The Ninth Circuit has twice ruled against California’s “good cause” handgun permitting scheme as unconstitutional. The Third Circuit has ruled that New Jersey’s similar “justifiable need” provision is constitutional. These rulings clearly conflict.

This sets up a wonderful opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court to take a significant Second Amendment case as they determine tomorrow whether they will hear the Third Circuit’s Drake v. Jerejian.

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide on Friday whether it will hear a Sussex County man’s challenge to New Jersey’s handgun carry laws.

The lawsuit, brought by John Drake, challenges the “justifiable need” requirement the state asks for carrying a handgun. It has drawn the support of the National Rifle Association and 19 other states, who see the case as a possible watershed moment for reevaluating how the Second Amendment and state regulations interact.

The nation’s highest court now has scheduled a conference for Friday morning on whether to decide to hear the case in its entirety, according to its online schedule.

Drake, a Fredon man who owns and operates an ATM business and who occasionally carries significant amounts of cash, said today that the case could be the first step toward the “Holy Grail of the gun rights movement,” the right to carry.

“If the Supreme Court decides to take the case, it could clarify the right to carry issue for the entire nation, and New Jersey would become ground zero for the gun-rights movement as the scramble of the decade begins,” Drake said this morning.

The Ninth Circuit panel’s ruling in Peruta was perhaps the finest bit of Second Amendment legal scholarship I’ve read, and did a masterful job of explaining the history of the Second Amendment and the intent of the Founders when they created the right to bear arms, something no other court (that I’ve been able to find) has done competently.

If the Supreme Court takes on Drake, you can rest assured that the legal scholarship in the Peruta decision will play a role in the final determination of whether states have a right to deny citizens a right to carry.

The constitutional viability of “may issue” permitting is what is at stake.