Chief Justice Roberts Afraid of Restoring the Second Amendment

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No Gun Cases Lawsuits Supreme Court
No Gun Cases Lawsuits Supreme Court

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- From the moment Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, said in a prepared statement following the Supreme Court’s rejection of ten pending gun rights cases, that responsibility for this high court two-step “falls squarely at the feet of Chief Justice John Roberts,” the question that must be answered is this:

“Is the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court afraid of restoring the Second Amendment to apply equally to all citizens?” It is beginning to appear that way.

The National Rifle Association issued a statement: “The Bill of Rights specifically includes the right to keep and bear arms because self-defense is fundamental to the liberty of a free society. Today’s inaction continues to allow so-called gun safety politicians to trample on the freedom and security of law-abiding citizens. This fight is not over for the NRA.”

The Roberts Court, November 30, 2018. Seated, from left to right: Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel A. Alito. Standing, from left to right: Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Brett M. Kavanaugh. Photograph by Fred Schilling, Supreme Court Curator's Office.

Gottlieb was equally blunt, observing, “Given the fact that the Supreme Court had a cafeteria-style menu of cases from which to choose, there is no excuse why the court at this time chose to ignore the need to rule on any of these cases, and send a message to lower courts that they can no longer thumb their noses at the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions affirming the individual right to keep and bear arms.”

Roberts’ appointment made the 5-4 Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010) Second Amendment opinions possible. His addition to the court enabled Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito to author opinions anyone can understand; the Second Amendment protects an individual fundamental right to keep and bear arms outside of any service in a militia.

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas

But in the years since, lower courts have wrestled, incredulously as it might seem, with the question whether this right extends beyond the confines of one’s home. It is a question that needs to be answered sooner than later, especially considering a passage in Justice Clarence Thomas’ dissent, joined by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in the court’s rejection of Rogers v. Grewal, one of the ten cases. This was a challenge to the New Jersey “justifiable need” requirement to obtain a carry permit in the Garden State.

“One of this Court’s primary functions is to resolve ‘important matter[s]’ on which the courts of appeals are ‘in conflict.”…The question whether a State can effectively ban most citizens from exercising their fundamental right to bear arms surely qualifies as such a matter. We should settle the conflict among the lower courts so that the fundamental protections set forth in our Constitution are applied equally to all citizens.”

The court’s reluctance to consider such a case that directly addresses the right “to bear arms” falls in Chief Justice Roberts’ lap, according to several observers, including SAF’s Gottlieb. At least one observer suggested to AmmoLand that Roberts does not care to take the Second Amendment beyond Heller. If that assessment is accurate, it’s an absurd position.

Could it be he doesn’t want to hear such a case because there can be but only one logical, and constitutionally correct, outcome; that such laws as now exist in New Jersey, New York and a handful of other states, would be nullified? It would throw those states’ regulatory schemes into chaos, which would delight gun rights activists living under those burdensome restrictions. But what other outcomes could there be, since the exercise of a fundamental, individual right requires no explanation or justification. A right is there to be exercised responsibly, regardless the misgivings of some bureaucrat or special interest group that thinks otherwise.

But by leaving intact, at least for the time being, such restrictions on an enumerated right, Roberts is relegating that right to the level of a regulated privilege.

If Roberts is satisfied with the status quo, and some observers believe he is, millions of law-abiding gun owners are not. They want to enjoy the same rights as citizens living in Indiana or Florida, Texas or Idaho, or any of the dozens of other states where one doesn’t need to provide a reason for exercising a constitutionally delineated right.

Justice Thomas is no stranger to this dilemma. In his 19-page dissent he wrote, “as I have noted before, many courts have resisted our decisions in Heller and McDonald… Instead of following the guidance provided in Heller, these courts minimized that decision’s framework…(concluding that our decisions “did not provide much clarity as to how Second Amendment claims should be analyzed in future cases”). They then “filled” the self-created “analytical vacuum” with a “two-step inquiry” that incorporates tiers of scrutiny on a sliding scale…) (compiling Circuit opinions adopting some form of the sliding-scale framework).

“Under this test,” Thomas continued, “courts first ask ‘whether the challenged law burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment.'…If so, courts proceed to the second step—determining the appropriate level of scrutiny…To do so, courts generally consider “how close the law comes to the core of the Second Amendment right” and “the severity of the law’s burden on the right.”

“Depending on their analysis of those two factors, courts then apply what purports to be either intermediate or strict scrutiny— at least recognizing that Heller barred the application of rational basis review…

“This approach raises numerous concerns,” Thomas observed. “For one, the courts of appeals’ test appears to be entirely made up. The Second Amendment provides no hierarchy of “core” and peripheral rights. And “[t]he Constitution does not prescribe tiers of scrutiny.”

But the description of what has occurred correlates with Justice Thomas’ 2018 dissent in the high court’s refusal to hear the appeal in another Second Amendment case, Silvester v. Becerra. In that 14-page dissent, Justice Thomas observed, “If a lower court treated another right so cavalierly, I have little doubt that this Court would intervene. But as evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this Court.”

This brings Second Amendment activists back around to the appearance, the perception, that Chief Justice Roberts is fearful of advancing a rights case to the point that a high court ruling will be issued.

The question then becomes “Why?”

The nation’s gun owners, an estimated 100 million-plus citizens, are waiting for an answer.



About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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Rowboat
Rowboat
28 days ago

I believe that States need to amend their respective Constitutions to incorporate a provision that all governors be elected via the Electoral College process. It has gotten so that the largest cities within a State control the outcome of any state gubernatorial race. Each county gets, at least, 1 electoral vote and more depending on population , as is the Federal model for presidential elections. It is way to easy to “buy “ a gubernatorial election nowadays that precludes the will of the majority of the counties within that State , where the majority of tax paying property owners live.… Read more »

Get Out
Get Out
1 month ago

IMOA, SCOTUS justices are supposed to interpret if these anti-gun laws are constitutional.Supreme Court is judicial review, or the ability of the Court to declare a Legislative or Executive act in violation of the Constitution, Marbury v. Madison (1803).

So far they’ve failed on many gun law related fronts to interpret the U.S. Constitution and BoR corectly, maybe it’s time to follow the money.

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Circle8
Circle8
1 month ago

Roberts is now and always has been a GELDING.

PMinFl
PMinFl
1 month ago

But they DID thumb their noses at Heller, McDonald and us.

ShooterOne
ShooterOne
1 month ago

If justice Roberts had any guts this situation could be ended and the only way it is going to end is either they fully enforce the Second Amendment or they will “try” to confiscate our guns which will end in a “blood bath” because our gun ownership is a right as needed for protection of our families as well as protection against a tyrannical government as the gun-grabbers are trying to do.

The gun owners are never going to give up their guns.

ARM UP and CARRY ON

Sgt2111
Sgt2111
1 month ago

I think the Stupreme Court as with all the courts are about as useful as tits on a chicken.
Law schools now day graduate such STUPID idiots, not a single judge knows what the Constitution says or what it’s purpose is.
Little Hitlers in black robs.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Rights of Florida? LOL…We can’t order or purchase any trigger that is considered a “speed” trigger. Such as the binary triggers. You are a little behind thinking Florida isn’t gun rights restrictive.

Boz
Boz
1 month ago

Roberts needs to go. The deep state has gotten to him.

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  Boz

Probably have pics of him in a compromising position with a goat or a boy.

Liston Matthews
1 month ago

Payoff or blackmail?

Will
Will
1 month ago

@Liston,knowing what a coward Roberts is I would bet blackmail.

JIAZ
JIAZ
1 month ago

And the Hits just keep on coming here at the Big SCOTUS.

“The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against President Trump. The ruling was 5-4 against the government, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the opinion.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the dissent.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/read-supreme-court-opinion-on-trump-effort-to-end-daca

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  JIAZ

Clarence Thomas is the most solid friend that the American citizen has in that group of otherwise disreputable rogues.

Wass
Wass
1 month ago

That a state border, among our fifty states or a US territorial location, should determine the exercising of a right enumerated in the Constitution (Bill of Rights), is in itself an issue that can NEVER be mute.

uncle dudley
uncle dudley
1 month ago

Very simple to follow the constitution, why can’t these judges just spell it out to anyone who tries to stop the second amendment and the rights to keep and bare arms.
I understand it as anywhere I should have to protect myself or my loved ones, not just at home.
If shotgun Joe should get elected over Trump we can expect to see liberal anti-gun folks screaming for the second amendment to be stricken from the constitution and a couple of liberal judges appointed to the court.

Morrigan
Morrigan
1 month ago

The Second Amendment does not need to be “restored”. It just needs to be followed as a rule
of law. As written. Our current state of insanity is one of the reasons it was written.

Ray
Ray
1 month ago

I wonder how big a stipend, IN-Justice Roberts, gets from “Little Mike” and Sorass, every time he rejects a 2A case.

ShooterOne
ShooterOne
1 month ago
Reply to  Ray

I certainly hope this is not the situation. If so, we are in more trouble than I thought our country could ever fall. I thought the “Supreme Court” was supposedly to follow our constitution.

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  Ray

At a minimum, the compromising pics of him with a goat or a boy do not get released.

gregs
gregs
1 month ago

this has nothing to do with the article written. please stay on topic and don’t ramble on.

TStheDeplorable
TStheDeplorable
1 month ago

There are LOTS of reasons to not take a case, and the least common reason is “we don’t think the case is important.” Virtually all the petitions for certiorari are “important.” Filing such a writ is a very expensive thing to do, and it isn’t done lightly. But still, every year the supreme court REJECTS 98% of the petitions, hearing less than 2% of the cases (some are done just on paper). One key factor in deciding whether to take up an issue is whether it has been fully litigated throughout the various Circuit Courts of Appeal, and if so… Read more »

nrringlee
nrringlee
1 month ago

We have made a very bad habit of using the courts to solve the problems the Congress lacks the nerve to tackle. Every contentious social issue can and should be resolved in the Congress. Courts get involved only when Congress and the executive are clearly out of line with the Constitution. We have fallen in to the progressive trap of legislating by litigation. When government loses all touch with the critical affairs of the people the people will reign supreme and impose their will. Constitutional Conventions would be a good thing if we were a good people. We are not… Read more »

Laddyboy
Laddyboy
1 month ago

Mr. Workman, Here is a quote from your good Op-Ed;
” This was a challenge to the New Jersey “justifiable need” requirement to obtain a carry permit in the Garden State.”
You MUST enter Maryland into this description. The state of Maryland REQUIRES a “REQUIRED PAYMENT partitioner” to have CURRENT COURT DOCUMENTATION of a personal IMMEDIATE THREAT as one of the REQUIREMENTS to obtain an EXPENSIVE EXTREMELY LIMITED CARRY PERMIT.

JH1961
JH1961
1 month ago

Roberts is NOT a Constitutionalist. He is part of the ‘Deep State’.

Greg K
Greg K
1 month ago

Am curious. It only requires 4 justices to accept a case, does it not? Why are we laying the whole crap load on Roberts? We know he’s a steaming pile, but we have at least one other commie in the woodpile. Well, besides the obvious other 4.

https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-educational-outreach/activity-resources/supreme-1

Will
Will
1 month ago

Clarence Thomas is the best Justice on the bench!

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Will

, Imagine that a black guy is our best friend in Washington. I guess that there is a lesson in that for youngsters that haven’t learned it, yet.

Will
Will
1 month ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@WB,Justice Thomas is a good man that has always made his rulings in accordance and respect to the US Constitution. The man is very consistent and dependable.

GUNFUN
GUNFUN
1 month ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

Why does the color of his skin make it surprising?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

@GF, You said surprising, we did not.

Finnky
Finnky
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

@GF – It is a testament to equality among conservatives. Contrary to the racist leftists who constantly scream that conservatives are racists – we actually judge a man (or woman) by the content of their character.

Such irony in the fact that GOP is the party living up to MLK’s dream, while democrats do their best to obstruct racial equality.

ROCK6
ROCK6
1 month ago

Roberts is a feckless hack in a robe and deserves to be lumped into the anti-Constitutional left activist judges. I’ve lost respect for the SCOTUS to protect civil rights and the Constitution and the Chief needs to pulled down and disrobed…he’s a disgrace to law and order. We need Trump’s reelection and we need to name at least two “extremely” conservative judges counter the embarrassment that Roberts has become. Simply disgusting…

GUNFUN
GUNFUN
1 month ago
Reply to  ROCK6

Ruth is not going to be around for much longer, no matter what anyone says.

Friend of mine has theorized that she is already dead and another person has taken her place for the time being.

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

Like George Soros, Bloomberg, and so many others, as long as they sit on Satan’s lap and he has need of their services, he will keep them running and doing his bidding. I guess the dark one had no more need for GHWB and Johnny McStain or they would still be among us.

badlands
badlands
1 month ago
Reply to  ROCK6

Nah. His deciding vote on the ACA was way before Trump.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  badlands

@bad, Roberts vote for the ACA was a pro-Obama (aka Soetoro) vote, and is evidence that he prefers socialists to capitalists.

gregs
gregs
1 month ago
Reply to  ROCK6

exactly, after all he was the one that said the individual mandate was a tax and that Obamacare was constitutional. the worst part is, that he is not very old and has many more years on the bench to lean farther left.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  ROCK6

, If we get a majority in the House of Reps, we can impeach federal judges for bad behavior, hand over fist. If we get a majority in the Senate, we can convict federal judges for bad behavior, hand over fist.

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

Problem with that is, just like the last time we had a majority two years ago, most “Republicans” these days are RINO’s. Even if we get another majority, most will be stinkin RINO’s who will side with the Democrats in one way or another. The deck is stacked against us.

🙁

Will
Will
1 month ago

Restore it? I didn’t know it ever went anywhere!

GUNFUN
GUNFUN
1 month ago

Don’t you love it when the people in charge of your rights are afraid to do what needs to be done? If anyone of us here was in his position, we would have no problems taking care of his job.

Greg K
Greg K
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

Gave you a thumbs up, however, the only people in charge of “Our Rights” is us.

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

GUNFUN, you are absolutely right. Unfortunately, the likes of most of us on here would never be vetted by The Deep State for such lofty positions.

Superman
Superman
1 month ago

Could it be ‘hizzhonor’ is the best judge money can buy?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Superman

@Clark, the longer that people are in Washington, District of Corruption, the more elitist that they get. Maybe someone is getting “side money”, or it could be peer pressure, or maybe they’all look down on us from such a long distance that they forget what we are like.

Will
Will
1 month ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@WB,you’re right,Washington has a way of destroying otherwise good men. I don’t think that should apply to SCt Justices who only have to apply the Constitution to their decisions and rulings. The 2A is part of the US Constitution how confusing can it be to these morons?

Knute
Knute
1 month ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

WB: Or, could it be all three? That’s the one I have my money on.

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
1 month ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

Why aren’t we reminding them? With 100 million gun owners in this country why aren’t the steps of the SCOTUS courthouse filled with a shouting mob?

willyd
willyd
1 month ago
Reply to  Ansel Hazen

Oldvet; Great at least I have one person on this sight has finally seen the light about what I have been saying all along, Punch all of their tickets to TERM LIMITS, no more carrier Judges, Politicians, as most of the states have Term Limits to keep the scum-bags from total rule being jammed down our throats!!!!!!!!! 10 years total done-gone!!!!!!!!!