Washington, DC — The conservative side of the Supreme Court has reportedly declined to take up a case dealing with 2nd Amendment rights after Chief Justice John Roberts indicated that he would vote with the liberal justices on the Court.
In June, the justices rejected petitions from 10 challenges relating to state restrictions on firearms after Roberts signaled he would not vote with them, depriving the court’s conservatives of the fifth vote needed to overturn gun regulations, CNN reported Monday.
At the end of 2019, the Court heard a challenge to a New York City handgun regulation but ultimately determined the challenge was made irrelevant when the New York City law involved was altered. The case revolved around whether licensed handgun owners may take a locked and unloaded handgun to locations outside the city, such as second homes or upstate firing ranges. The justices returned the appropriate provisions of the challenge back to the lower court.
Sadly, the four reliably conservative justices (Thomas, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Alito) were not confident they would get a fifth vote from Chief Justice Roberts on the case or similar cases addressing the 2nd amendment.
Justice Kavanaugh crafted an unsigned opinion that was overseen by Roberts for that case in which six justices agreed that the case should be relegated to the lower court. In a separate statement that Kavanaugh signed, he said the SCOTUS should address “soon” the issue of varying interpretations of the 2nd amendment.
Roberts became a frequent deciding vote on the Supreme Court after Justice Anthony Kennedy retired in 2018. Since then, the chief justice has voted frequently with the Court’s four liberal justices and most recently cast the decisive vote last month to block the Trump administration from ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which prevents immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children from being deported.
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