By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Right to keep and bear arms advocates will have to wait a bit longer to learn if the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to an Illinois city’s ban on certain semiautomatic firearms and standard capacity magazines. Per SCOTUSblog, the case has been relisted again (although the Proceedings and Orders list has not yet been updated at this writing).
“[D]on’t give up hope just yet, Second Amendment aficionados,” attorney John P. Elwood writes about the delayed decision. “Friedman v. City of Highland Park, 15-133, stuck around for its third re-list.”
“Re-list”? Again, per SCOTUSblog’s “Frequently Asked Questions”:
When a case is “relisted,” that means that it is set for reconsideration at the Justices’ next Conference. Unlike a hold, this will show up on the case’s electronic docket. A relist can mean several things, including the fairly straightforward prospect that one or more Justices wants to take a closer look at the case; that one or more Justices is trying to pick up enough votes to grant review (four are needed); that the Justices are writing a summary reversal (that is, a decision that the lower court opinion was so wrong that the Court can decide the case on the merits without briefing or oral argument); or that one or more Justices are writing a dissent from the decision to deny review.
“This was, and is, the glamour case among the [2015 October term] Second Amendment relists,” Elwood elaborated. “To be sure, all the statistics suggest that the odds of a grant start falling off around the third relist. But this fall has been a time for beating the odds.”
For those who have only heard about the case from the media, you can read the petition for writ of certiorari here. It presents two questions:
Whether the Constitution allows the government to prohibit law-abiding, responsible citizens from protecting themselves, their families, and their homes with a class of constitutionally protected “Arms” that includes the most popular rifles in the Nation.
Whether the Constitution allows the government to prohibit law-abiding, responsible citizens from protecting themselves, their families, and their homes with ammunition magazines that number in the tens of millions and make up nearly half of the Nation’s total stock of privately owned ammunition magazines for handguns and rifles.
These are issues SCOTUS has been avoiding for years, and gun owners are getting tired of legal risks arising from state and local bans and lower court ruling conflicts. Impatience is justified, especially when it’s clear from the writings of the Founders — and from longstanding Supreme Court precedent — that an individual right to keep and bear arms that have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia [or] that [are] part of the ordinary military equipment, or that … could contribute to the common defense” is exactly what the Second Amendment was intended to protect.
The continued relisting of Friedman ought to have gun owners on pins and needles, because the Supreme Court did not decline the case outright, meaning some of the Justices want to hear it. It remains to be seen if they will, or if they will once more hide from their responsibility without comment. If they do take on the case, a decision siding with gun prohibitionists will provoke millions of angry gun owners to embrace the “we will not comply/your move” new paradigm, and that could quickly get dangerous.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.