Disappointing Punt by the Supreme Court
This morning SCOTUS punted in deciding the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association case which challenged NYC’s lawful transportation of firearms outside the home.
In a two-page opinion, the Court vacated the decision of the Second Circuit, and sent the case back so they could consider whether the plaintiffs could seek monetary damages (their complaint had only sought a legal determination that resolved uncertainty for litigants and not a judgment for money). The opinion said that since New York had revised its law (which they did in hopes to have the complaint thrown out of court), that this “mooted” (unsettled) the request for legal relief.
Gun Owners of California strongly agree with the dissenting opinions of Justices Alito, Gorsuch, and Thomas that “By incorrectly dismissing this case as moot, the Court permits our docket to be manipulated…”
Kavanaugh, however, agreed with the majority opinion of the court that the case was moot, but said he hoped the failure of some lower courts to follow Heller could be remedied in a subsequent case.
Although many consider this to be a setback, others disagree. 2nd Amendment advocate and journalist Dana Loesch has stated that “This isn’t a loss for 2A folks; NYC scrambled to change this law to avoid SCOTUS because the alternative was a potential major 2A victory. If anything, this was a 2A victory as the city ran from the fight. NYC could change to restrict again, but would invoke the same fight.”
In order for any of the 2nd Amendment cases currently before the Supreme Court are to be heard, four judges must make the decision whether to accept them. The probability is that they could vote to accept one or more before their session ends this coming June. When SCOTUS next session begins in October of this year, they could set the case(s) for arguments with potential decisions due before June 2021. This is exactly why we need to insure that the court has multiple opportunities to accept cases that pertain to the 2nd Amendment. Click here for the full opinion.