Second Amendment advocates are reacting with disappointment and dismay after the Supreme Court turned back ten separate challenges to gun control laws from California to New Jersey on Monday. The decision by the justices not to accept any of the cases that it’s been holding in conference for months not only delays any potential ruling by the high court on the right to keep and bear arms for months to come, but it raises new questions about the current makeup of the Court and why, despite four justices publicly stating that the Supreme Court is past due in terms of hearing a Second Amendment case, the Court chose to punt on virtually all of the cases it’s been considering.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Amy Swearer of the Heritage Foundation and Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation join me to discuss the disappointing news and what it means for the future of the right to keep and bear arms. While both of my guests point to Chief Justice John Roberts as the most likely explanation for why the Court decided not to accept any of the ten cases, Gottlieb is more pointed in his criticism. He says that the chief justice owes the American people an explanation for his apparent refusal to weigh in or signal support for any of the cases, especially given Roberts’ siding with the majority in the Heller and McDonald cases that established once and for all the fact that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.
“The Supreme Court’s refusal to take a Second Amendment Foundation case falls squarely at the feet of Chief Justice John Roberts. He owes every gun owner in the United States an explanation about why the high court declined to hear a number of important Second Amendment cases.
“Given the fact that the Supreme Court had a cafeteria-style menu of cases from which to choose, there is no excuse why the court at this time chose to ignore the need to rule on any of these cases, and send a message to lower courts that they can no longer thumb their noses at the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions affirming the right to keep and bear arms.
Swearer says its possible that Roberts didn’t signal support for any of the Second Amendment cases because he’s hoping to avoid a politically-charged case before Election Day, and notes that the Court could still take up one of the many cases that are working their way through the appellate courts. There’s also the case of Rodriguez vs. San Jose, which deals with the seizure of lawfully owned firearms by the San Jose police, and the subsequent refusal to return any of the firearms in question to Lori Rodriguez. That case, also brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, is also currently in conference at the Supreme Court, but the justices didn’t mention the case in their orders on Monday.
Still, Swearer says she too is troubled and disappointed by the Court’s decision today, and both she and Gottlieb agree that the Supreme Court has now suddenly become an even more important issue for gun owners in the 2020 elections. With one or more vacancies expected on the Court in the next four years, whoever’s in the White House will have the opportunity to shape the court for generations to come.
Be sure to check out both interviews in the video window above, and stick around afterwards for more news, including an armed neighbor who came to the aid of a family in Rome, New York after they were the victims of a home invasion, two crooks in Chicago charged with dragging a police officer behind a stolen car, and a sheriff’s deputy in South Carolina who not only saved an infant’s life, but is now the little girl’s godfather.