On Monday, supreme court justices Brett Kavanagh and Clarence Thomas criticized the Supreme Court for failing to protect Second Amendment rights. The two judges noted that Second Amendment cases had been clogging lower courts as the Tribunal has avoided handling cases on the right to bear arms.
The Supreme Court has not heard a gun rights case since McDonald versus Chicago and D.C. versus Heller, both over ten years ago.
NEW at SCOTUS: justices refuse to hear a 2nd-amendment case and Justices Thomas & Kavanaugh are not happy pic.twitter.com/vzywklcfwQ
— Steven Mazie (@stevenmazie) June 15, 2020
Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh push to protect the 2nd Amendment
Kavanaugh and Thomas are dissatisfied with the court’s handling of a case in which an ATM technician who maintains bank machines in high crime areas was told by New Jersey that his work did not warrant granting him a permit to carry a gun. Kavanaugh and Thomas said that their fellow justices’ had failed to protect Americans’ right to bear arms.
Kavanaugh and Thomas have written an opinion stating that “This Court would almost certainly review the constitutionality of a law requiring citizens to establish a justifiable need before exercising their free speech rights. And it seems highly unlikely that the Court would allow a State to enforce a law requiring a woman to provide a justifiable need before seeking an abortion. But today, faced with a petition challenging just such a restriction on citizens’ Second Amendment rights, the Court simply looks the other way.”
Justice Thomas has also criticized the backlog of gun rights cases in lower courts. These have led to divergent interpretations of Americans’ constitutional rights in different jurisdictions, saying “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. 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.”
Divergences between circuits is a prime justification for the Supreme Court to weigh in on a matter. That is rule number ten in the Supreme Court’s guiding principles.
The Supreme Court has failed to protect 2nd Amendment rights for a decade
At Giffords Law Center we work day in and day out to fight back against the gun lobby in court.
Today we have a win! SCOTUS just declined to hear **ten** gun lobby cases aimed at rolling back gun safety laws nationwide. https://t.co/AHpSwTaHsn
— Robyn Thomas (@RobynGLC) June 15, 2020
Thomas has said that he is prepared to strike down the New Jersey ruling mentioned above, saying, “Petitioner asks this Court to grant certiorari to determine whether New Jersey’s near-total prohibition on carrying a firearm in public violates his Second Amendment right to bear arms, made applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment. This case gives us the opportunity to provide guidance on the proper approach for evaluating Second Amendment claims; acknowledge that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry in public; and resolve a square Circuit split on the constitutionality of justifiable need restrictions on that right.”