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SCOTUS punts again on gun rights

Empower Wisconsin | June 22, 2020

The John Roberts-led U.S. Supreme Court once more failed to take a clear stand for gun rights in America. 

Last week, the high court punted on 10 Second Amendment cases, including the appeal of an ATM service worker responsible for maintaining cash machines in “high crime areas.” The state of New Jersey said that wasn’t sufficient reason for him to receive a permit to carry a handgun. 

Conservative justices Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas castigated their colleagues for turning their backs on the Second Amendment. 

“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,” Thomas wrote, in an opinion joined by Kavanaugh. “But today, faced with a petition challenging just such a restriction on citizens’ Second Amendment rights, the Court simply looks the other way.”

It’s been more than a decade since the court has taken up a significant case on gun rights. 

The court pushed the cases back to lower courts.  

Lower courts have split on a backlog of Second Amendment cases. The Supreme Court needs to step in and decide, Thomas wrote. 

“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,” he said. “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.”

Gun Rights advocates assert its time the court protect Second Amendment rights. 

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