For the first time in a decade or more, the Supreme Court is taking up a Second Amendment case. Excerpt:
The Court decided to take up the case New York State Rifle et. al. v. Corlett, focusing on the question of “Whether the State’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”
Robert Nash and Brandon Koch applied for licenses to carry firearms outside their homes in New York, SCOTUS blog reported. The licensing officer denied their requests after determining that, under New York law, they had “failed to show ‘proper cause’ to carry a firearm in public for the purpose of self-defense, because [they] did not demonstrate a special need for self-defense that distinguished them from the general public.”
Lower courts ruled against Nash and Koch but Nash, Koch, and the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association asked the Supreme Court to take up the case in order to clarify lower court decisions on the strength of Second Amendment protections outside the home.
This case will give the Supreme Court an opportunity to issue a powerful defense of Second Amendment rights. Yet if the Court does rule in favor of New York Rifle, it will also exacerbate Democratic demands for limits on gun ownership.
One would hope that the Court will rule against the very concept of carry permits, as a fundamental right that requires government permission to exercise is a right denied. But it’s unlikely the Court will go that far, especially with the GOP-appointed squish John Roberts in the Chief Justice’s chair.
But with (we hope) a narrow pro-Second Amendment majority, we could hope for a decision that strikes down the idea that one has to present some suitable justification for being allowed to exercise a Constitutionally-defined right.
It’s a fine pass we’ve come to, wherein courts across the nation struggle so to parse what is after all some pretty simple language:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
It seems obvious that being required to provide justification is an infringement. We’ll see what the Court says, but I’m prepared to be disappointed.