“So ummmm… have you heard about the Supreme Court case?”
“New York Rifle and Pistol v Corlett?”
“Yeah… that one. Does that mean that we are all going to be able to finally get off-roster guns?”
“Ummmmm… maybe a discussion is in order.”
I have had numerous conversations over the last week that essentially started out like that. I guess when I become vexed on what I am going to write about, my muses reach out to the ethereal powers that animate the Supreme Court, and nudge them to give me content.
Well… they did not disappoint.
Early on Friday morning I was pouring myself a Bloody Mary and craving some type… any type… of tobacco. Bleary eyed and still wearing my pink bathrobe, I staggered over to my computer to check my emails.
(I don’t completely understand my compulsion to look at received emails before I have some form of stimulant in my bloodstream. My power to comprehend is tremendously marginalized and challenged only by my ability to communicate… still… each morning, like a trained lemming, I sit before the computer and scroll through my list of mostly unsolicited emails.)
As my emails started to populate, I saw one from a judge I am good friends with and it came from his personal email.
Emails from judges, especially non-official emails, are both exciting and dangerous.
Perhaps the cartels have seduced him? Has a mistress finally come forward? Does someone need to “disappear”?
Instead, it was simply a link to NYRP v Corlett with the simple sentence: “They granted cert!”
In 2008 the Supreme Court heard the case of Heller v District of Columbia. This was the watershed event that we, in the 2A community, had literally been waiting for our whole lives.
There had developed a revisionist history model amongst the anti-gun academic intelligencia that the Second Amendment protected the rights of the State, and not the rights of the people. This has been labeled the collectivist model, and it was unmitigated horse shit.
The theory went that if the State, and not the people, had the right to bear arms, then it stood to reason that the State had the ability to tell the people within the State that they could not bear arms.
Justice Antonin Scalia sent that theory into the ash bin of history. He wrote that the Second Amendment was, and is, an individual right, and that it is a fundamental and specifically enumerated right (not just something floating around in the penumbras of the Constitution). After some Constitutional “clean-up” work that was provided by Justice Alito in McDonald v Chicago, the Second Amendment is now recognized as being incorporated into state constitutions via the Fourteenth Amendment.
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That is when the harpies attacked with wicked claws and crooked teeth.
Stuck having to acknowledge Heller (After all, if they could ignore this case, that meant that cases on abortion, gay rights, and the efficacy of crystal therapy could also be ignored.), they instead opted to craft bizarre legal theories that, quite literally, put words in the mouths of the Supremes.
Appellate Courts developed “intermediate tests” for Constitutional review of Second Amendment cases literally made out of whole cloth. Stated quite simply: They started making shit up.
With righteous indignation, we pleaded with the Court to hear another gun case so they could smack down the goatee strokers once and for all.
The Court, though, was not in the mood to play.
More specifically, the dynamics on the Court had begun to shift. Chief Justice Roberts began to notice that true power came from unpredictability or, as many have suspected, someone showed him “the file” on him and told him he better toe the line.
So with Chief Justice Roberts now an unreliable vote on the bench, it became precarious for the Court to hear another 2A case.
Then came Amy.
With the seating of Justice Amy Coney-Barrett, a solid 5-4 pro-gun wing now exists. (At least putatively exists… anything could happen.)
Yet the Court did not instantly take up a gun case. They mulled them over, conference after conference, never giving the nod to a case that could help clarify the full scope of the Second Amendment.
Then the Democrats decided to launch a missile at the judiciary. President Biden decided to form a commission on giving the Democrats structural control over the Court, and not to be outdone, a group of congressman tried (and failed) to put a bill to increase the size of the Court to 13 justices.
The Supremes decided to fire back. They agreed to hear New York Rifle v Corlett.
This case is about the ability to carry a gun concealed, and the scope of the Second Amendment. Does it extend beyond the home?
Heller actually answered this in the affirmative, but apparently no one was listening. Still, it would appear that the eight states in the Union that restrict the ability of people to carry a firearm outside their home concealed are headed for a UFC-style smackdown. Based on all of the tea leaves, it would appear that the Court is going to say there must be some way for people to be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights outside of their homes.
Is the Court going to issue a test to be used, thus invalidating intermediate scrutiny? Well, that remains to be seen. But… ya never know!
In the last New York Rifle case, the State of New York told us in multiple court briefings that the regulations they had in place for transporting firearms were absolutely critical to our survival as a species. When the case was about to go to the Supremes for oral arguments, they removed the underlying regulations and said… ”yeah… they are actually not that important, Court… we removed them, so dismiss the case for being moot”. The Court (wrongly) agreed to do just that, with the deciding vote coming from that champion of individual liberty, Chief Justice Roberts.
Now the only way for New York to “moot” the case would be for it to start issuing carry permits to its citizens.
Heh heh heh… sorry, pumpkins… you chartered the course for this one yourselves.
So… does a favorable ruling mean that our existing gun laws will be overturned? That remains to be seen. Like anything, the devil is in the details (and the wilted celery stock in my Bloody Mary).
When we get a decision… probably in June of next year… just as the midterm election season kicks into gear… we will see what the Court says, and how we can use it against the forces of banality that has become our State.