John Roberts' Rule Appears Over as SCOTUS Takes up Case That Will Decide Gun Rights in America

(Win McNamee/Pool via AP)

After years of Chief Justice John Roberts seeing to it that major gun cases were punted on at the Supreme Court, today marks a major change on that front. SCOTUS has decided to grant cert to a case out of New York dealing with the carrying of firearms outside the home. This will be a landmark case that will shape the future of rights surrounding gun ownership in America.

(related Chief Justice John Roberts Once Again Shows He’s a Spineless, Authoritarian Coward)

Here’s Cam Edwards from our sister site, Bearing Arms, announcing the news.

The Washington Examiner provides more details.

The Supreme Court on Monday accepted for argument a New York Second Amendment case, the first major gun rights suit before the court in a decade.

The court accepted the case in an unsigned order, noting that the justices will consider only “whether the state’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”

The case arose out of a dispute over New York licensing. As it stands, New York law requires applicants for a license to demonstrate “proper cause” and a “special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.” But several New York residents, as well as the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, pushed back, arguing that such rules were unconstitutional.

Blue states like New York have basically made it impossible to get a permit to carry a firearm. They’ve done that by putting restrictions on getting a permit that mirror the same kinds of games played with voting rights in centuries past. For example, they will require a declaration of a “special need” to carry for protection, as if protecting one’s self from the crime-ridden dump that these Democrat areas are isn’t reason enough. Of course, that “special need” exception is rarely granted by the powers that be. Further, these states are notorious for sitting on permit requests for years at a time to stall the process out.

Until the recent past, John Roberts, representing the swing vote, has steadfastly refused to allow the court to take up any major gun cases going back over a decade, allowing states to run amok with violating the Second Amendment. That has changed with Amy Coney Barrett being added to the court. The conservative wing, of which Roberts is not a part, now has the power to bring up pretty much any case they want.

As to how this case will go, I’m not as confident as others that the Supreme Court will do the right thing. In some ways, there’s little risk here. If SCOTUS comes back with a decision that there is no inherent right to carry in the Constitution, states will just continue to make laws as they see fit. Free states will continue to have some form of constitutional carry while blue states will keep playing games and violating the rights of gun owners.

On the other hand, there is a ton to be gained here. If SCOTUS rules that there is an inherent, constitutional right to carry a firearm, it will open the floodgates for some form of constitutional carry in Democrat states that currently prohibit it. We could be looking at what amounts to de facto national carry reciprocity in the near future.

Still, I worry that Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Barrett, who have already shown a willingness to avoid controversy on important issues, won’t have the guts to do the right thing here. On the other hand, without them, this case wouldn’t even be heard so you have to think they have a strong interest in voting for gun rights. Regardless, it’s better to see this issue tested than to continue to see it avoided.