slept in.

  10. avatar Don says:

    The SCOTUS is bought and paid for just like the rest of the .gov. They aren’t giving your rights back. They are gone and going bye bye state by state. They won you just haven’t gotten the memo yet.

  11. avatar Huntmaster says:

    They can’t give us our rights. They can only acknowledge or refuse to acknowledge. God gave us our rights, it’s up to us to deal with those who would take them.

    1. avatar Don says:

      All a politician has to do is scribble down a law and bammo, thus it is. Then the nice men with guns arrest you for it. God doesn’t float down to restore those rights and no one is going to guns for those rights. They want their big house, Bass boat and $80,000 truck more.

  12. avatar GuyInWI says:

    They are too busy suppressing your Freedom of Religion and Assembly to be bothered with suppressing your gun rights now.

  13. avatar J says:

    Chief Justice Roberts is the bad sign in all of this by the looks of it, since the last 2 things he has thrown us under the bus and past us by once again. Please Mr. President replace Roberts with someone pro-2A as Chief Justice like Bush did.

  14. avatar WilliamWallaceTheThird says:

    Of the question of the boxes of freedom, it seems we may indeed have our answer. As if we all did not already know in our hearts that the predisposition to such was already long determined in our grandfathers, & great grandfathers day.

    Waiting for the courts to rescue the country from the clutches of tyranny is a fools errand.

    1. avatar GuyInWI says:

      Wasting your breath, these fools will continue voting for Republicans and Democrats and then wonder why neither party respects their rights. One moron on here even thinks Trump is trying to repeal the NFA by banning bumpstock.

      The court had shown over and over again that it will bend over backwards to violate peoples rights if the powers at be either: A. don’t like it or B. feel threatened by it.

      Just look at the Nolo case where the form was approved to manufacture a machine gun. The judge ruled the machine gun was still illegal because machine guns are illegal in Texas. I will give you a hint; they are not in Texas. Ironically the guy was a Navel Reservest so as long as he was under the command of the “king” he could use and poses machine guns.

  15. avatar kap says:

    Supreme’s are Chicken Shits, none of them believe in the Constitution! Supreme’s always rule if it benefits big business, about once every hundred years they rule for the Constitution and the little guy’s! Roberts put’s his personnel beliefs before the law; basically the Court is another lap dog for the Democrats

  16. avatar Ark says:

    Roberts is a liberal now and he hates your guns.

  17. avatar Parnell says:

    According to the Duke University School of Law website any of the New Jersey cases (3) in the group would be a prime case to address the lower courts’ disregard of both Heller & McDonald. They hedged on the reasons why SCOTUS ignores Cert but felt that any of these cases might result in a definitive broadening of the RKBA.

  18. avatar Doc Samson says:

    Gosh, I sure hope someone gives us our rights back… someday…

    1. avatar Ragnar says:

      You are not entitled to your rights. You must fight for them.

      1. avatar Doc Samson says:

        Oh, I know. Just making an observation on the many comments here and other firearms sites I frequent…

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