Democrats Get Brutal News from Supreme Court

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

In response to a lawsuit filed by proponents of gun rights against a recently enacted ban on specific rifles, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett intervened and asked an Illinois municipality for a response.

In Naperville, Illinois, a local ordinance was established last year that was similar to a state law passed this year in Illinois that outlawed the sale and possession of specific semi-automatic weapons and magazines.

The Naperville officials have until noon on May 8 to answer, according to Barrett, who is in charge of appeals from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

The Supreme Court declared in NYSRPA v. Bruen last year that gun regulations must be consistent with the Constitution’s language and history, and the National Association for Gun Rights and National Foundation for Gun Rights said this statute does not do so.

Dudley Brown, President of NAGR, told the Washington Examiner, “We’re thankful the Supreme Court is taking the Second Amendment rights of Illinoisans seriously. Any ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ is plainly unconstitutional, and now it is on the city of Naperville to explain the legal justification for their ban. Of course, there isn’t any. The bans were ludicrous from the start, and if Illinois had any sense, they would wave the white flag now and save us all some time.”

“This is an exceedingly simple case. The Second Amendment protects arms that are commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, especially self-defense in the home,” the plaintiffs wrote in their emergency application.

“The arms banned by Respondents are possessed by millions of law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, including self-defense in the home. Under this Court’s precedents, ‘that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons’” the plaintiffs continued. “There cannot be the slightest question, therefore, that the challenged laws are unconstitutional.”

“The challenged laws are unconstitutional because ‘[w]hen the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct.’ Plaintiffs desire to keep and bear for lawful purposes (including defense of their homes) the semi-automatic firearms and firearm magazines banned by the challenged laws,” they added.

Here’s another crucial question in the landmark case Bevis v. Naperville and the State of Illinois, as described by renowned legal expert Jonathan Turley:

Can the government ban the sale, purchase, and possession of certain semi-automatic firearms and firearm magazines tens of millions of which are possessed by law-abiding Americans for lawful purposes when there is no analogous historical ban as required in D.C. v. Heller (2008)…and New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen (2022).

When Barrett was up for confirmation, I noted that the Second Amendment could prove one of her most interesting legacy areas of jurisprudence. Her dissent in Kanter v. Barr as an appellate judge was a powerful defense of Second Amendment rights. Rickey Kanter was convicted of one count of felony mail fraud for defrauding Medicare in connection with therapeutic shoe inserts. Focusing on the “history and tradition” of such restrictions, Barrett also took on the voting rights and jury service point with a key distinction:

“The problem with this argument is that virtue exclusions are associated with civic rights—individual rights that “require[ ] citizens to act in a collective manner for distinctly public purposes.” For example, the right to vote is held by individuals, but they do not exercise it solely for their own sake; rather, they cast votes as part of the collective enterprise of self-governance. Similarly, individuals do not serve on juries for their own sake, but as part of the collective enterprise of administering justice.


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