Now that Neil Gorsuch (above) is firmly ensconced in the Supreme Court there’s no more reason for delaying some of the bigger cases. One of those cases stuck in development hell: Peruta v. California.
The lawsuit in question asks the Supremes to rectify the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling that the Golden State has the right to prohibit its citizens from bearing arms. Here’s wikipedia.org‘s take on their “reasoning”:
The court reviewed the history of gun control cases in which laws forbidding the concealed carry of weapons were involved. They covered a time period from 1299 (in England) to the late 1800s US Supreme Court.
The majority opinion was that there was an “overwhelming consensus” of historical case decisions establishing that there was never a time in history when courts believed that states could not prohibit concealed carry. Consequently, they concluded it could not be a violation of the long-standing interpretation of the Second Amendment.
The minority argued that a prohibition on concealed carry for the general public, accompanied by a similar prohibition on open carry, was a de facto gun ban, and therefore is unconstitutional under District of Columbia v. Heller.
The Supreme Court has been kicking the the concealed carry can down the road for some time. As the SCOTUS Blog notes, the case has just been re-listed for the next conference.
What is “relisting?” It’s an arcane and obscure function, but extremely important in the current climate.
Justices decide which cases to hear (grant cert) at regularly scheduled conferences. If everything is flowing smoothly, the justices will decide whether to hear the case or send it back down to the lower courts at these meetings.
Needless to say, over the last couple years things haven’t been flowing smoothly. Since Justice Scalia popped his clogs in Texas, the Court has been a man down, creating a four – four split of conservative vs. activist judges (for lack of a better term). Some of the bigger cases have been pushed from one conference to the next, waiting for Congress to confirm a possibly tie-breaking Justice.
Now that the Court is once again fully staffed, these cases are finally coming to conference. They’re being “relisted.”
This may be reading the tea leaves a little too closely, but relisting Peruta v California may be an indication that the Court is finally ready to tackle the Constitutional questions surrounding California’s concealed carry licensing, or lack thereof.
If the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of Peruta, if it decrees that the right to keep and bear arms includes bearing arms, it could strike a death blow to the “may issue” concealed carry regimes in New Jersey, Hawaii and every other state where gun rights are routinely trampled in the name of public safety.
If it rules for California, the dark shadow falling over these states’ gun owners could become even darker . . .
Those of us on the pro-gun side of this case shouldn’t be popping the champagne corks. The case isn’t scheduled. And the math on the decision is decidedly dicey; depending as it does on Justice Kennedy to do the right thing (so to speak).
Watch this space.