Supreme Court Denies Certiorari to 10 Second Amendment Cases

Opinion

U.S. Supreme Court Image NRA-ILA
U.S. Supreme Court Image NRA-ILA

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- In an unexpected move, the Supreme Court has voted to deny certiorari (refuse to hear) ten Second Amendment cases which have been held at the court, some of which have been waiting for years.

Much speculation has been written about the cases, with the expectation the Supreme Court would hear at least one of them in order to clarify splits that have occurred in the circuit courts on the issues of carrying firearms outside the home, bans on gun magazines and semi-automatic rifles.

The court is believed to have four justices inclined to enforce the Second Amendment:  Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh. There are four justices believed to wish to render the Second Amendment impotent and toothless: Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

Chief Justice Roberts is speculated as being the swing vote which could go either way. He voted for both the Heller and McDonald decisions to uphold the Second Amendment as written and applied to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Many conservatives see him as unreliable. Who knows what pressures are brought to bear on nine of the most powerful men and women in the world?

Something happened to change the balance and bring about a majority to deny certiorari to the ten Second Amendment cases.

The Supreme Court does not tell us who voted for the denial of certiorari. We know two justices disagree strongly enough to dissent.

Thomas Rogers, et al. v. Gurbir Grewal Denied

Justice Thomas wrote the dissent on the Rogers v. Grewal case.  Justice Kavanaugh joined the dissent for Parts I and III of the dissent but did not join for Part II.

In Part I, Justice Thomas explains the need to reign in the circuit court's decisions on the Second Amendment. Justice Thomas writes:

This approach raises numerous concerns. 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.” Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 579 U. S. ___, ___ (2016) (THOMAS, J., dissenting) (slip op., at 12); see also Heller II, supra, at 1283 (Kavanaugh, J., dissenting) (listing constitutional rights that are not subject to means-ends scrutiny). Moreover, there is nothing in our Second Amendment precedents that supports the application of what has been described as “a tripartite binary test with a sliding scale and a reasonable fit.” Duncan v. Becerra, 265 F. Supp. 3d 1106, 1117 (SD Cal. 2017), aff ’d,742 Fed. Appx. 218 (CA9 2018).

Part II is a strongly reasoned argument that Second Amendment rights exist outside the home. In Part II, Justice Thomas writes this:

“The most natural reading of this definition encompasses public carry.” Peruta v. California, 582 U. S. ___, ___ (2017) (THOMAS, J., dissenting from denial of certiorari) (slip op., at 5). Confrontations, of course, often occur outside the home. See, e.g., Moore, supra, at 937 (noting that “most murders occur outside the home” in Chicago). Thus, the right to carry arms for self-defense inherently includes the right to carry in public. This conclusion not only flows from the definition of “bear Arms” but also from the natural use of the language in the text. As I have stated before, it is “extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen.” Peruta, supra, at ___ (opinion dissenting from denial of certiorari) (slip op., at 5).

In part III, which Justice Kavanaugh agrees with, Justice Thomas writes this:

It appears that a handful of States throughout the country prohibit citizens from carrying arms in public unless they can establish “good cause” or a “justifiable need” for doing so. The majority of States, while regulating the carrying of arms to varying degrees, have not imposed such a restriction, which amounts to a “[b]a[n] on the ability of most citizens to exercise an enumerated right.” Wrenn, 864 F. 3d, at 666. The Courts of Appeals are squarely divided on the constitutionality of these onerous “justifiable need” or “good cause” restrictions. The D. C. Circuit has held that a law limiting public carry to those with a “good reason to fear injury to [their] person or property” violates the Second Amendment. Wrenn, 864 F. 3d, at 655 (internal quotation marks omitted).7 By contrast, the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits have upheld the constitutionality of licensing schemes with “justifiable need” or “good reason” requirements, applying what purported to be an intermediate scrutiny standard. See Gould, 907 F. 3d, at 677; Kachalsky, 701 F. 3d, at 101; Drake, 724 F. 3d, at 440; Masciandaro, 638 F. 3d, at 460.

In eight states and two American territories, the right of citizens and residents to bear arms outside of the home is arbitrarily restricted by a governmental agent, be it a law enforcement officer, board, or administrator, who can deny a permit to carry outside the home on a subjective basis.

It is the rule of man as envisioned by the progressive left, instead of the rule of law.

The eight states are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Rhode Island. The two American territories are the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa. Those political entities contain about 26 percent of the population of the United States.

More than a quarter of the United States population have their Second Amendment rights infringed on a regular basis. The Supreme Court has voted to do nothing to correct this situation.

What changed at the court to precipitate the decision to continue the uneasy status quo?  What tipped the balance toward the situation where circuits are allowed to accept, or even encourage, states to render the Second Amendment impotent?

The internal politics of the Supreme Court are hidden. It is unknown which justices voted to deny certiorari. The message from the court seems to be: Your Second Amendment rights are not respected here.

It could have been worse. The Court could have accepted a case, and reversed Heller. It shows a strong commitment, by at least one justice, to avoid the issue. It appears they do not wish to rule on Second Amendment issues, probably because the logic is clear.

The ten Second Amendment cases denied certiorari are:

Expect the rights of citizens in California, New Jersey, and the other states which view the Second Amendment with disdain, to be abused in more imaginative ways.

The remedy for the Supreme Court appears to be the appointment of at least one more Supreme Court justice who views the Constitution, as written, as the Supreme Law of the United States.

The remedy of the ballot box is available to citizens of the affected states. It is possible the current unrest will convince voters their Second Amendment rights are worth preserving.



About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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ROCK6
ROCK6
4 months ago

First step is to support the movement of the Convention of the States IAW Article V of the Constitution. They need to eliminate the life-long appointments to the SCOTUS (and have term limit for all members of Congress). Second, vote to get Trump reelected and pray both Ginsburg and Breyer hang it up and Trump appoints two (extremely) conservative judges in the SCOTUS. As it stands, justice will only be rendered by the gun for the common man as the courts have completely failed at protecting the Constitution.

Aardvark
Aardvark
4 months ago

Personally I think several of the justices have been truly scared into submission by Senator Whitehouse’s letter to the court threatening to restructure the court if they ruled on NYSRPA v. New York City or ruled on other 2nd Amendment cases. I had mistakenly believed the court would stand up to the Senators but I also realize the court is quite vulnerable to congressional politics. If there is a massive Democrat Party takeover of the federal government in November, the Senate could vote to eliminate the filibuster as the first course of business in January 2021 at which point adding… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  Aardvark

@Aard, There are not seven S. Ct. justices that, together, would make up one cowardly lion.

Gdubb
Gdubb
4 months ago

Obviously these cases need to be heard and correctly ruled upon by the SC. We all know Roberts cannot be trusted to follow the Constitution. Until the old bag Ginsburg finally dies and is replaced with a non-activist judge, it would be very dangerous for the SC to hear cases like this. I see this as a blessing. Of course it should not have to be this way, but this is the f-d up works we live in these days, and it will continue to be this way until people decide to stand up and change it.

Whit
Whit
4 months ago

This is disgraceful. The USSC is a joke.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  Whit

@Whit, yes, but we the people have the power to fix it.

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
4 months ago

Now the Supreme Circus, taking after the 9th. Circus.

uncle dudley
uncle dudley
4 months ago

All nine members of the court should support all the amendments to the constitution, if they don’t then they need to be impeached and removed from the court.
They are there not for their own political idea’s but for defending the laws and rights of the country and it’s citizens laid out by the founders.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  uncle dudley

@ud, We could impeach federal judges that do not support all of the Constitution, faster than hot cakes, if we had a majority in the House of Representitives. We could convict and remove federal judges, faster than hot cakes, if we had a majority in the U.S.Senate.
As to the judiciaries of the several states, who are elected, election is the remedy.

willyd
willyd
4 months ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

WB; This all keeps boiling down to the position that they have a full pass with lifetime benefits, weather elected or appointed, they all should have TERM LIMITS!!!!!!!!

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  willyd

, You have your finger on the pulse. We can change all that by making reforms to the Judiciary Act and instating a massive campaign of impeaching federal judges. These are the two checks on the judiciary that the founders intended.

USMC0351Grunt
4 months ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@Wild Bull, not to dispute your several scenarios but didn’t we have the majority in the house and the Senate from 2016 through 2018?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

@USMC, You are technically correct. At that time, however, there were too many “Never Trump” rinos. More than eighty of them are gone now.

Darkman
Darkman
4 months ago

Stop blaming A Court for not doing what is the responsibility of the Citizenry. The Court did not Bleed and Die to secure your Rights. The Court is just 9 people who rule by caveat. Just as King George III did 245+ years ago. After many years of attempting through reason and what legal limited legal avenues they were allowed. To gain their Rights and Freedoms. The Citizenry came to understand that their only recourse was to take what was theirs. By their own will with what force was necessary. Much in the same way the BLM movement and Antifa… Read more »

USMC0351Grunt
4 months ago
Reply to  Darkman

, EXACTLY MY POINT!

All you heroes, you “Patriots?” Get up off your dead asses and GET INTO THE FIGHT!

DONATE, GOD DAMN IT!

https://www.ammoland.com/2020/05/gun-show-promoter-challenges-texas-citys-last-minute-reneging-on-venue-agreement/#axzz6NrRmvSJl