[ED: The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. City of New York on Monday, December 2. TTAG contributors LKB (a member of the Supreme Court bar) and Jeff Hulbert of Patriot Picket will be there reporting on the arguments and the surrounding protests throughout the day.]
By Jeff Hulbert
With one week to go before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the first significant gun rights case in a decade, the hand wringing by the gun-grabbing Left has escalated into a full-on social media panic, complete with public calls to gridlock the perimeter around the High Court with anti-gun protestors next Monday.
Here are some of the agitated posts now making the rounds, many spearheaded by the founder of Moms Demand Action group Shannon Watts, who confidently boasted just last week, “Gun extremists are scared shitless of women and moms.”
Just what is at stake here that has them so agitated?
On the morning of December 2nd, the Justices will hear arguments in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York — an action that some gun banners initially derided as a “minor” gun case of limited scope.
But now, gun control groups, led by Blooomberg front groups Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety, are pleading with their supporters to flood the zone at the SCOTUS sidewalk on December 2nd, declaring “We must not let the NRA win!”
However, the success of the case so far has prompted New York City officials to roll back their own law in a desperate effort to render the case moot.
It was a forced retreat, repealing regulations that prohibited all opportunities for NYC residents to leave home with their firearms in order to travel to gun ranges or destinations of their choosing outside the city.
In anticipation of what many anti-gun scholars saw as a likely smackdown by the Court, the New York State legislature backpedaled even further, passing a law preventing New York City from reinstating such restrictions at any time in the future.
It was, and is, an arrogant attempt to prevent the Court from ruling the City’s infringements of the right to keep and bear arms.
Part of Monday’s arguments will include a petition by the city to declare the case moot. But the panicked commentary in the media and the gun control orgs’ calls to action betray their fear over the possible outcome of the suit and its effect on gun control laws nationwide.
Amping up the agitation on the Left is the realization that the most recent justice to be installed on the Court, Brett Kavanaugh, is now in position to press his long-held view that all the “interest-balancing” contortions used by the lower courts in the past be set aside in favor of a straightforward review of Second Amendment cases using “history, text and tradition” to reach decisions.
Slate.com has framed the Left’s concerns about Justice Kavanaugh’s influence in stark terms, noting the ideological shift that took place when Justice Anthony Kennedy stepped down last year:
Now Kennedy is gone, replaced by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a gun-rights enthusiast who takes a breathtakingly expansive view of the Second Amendment. With a firmly pro-gun majority in place, the conservative justices finally seem ready to supercharge Heller.
It’s no wonder, then, that Leftist gun control advocates are banging the pots and pans with such ferocity.
Ian Millhiser, writing for the left-leaning website Vox.com has gone as far as to concede that . . .
Gun Control supporters are desperate—and have already taken drastic steps —to get the Supreme Court to dismiss this case.
Millhiser adds that the NYSRPA case is “a small legal dispute…and yet it is this smallness that makes New York State Rifle so dangerous to the consensus [interest balancing] framework”.
Millhiser’s conclusion: next week’s case “gives the Supreme Court an ideal vehicle to hold all gun laws with skepticism—even very minor ones”.
Sounding the alarm and issuing declarations that they should own the sidewalks at the Supreme Court next Monday, the anti-gun Left has not hesitated to try to fire up their base by dredging up images from their “STOP KAVANAUGH” demonstrations outside the Supreme Court a year ago.
One can only guess whether the intent of the Civilian Disarmament caucus is to ring the Supreme Court with a massive protest next Monday.
Or re-enact their charge up the courthouse steps a year ago to kick at the huge doors of the court with their boots, while pounding the decorative bronze panels with their fists—and all while screaming at the police who took up positions to stop the vandalism.
My Bill of Rights demonstration group, The Patriot Picket, and I will be there with our signs and flags to stand for our full rights under the Second Amendment. I urge you to make a stand with us at the Supreme Court next Monday morning from 8am to 11am.
For those driving into DC to stand for 2A, you will find lots of paid parking at Union Station, just off North Capitol Street, NW DC. From there it’s just a short walk to the Supreme Court building, which faces the east in front of the U.S. Capitol.
The shrieking and drama from the anti-gun Left is likely to be on full display Monday. Less sure is what will happen in the chamber as the justices hear the arguments. Some legal observers believe the justices could indeed rule the case moot, with a declaration that New York City gun owners have achieved the legal relief they had sought with the City’s repeal of the law in question.
Even if the case is ruled moot, the gun grabbers’ angst is not likely to end soon. There are a handful of other Second Amendment cases in the pipeline right behind NYSRPA v. NYC. Court watchers believe that if SCOTUS punts on this one, it will be because they are seeking to review a case where they can get more legal traction for a significant ruling on Second Amendment jurisprudence going forward.
But a significant number of Court watchers believe a ruling of mootness after such a transparent maneuver to sidestep an adverse ruling is unlikely and that the ultimate ruling in Monday’s case just might make history.
The countdown is under way.
Jeff Hulbert is founder of The Patriot Picket.