Brett M. Kavanaugh Supreme Court
Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

As you’d expect, Second Amendment orgs are pleased that the US Supreme Court is willing to take another Second Amendment case, a year after punting the opportunity last year. As the Second Amendment Foundation writes . . .

The Second Amendment Foundation today is hailing the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a Second Amendment right-to-carry case challenging New York State’s restrictive gun control law, declaring that a favorable ruling in this case will almost certainly impact challenges to similar laws in other states, which SAF and others are contesting. …

“This case was made possible by the Second Amendment Foundation’s Supreme Court victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “SAF’s victory in that case built the foundation for this and other lawsuits against states and localities to be heard by the Supreme Court to protect and expand gun rights, and we are proud of that.”

Gottlieb said it is certain the current makeup of the high court has opened this important door. With the addition last year of Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court now has a majority of constitutional jurists who will no longer treat the Second Amendment as “a constitutional orphan,” as once observed by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

All no doubt true. However, the Firearms Policy Coalition is taking a slightly more cautious stance, noting that . . .

In granting the petition, the Court limited the question presented to: “Whether the State’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.” In comparison, the question presented in the cert petition was: “Whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self-defense.” 

While it’s impossible to predict how the court will rule in NYSRPA v. Bruen [originally Corlett], it’s clear that the outcome of this case will have a significant and wide-ranging impact on the right to keep and bear arms.

“The Supreme Court’s taking this case is an encouraging sign that it may begin to address the scope of the right to bear arms outside of the home, as well as the mode of analysis that lower courts should apply when reviewing Second Amendment cases,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations. “As we argued to the Court in our brief, it is time to restore the Second Amendment’s first-class right status and put an end to lower courts’ unfavorable treatment of this fundamental human right.”

Why the caution regarding the question the Court has chosen to examine? As Josh Blackman writes at reason.com . . .

But the Court only granted review to a limited question presented:

Whether the State’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.

As soon as I saw the grant, I started to scratch my head. Why did the Court rewrite the QP? Here is how Paul Clement framed the issue for the petitioners:

Whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self-defense. …

Ultimately, I am conflicted about this grant. Part of me should be ebullient that the Court finally granted a real gun case. Yet, this strange rewriting of the QP has tempered my enthusiasm. I am jaded after thirteen years of being burned in Second Amendment cases. This grant may be the last time a nine-member Court decides a Second Amendment case. Any punt here will sweep Heller to what Justice Scalia called the “the dustbin of repudiated constitutional principles.”

Click over and read Blackman’s entire post for the possible implications of the Court’s language change as well as his update regarding the change the Court made to the question it considered in the Heller case.

Long story short, this cert grant is a positive. The question is, how positive it will turn out to be.

With the change in the legal question presented, the Court could have set itself up to issue an extremely narrow opinion that will ultimately disappoint gun rights supporters by sidestepping the larger questions regarding the Second Amendment that have gone unresolved since Heller. As LKB told us, it all probably boils down to what Justice Kavanaugh is willing — or unwilling — to do.

 

30 COMMENTS

  1. Any rights clawed back for this region is welcome. Any rights defined and made unassailable for all would be a blessing.

  2. Not a done deal. That PoS Roberts will go with the Left, leaving a one-justice margin for error.

  3. They always limit their decisions so as to not clear up the problem for once and all. A civil right denied should be dealt with completely instead of piece meal. Cowards do your jobs.

  4. Been there, done that. Between all the hype and hope of suppressors coming off the NFA, carry reciprocity and the last SCOTUS/NY mooting I’ve resigned myself to simply ignoring the state as though it was some anachronism of days long past like a dark ages church. Send the Inquisitors, I’m all outta fucks.

  5. I am not optimistic at all. I anticipate a result not dissimilar from FOPA and the closing of the MG registry. Technically the FOPA legislation was a win for American gun owners, but it was ultimately a Pyrrhic victory at best. I hope to be proven wrong but I have a feeling Roberts will do his best to poison any positive ruling for the Second Amendment.

    • He’s not the “X-Factor” anymore; It’s most likely Kavanaugh now.

      The Oral Arguments are going to be very caustic.

      • I could see him siding with the majority just so he gets to write as poisonous an opinion as he can manage. Or he’ll make Kavanaugh his toady and have Kavanaugh write an opinion that manages to rule against NY and simultaneously crap on Heller.

    • Agreed. I suspect they will attempt to prove to the Democrats that they are in fact “moderate” and that there really is no need for courtpacking.

  6. The ultimate issue, whether there is ANY right to bear arms outside the home, is, I would argue, directly presented by Young v. Hawaii, as Hawaii does not differentiate between open and concealed carry permits, and where the Ninth specifically held that the 2A does not extend outside the home, i.e., there is no right to bear arms in public, and any restriction on the privilege to bear arms is presumptively valid under the police power of the State. The petition in Young will be filed before the end ot term, I would think.

  7. Roberts is a statist who is more concerned with the Court’s reputation than upholding our Constitutional liberties. Kavanaugh is a squish, he’ll go along with Roberts.

    The 2A was supposed to keep the government from disarming the citizenry in order to preserve their ability to revolt. The elitists who actually run this Country don’t trust ordinary people and, in fact, despise them. They will do everything in their power to gut the 2A so as to preserve and increase their unchecked hold on power.

    SCOTUS will do nothing to protect our 2A rights. We’re on our own.

    • People like Hillary, John Kerry, Pelosi, on and on, make it absolutely obvious that they consider themselves a ruling class, clearly destined to control the teeming masses (everybody else). Down to the nasty dyke mayor of Chicago, who explained on camera that she could violate her own rules for beauty shops because she is important and you are not. They REALLY believe that, and the only way to get the thought out of their minds is to shoot it out.

  8. It’s a little bit too soon to celebrate, like two years and a favorable decision too soon. SCOTUS can ungrant cert just as easily as it granted cert. And there are no squishes among the leftist Justices.

    No ones rights are safe when SCOTUS in in session.

    • True enough, but the rewrite specifies concealed carry so if they find for the way it was rewritten the lefties in NYC won’t be able to grant open carry only. Open carry when whatever cop who walks up to you can do his best to ruin your day would make it essentially invalid.

  9. Sorry……this is a 60-40 to 70-30 chance of being a good thing……this could end any hope of getting the 2nd Amendment protected by the court……..the spineless behavior of the Trump appointees so far is not encouraging……And if anything happens to Thomas before the hearing? It would be over…

    • The court is never (repeat; NEVER!) going to be better for the try, and in 6 months may be 7-6 progressive if the country still stands. Might as well go for broke while maintaining proper stores, just in case.

  10. Boys and Girls, Boys and Girls, keep the faith. The 2A doesn’t give any one the right to keep and bear. God did that long before America was even a gleam in Chris Columbus’ eye. God incorporated it into our DNA, and gave us free choice over whether to appreciate, protect, and use it. 2A only tells the government to keep their laws off that right. They’ve been ignoring that admonishment for decades because we have acquiesced to their tyranny. The only way to keep the fox out of the hen house for good is to hang ‘im on the fence. We’ll always have the right to keep and bear. Only question is when and how serious Patriots are about maintaining that right and making anti-RKBA tyrants convinced that Patriots are serious about RKBA. Until they are made believers, they will keep infringing our “….shall not be infringed.” Foxes do what foxes do; politicians do what politicians do……it’s their DNA. That’s the whole enchilada why our Founding Fathers penned the 2A. This 2A crap and hoopla is merely BIG BUSINESS for both sides of the issue. As always, lawyers are the only ones benefiting from this “playground dirt throwing.”. Remember, we’re just distracted in acquiescing about the debt and quibbling over the amount.

  11. “the court now has a majority of constitutional jurists” yeah… And next we can talk about how they feel about illegal votes “winning” an election. It’s a trap.

  12. Good Lord it’s Charlie Brown and football. Republicans screw the gun community and now SCOTUS is getting ready to. Roberts only took this case so they can vote against the Plaintiff and be done with CCW reciprocity once and for all.

    I have said for many, many years that if you are counting the Courts, esp. SCOTUS it’s already too late. And it is. Roberts took this case on purpose, he knows he has the votes to kill it.

  13. Somehow I doubt this is a cause for celebration. Based on the total screw up we saw with how the SCOTUS dealt with the election insanity it’s pretty damn obvious that they are bought and owned body and soul by the left. That means that they are not likely to rule in ANY WAY other than to support their owners ANTI 2A agenda.

  14. Schumer wil issue his threat, and the wobblies on the Court will follow his direction.

    There us a small chance that the Court will rebuke the threat, but it is doubtful.

    • If Schumer is going to do his thing, I would prefer a few solid rulings before he succeeds, to carve on his gravestone.

  15. I have zero confidence that these nine, unelected, gods-in-robes will actually rule in favor of the Second Amendment. After all, the rules do not apply to them, or any of the idiots in Congress. Also, since when did the U.S. Supreme Court suddenly be the final say in anything and everything? If we only have one branch of government, get rid of Congress, and de-ball the President. No point having either one if these judges think they are the ones that ultimately rule over the rest of us.

  16. Shadow….SCOTUS justices, the Presidency, and both houses of Congress treat We The Little Peeps as they do because we acquiesce, accept, and allow it. They think…no, know…..We The Little Peeps will do nothing about it. Our Founding Fathers intended government servants to fear We The Little Peeps.

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