Supreme Court Gun Case New York
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

By LKB

This morning, the Supreme Court released its orders from last week’s conference. There was some hope that based on Justice Kavanaugh’s concurrence and the Alito/Thomas/Gorsuch dissent in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, and the adding of all 10 Second Amendment cases that had been “held” pending NYSR&PA, we might see a cert grant this morning.

On the other hand, if we saw a bunch of “cert denied” decisions come out of the conference (which is the fate of over 99% of all cert petitions), as I previously wrote, that would likely signal that Roberts has likely gone into full coward mode, and we’re back to an Anthony Kennedy-era standoff on gun rights cases.

This morning’s orders were thus anticlimactic. No cert grants on Second Amendment cases, but no denials either. The pending 2A cases are thus likely relisted for a future conference (which is also a very common practice).

What does this mean?

It could be that the pro-2A block (which has the necessary four votes to grant cert) is holding fire until they can get a better read on Roberts. It could be that there was just too much business at last week’s conference (especially given that they are holding the conferences telephonically or by vidconference).

It could be any number of possibilities…all of which are sheer speculation at this point.

For now, it’s wait and watch. Frustrating, but par for the course when it comes to Supreme Court practice.

37 COMMENTS

  1. I’ll add my speculation: The Pro-2A justices might know more about RBG’s health situation than the general public does.

    • And that’s all it is, speculation.

      Look, it could easily have been a ‘no’, and it wasn’t.

      We sit, and wait, for the ‘witch and water bucket’ interface Serge eluded to…

    • I seriously think RGB is a robot. I mean her and Betty White would be the last two standing after an apocalyptic nuclear war. LOL

    • I think it has more to do with the election year. Any pro 2A ruling from SCOTUS will be looked at as politicizing the court and at a time when Trump is as unpopular as ever that will lead to him losing and RBG and Breyer retiring and then it’s back to the Kennedy days with Roberts replacing him.

      This is why the election matters and I’ll hold my nose and vote Trump. Ginsberg is badly immune compromised, if she gets the virus she is as good as gone and replacing her with a conservative insulates the pro gun side from milk toast Roberts.

    • We’ve been hearing that for three years. Trump has 1/8 of a term, about six months left to replace RBG. Every day that goes by makes that more and more unlikely. At this point it is more likely Thomas will die in the next four years than rbg in next six month.

    • Also I’m willing to bet Roberts was successfully intimidated into submission by the left. Remember the left has been threatening SCOTUS with violence lately, and he bent the knee.

  2. Maybe a no news is good news situation. It could be worse, and it might be better. An extra conservative on the SC certainly won’t hurt.

  3. The gun-control wing of the bench is missing an opportunity here. They could take a case, concede a little ground, and then keep the holding as narrow as conceivable with plenty of dicta as appeared in Heller that would seem to acknowledge the powers of government to regulate arms.

    They seem to be making an ill-considered bet: i.e., that Trump can’t possibly be re-elected and so there is no reason to give a millimeter. Once a Democrat is elected RGB’s and Breyer’s are safely in Progressive hands for another generation.

    Heads they win; tails they would have conceded a little bit. Not a prudent wager.

    • Don’t give them any ideas Mark. We’re upside down already, and on an uphill battle that looks nearly insurmountable. I’d rather, and for the best outcome with respect to regaining full access to our rights, a solid majority ruling without being colored by compromise, instead of a tarnished narrowed ruling we’ll have to fight all over again.

    • “They seem to be making an ill-considered bet: i.e., that Trump can’t possibly be re-elected and so there is no reason to give a millimeter.”

      As it is right now, that’s not a bad bet. There is some real economic misery that’s about to hit in a few months, and Democrats are masters at exploiting misery for their own gain…

    • The supposedly pro-2nd side has all the votes it needs to grant cert. The gun control justices have no reason to give ANY ground when the other side refuses to even take the field.

  4. As soon as there is a vacancy DJT will fill it, no matter how close to the election. Because the Rs control the Senate and Kavanaugh was screwed over. At that point we can start rebuilding the respect for the second.

    • There is political peril in going that route (even though that’s the route I would take). We aren’t the only ones that can ‘storm the polls’ in November for our candidate…

  5. If a foolish consistency is indeed the hobgoblin of little minds, the Justices must be mental midgets.

  6. NYSRPA had three re-lists before it was granted. It is now the practice of the court to re-list cases multiple times before they grant cert. These cases were previously held, so I would count this as the first time they were considered for a cert grant. I expect re-lists a few more times. After 3 or 4 relists the odds go down… then I expect a dissent from denial of cert.

  7. Even if the supreme court were to vote to make the 2nd A an absolute Right. It still doesn’t guarantee the Right will remain that way. A change in the balance of the court. Can at a later date reverse any decision put in place by a previous ruling. The court has absolute power to decide. With no recourse by the citizenry. Impeachment requires the actions of the senate. And has only happened once in the history of the court. Rights determined by OUR better are not Rights. They are permissions. We have to ask for. When Citizens fear the consequences of fighting for their Rights/Freedoms…More than they fear the lose of those Rights/Freedoms. They become Subjects and Tyranny prevails. Keep Your Powder Dry.

    • Unless every single person can decide for himself or herself what their rights are, you will never be in a different situation. And the former is literally anarchy.

      Until then you have a society where someone outside yourself determines your rights and throws you in prison if you disagree. Same as it has been in literally any government on earth.

      So what’s your point? “Keep your powder dry”? I believe we’ve been hearing that since 1776 or 1865. Sounds pretty hollow.

    • Ok, hold on…first of all the SCOTUS doesn’t determine if something is an absolute right, the Constitution spells out which rights are protected from infringement by the government. The SCOTUS is extremely reluctant to overturn its own prior decisions. This would politicize the entire Court, and render the court useless.

      As for people being willing to fight; it’s not that they aren’t willing. In fact I would bet a small fortune that if tomorrow it was announced that we all had 90 days in which to surrender ALL firearms, it would be hitting the fan in a hurry. The antigunners know that, just like New York knew the repercussions of letting their case get before the SCOTUS. Because the SCOTUS rarely overturns its previous opinions, if the Court were to have heard the case, and and struck down the list court ruling, and then in doing so, also ruled that strict scrutiny must be applied to ANY case involving the 2A, it would be an incredible, landmark running for the nation’s gun owners. That’s why the changed their laws, and caught to keep the case from being heard. Way too much at risk for them. Antigunners know that they have to do this slow and steady; eroding our rights a little at a time, until eventually they are gone. This is the real reason nobody is starting a revolution. They take magazines. Not everywhere, and not from everyone. People get mad, they talk crap, but then they look at their family, their kids, their spouse, and by the next day they rationalize that it’s just magazines, I’m not going to die or go to prison, leaving my family torn up, over a freaking magazine; everyone has had this thought. I know it’s true, and I know because in the best scenarios, we are networking, training, and preparing. We aren’t taking action because, we have weighed the cost, and made a decision. It’s not that we don’t have plenty of patriots willing to “get it done”, we do; it’s that they don’t want to die over crumbs. In California where everything is heavily regulated, and much is banned, it’s not enough to be worth dying. I can move to another state, I can stay and buy as much of what is legal, and hold onto it. These are both reasonable options, and that’s why nobody is kicking off the war. The liberals are playing the long game, being patient; the tortoise, but the rabbit. Small bites until it’s all gone.

  8. Cue Lucy pulling the football out from under Charlie Brown… again.

    Great that that Kavanaugh guy punted everything allowing NYC to do whatever it wants to citizens as long as it goes back on it after 10 years just as the court finally agrees to look at it. Who pushed that idiot through confirmation? Must have been one of dem dirty liberals or maybe a RINO like Bush Sr. amirite?

    Oh. It was Trump. The pompous dummy that we were told we had to hold our nose and vote for to get pro-2nd judges on the court.

  9. Most of you will just have to find a new fantasy to cling to, where you’re effectual and taken seriously by those above on the social ladder. Trump with relatively free hands as a lame duck maybe. Some kind of idealized Trumpian lost cause if Biden wins. You rationalizing battered-spouses of society will manage.

    It’s just business as usual, you fixated on the SC partially for 12 years and entirely, with all of your 2A interest whatever that might amount to, since Bumpgate. After Trump loses or RBG is replaced and the SC still doesn’t care about gun rights, like every other year since 1877, you’ll just move on. One fantasy is as good as another.

  10. What it means is that once again, instead of doing something good for the citizens SCOTUS decided to allow the status quo to continue to strip citizens of their rights.

  11. Wow I’m so stew-pid. I’m like b. h. obama because I too needed to wait for the USSC to decide Heller for me. My mind was blank, I was lost in a vast empty desert and my only way out was for the USSC to do my thinking for me. Is the 2A an individual right? I dunno because I’m so damned stew-pid.

    Prior to sleazy courtroom semantics favoring Gun Control there is one fact every American needs to understand about Gun Control…The Roots of Gun Control are in racism and genocide. That’s Chiseled.

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