The Supreme Court, for the first time in nearly a decade, is hearing a significant Second Amendment case:
Faced with a defunct ban on transporting guns outside city limits, the increasingly conservative court majority could render a decision making clear what some justices believe: that the Second Amendment extends beyond the home, and that lower courts should view state and local limits on carrying guns in public with skepticism.
“This would be a strange case in which to go big,” says Joseph Blocher, a professor at Duke University School of Law and co-director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law. “Yet the stakes going forward are potentially huge.”
I heard Prof. Blocher in NPR yesterday. He seems to believe that the SCOTUS will find some excuse to turn this case toward expanding limits on gun rights.
I’m not sure if it was Pauline Kael syndrome, or playing to the NPR audience’s echo chamber, or if he knows something I don’t. I wasn’t impressed.
Gun rights groups were surprised in January when the high court agreed to hear the case. Gun control groups were surprised in October when the justices refused to jettison it, even after the city and state erased restrictions that were likely unconstitutional.
Both actions went against the court’s recent modus operandi when it comes to guns: avoidance. Since its 2008 and 2010 rulings striking down gun restrictions in the District of Columbia and Chicago, the court has refused to hear dozens of cases challenging lesser limits on who can own what types of guns, where they can be taken, what requirements must be met and more.
Expect a ruling in June.