Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that the Justices would not be hearing any of the ten Second Amendment cases currently filed and waiting in docket for a hearing.
This comes as a blow after the SCOTUS punted on New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. NYC, earlier this year. In that instance, the City of New York had a bizarre law regarding the transportation of firearms in the city that was in question. Once New York City officials heard that the Justices had agreed to hear the case, rather than risk expanding second amendment rights for the entire country if they lost, they quickly changed the law in question to make the case a moot point.
The Supreme Court could have agreed to hear the case anyway and adjudicate on the matter anyway, but dismissed the case since the law in question no longer existed.
Still, there were ten more Second Amendment cases to be heard, right?
Well yes, until yesterday. The SCOTUS needs four justices to agree to hear a case. There are four who have expressed support for the Second Amendment in the past — Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, Thomas Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh. Those four had also agreed to hear some of the ten Second Amendment cases that were waiting.
So why didn’t they hear the cases?
Likely for the same reason that New York City changed it’s law rather than risk expanding the Second Amendment’s protection.
Specifically, if Chief Justice Roberts didn’t give them the swing vote the needed in deciding the cases, that hearing the cases could actually damage the Second Amendment if the liberal left judges swung Roberts to their side of the vote.
This Isn’t How SCOTUS Is Supposed To Function
The Supreme Court’s ONLY JOB is to adjudicate the law. They are supposed to say, “This is what the law means when it says XYZ.”
That’s their job. It’s not their job to say, “This is the new law” — that power belongs to the legislature. No, the SCOTUS is to explain and tease out what the law means and doesn’t mean.
And that’s exactly what they’re essentially refusing to do right now.
They’re often happy to legislate from the bench, but when it comes to our gun rights, they’re shying away from doing their real job.
The fact that they’ve refused to hear a Second Amendment Case in nearly a decade is tantamount to dereliction of duty. The fact that these cases aren’t even heard because of political pandering and backroom games is pathetic.
The Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapira, who had three cases waiting to be heard, had this to say about yesterday’s decision not to hear the cases:
This is especially disappointing because in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. NYC a few months ago, four justices (Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh) signaled their willingness to finally start defining the scope of these rights. But apparently those four were so unsure of whether they had a fifth vote and ultimately decided not to roll the dice.
In other words, for nearly a decade after McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) extended the individual right to keep and bear arms to the states, the uncertainty over Justice Kennedy’s vote prevented the Court from taking up a Second Amendment case—and now that pattern has been extended to Chief Justice Roberts’s tenure in the “swing” seat.
For shame indeed.