Ever since the McDonald decision, the Supreme Court has seemed very hesitant to take on another gun case. There have been some great opportunities, too, yet it hasn’t.
Which is annoying, considering the Court has lifetime appointments primarily so that it’s insulated from the whims of popular sentiment. The judges can rule as they feel compelled based on the Constitution without fear of public opinion pushing them out of office. That means tackling controversial issues shouldn’t be as thorny a problem for them as it would be for members of Congress or the president.
Now, at least, it’ll hear one. It’s a narrow problem that’s unlikely to yield major changes to how the Second Amendment is restricted here in this country, but it at least will hear one.
But the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb thinks this is just the beginning.
The founder of the Second Amendment Foundation said last week he believes the “floodgates” are now open for the Supreme Court to take new gun rights cases after the Court agreed to hear a New York case.
“The anti-gunners said that when we won McDonald at the supreme court, that if the court rule that our way it would open the floodgates for second amendment litigation,” Alan Gottlieb told the Washington Free Beacon. “It’s the one area where the anti-gunners were right.”
In agreeing to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. New York City, a case challenging the city’s law banning those with legally owned firearms from taking them anywhere but their home or a local shooting range,Gottlieb said the Supreme Court was signaling they would begin wading into Second Amendment litigation once again nearly a decade after landmark decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.
“It shows for the first time in a lot of years the Supreme Court decided to hear another gun case,” he said. “It means that the Supreme Court is back in the business of hearing gun cases.”
Gottlieb points out that the lower courts found in support of the New York law, and believes the Court wouldn’t have taken the case if it intended to uphold the law. I agree completely.
However, it’s also a ridiculously narrow law that likely has no bearing on anyone outside of New York City. Further, a case could probably be made that this has more to do with the transport of private property than with guns. After all, if the state can tell you that you can’t take your gun out of the city, can’t ut also declare you can’t take your money out of the city or something equally stupid?
That may be a bit of a leap, but think about the nonsense Mayor Bill de Blasio has spouted and you can see why I think it’s not a massive leap.
Could the Court be looking at it from that angle?
Who knows. We’ll have to wait for the case to even be heard to have a real inkling on where this one is going.
Let me be clear. I want Gottlieb to be right. I hope he’s right. In truth, he’s probably right. I’m just not willing to say that right now. If the Court agrees to a second, I’ll probably change my tune, but for now, I’m going to maintain my skepticism on this one. I’m less likely to be disappointed if I’m wrong.