By Jeff Hulbert
With much of America tuned to Sunday football, holiday food shows or Hallmark Christmas specials, a group of hardy and determined spectators have formed a line outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
Braving the cold and forecast rain overnight on a darkened sidewalk, their task is to zealously guard their spots at the foot of the steps that lead to the Court’s front plaza—all in an effort to obtain one of the very few public seats in the courtroom gallery. It is an effort to witness oral arguments for the most significant Second Amendment case to be heard by the Court since 2010.
With the press occupying most of the courtroom seats, alongside designated guests of the justices and other legal VIPs, there could be as few as 6 to 10 gallery seats up for grabs for the general public.
What all sides are waiting for is Monday morning, when the Justices will finally hear arguments from frustrated New York City gun owners after more than a year of maneuvering by the City’s politicians to try render the case moot.
The lawsuit — New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York — was first filed in 2013, and challenges decades of infringement schemes that stopped city residents from transporting lawfully-owned firearms outside their homes.
Incredibly, it is the first gun control case to be heard since Chicago resident Otis McDonald won his lawsuit at the High Court ten years ago—a ruling that cemented every American’s individual right to own firearms.
Gun control groups nationwide are panicked about NYSRPA case. Their alarm stems from the possibility that the conservative majority on the Court will use the case to force a review of every gun licensing and restriction scheme across America.
In a transparent attempt to keep the Supreme Court from hearing the NYSRPA case, City officials and politicians retracted their transport infringements this past year. Then the City and their gun control minions petitioned the Court to rule that the case moot—that is, that New York City gun owners have already received the “freedom to transport” relief they demanded.
The justices will hear the mootness arguments in addition to arguments on the merits of the case tomorrow and the possibility exists that the justices will indeed rule the case moot. But knowledgeable Court watchers believe that would only happen if the Court is looking for an even more substantial 2A case to rule on.
For more background on how the Bloomberg-funded gun control orgs have issued calls to jam the perimeter of the Supreme Court Monday morning with anti-gun and anti-court protests, read my earlier article from earlier in the week.
In 2010, I was one of the line-standers who camped out on the sidewalk overnight for one of the unreserved public seats to witness to hear arguments in McDonald v Chicago.
I was lucky enough to be a line-stander in mid summer with pleasant overnight temperatures and no rain. The intrepid folks waiting in line to hear NYSRPA arguments Monday morning will have to endure temperatures in the low 40’s and almost certain rainfall all night.
It was an unforgettable experience, capped off by an opportunity to shake Mr. McDonald’s hand and thank him for his persistence in seeing his case through to the finish with the help and unshakeable support of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb.
It is hard to believe that it’s taken 10 years to stand with the next crew of Second Amendment line-standers at SCOTUS.
The energy I draw from them will be with me in the morning, as I return to the plaza of the High Court to stand with my Patriot Picket group to face off against the organized anti-gunners who will gathering in force.
Watch this space for more tomorrow.