A Supreme Disappoinment


I was hopeful that the Supreme Court would take up at least one gun-rights case that had seemingly ripened enough for the justices to consider in 2020. But in the middle of June, SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) decided not to clarify any Second Amendment litigation when it rejected nearly a dozen Second Amendment-related cases that it had been considering in conference. This follows on the heels of another disappointment when the court decided to moot a challenge to a New York City gun law that had the potential to take gun bans off the table entirely. Here’s what the court decided not to hear:

  • Worman v. Healey challenged the state’s ban on “assault weapons.”
  • Gould v. Lipson challenged Massachusetts’ carry laws.
  • Rogers v. Grewal, Cheeseman v. Polillo, and  Ciolek v. New Jersey dealt with challenges to New Jersey’s carry laws and “justifiable need” requirement for a carry permit. Malpasso v. Pallozzi took on similar requirements in Maryland.
  • Pena v. Horan: This challenge to California’s microstamping law took effect in 2012 and has reduced the availability of new models of handguns and caused existing models of handguns to be banned.
  • Culp v. Raoul challenged an Illinois law barring residents from 45 other states from applying for a non-resident concealed carry license, while Wilson v. Cook County took on that Illinois county’s ban on modern sporting rifles.
  • Mance v. Barr challenged the ban on interstate sales of handguns.

It’s hard to know which denials are the most repugnant. The NJ and Maryland laws prohibit citizens from carrying arms in public unless they can establish “good cause” or a “justifiable need” for doing so. The patronizing aspect of officials deciding which citizens deserve protection for their lives offends me. I’m most familiar with Mance, since it originated in Texas. It had the potential to completely overthrow the existing across-state-lines restrictions of handgun sales, and it had Alan Gura, the lawyer who won Heller, as counsel for Texas FFL Fredric Mance, the named litigant.

With so many choices, why did SCOTUS take a pass on everything? The likely answer is unsettling: Roberts. Chief Justice John Roberts has moved left, so he’s now the likely fifth vote against any pro-2nd Amendment ruling. If Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh all want to review a 2A case, but Roberts can’t be counted on as the fifth vote in a 5-4 split, we are indeed better off waiting until a more dependable justice can replace RBG or Breyer. And that depends on what happens in November.


  1. Don’t be so glum. Why fight these fights now with an uncertain Court of Supremes? RBG and a few of the Unfaithfuls may vacate their seats, giving President Trump the chance to name more Conservatives. That court can then review these many cases left unanswered. As for New York, nothing will change until both Senators, the Governor and the Mayor are voted out of office.

  2. Unfortunately we are definitely going to lose are gun rights as soon as the Democrats regain the presidency and both houses and they will. That almost always happens after a 2 term run be it Democrat or Republican. If Trump wins we have 4 more years before we lose everything if he loses it will all come to an end in the next 2 years. Once the Dems get back in power the entire USA will be like California and they will make absolutely sure a Republican never gets in the White House again just like they have done in California. In California Republicans have zero power even when we get a Republican governor they still control everything. The 9th circuit court is California’s sledge hammer they are constantly over ruling Trump. Unfortunately us conservatives are a snow ball headed for hell unless every one of us gets off our butts and votes!


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