Newly-sworn Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch will be rolling up his sleeves and getting to work almost immediately on various issues facing the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Among the potential cases, according to at least two media reports, are those dealing with Second Amendment rights outside the home.
According to NBC News, “Another case awaiting action asks the court to decide whether the Second Amendment provides the right to carry a gun outside the home.
“After issuing its landmark ruling in 2008 that the Second Amendment provides a right to keep a handgun at home for self-defense, the Supreme Court has repeatedly declined to step back into the issue. The justices have denied review of dozens of cases intended to test the reach of gun laws outside the home.”
And USA Today, “There are petitions to consider, which could lead to new cases next term on guns, voting rights and same-sex marriage.”
As if to underscore the importance of having Gorsuch on the high court to the nation’s 100 million firearms owners, Hans A. von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, noted in an opinion piece Monday at Fox News that, “Hopefully, Gorsuch’s confirmation means that the court once again has the crucial fifth vote needed to sustain the Constitution as written and to protect fundamental rights like religious freedom, free speech, and the right to bear arms.
“In recent years,” von Spakovsky added, “Justice Antonin Scalia provided the crucial fifth vote in numerous critical decisions. We’re talking about decisions that uphold the Second Amendment [e.g., McDonald v. Chicago (2010) and District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)] and First Amendment rights of political speech, [e.g., Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) and McCutcheon v. FEC (2014)]. Without Justice Gorsuch there to hold the constitutional line, those decisions could be jeopardized in future decisions.”
Second Amendment activists saw this six months ago, and got busy in several key states to put Donald Trump in the White House when the prevailing wisdom last fall was that Hillary Rodham Clinton would waltz into an Oval Office coronation.
The Supreme Court and lower federal courts were at risk. With Gorsuch on the SCOTUS bench, it appears to many that risk may have been diminished.