Court precedent broke decision on roe deer will dominate our public debate, but its irresponsibility in matters of arms cannot be forgotten.
Proponents of smarter, tougher gun laws should be very concerned that radical conservatives on the Supreme Court will abuse their power to impose the case law of the gun lobby. But they should also rejoice that a decade of organizing and public pressure resulted in Congress passing the first significant gun reform in 26 years.
Michael Waldman: The most dangerous gun decision in history, at the worst possible time
The bottom line: Proponents of tougher gun control must keep pushing — to reinstate the ban on assault weapons, to enact universal background checks, to raise the purchase age for fire, to establish gun buy-back programs and much more. And friends of democracy must challenge the excessive arrogance of judges by building support for expanding the court and, if possible, limiting its jurisdiction.
Let’s start with the bad news. In his opinion for the majority striking down a New York state law that placed strict limits on carrying a gun outside the home, Judge Clarence Thomas unnecessarily explained that when he enacts laws on firearms, “the government must demonstrate that the regulations are consistent with the historical tradition of this nation. firearms regulations.
Yet Thomas himself noted that “New York State has regulated the public carry of handguns at least since the turn of the 20th century”, going back to 1905. Guess that’s not historical enough for him. Will a doctorate in history now be mandatory to adjudicate firearms cases?
EJ Dionne Jr.: The alternative to court expansion is surrender
Judge Stephen G. Breyer was acid in his CONTESTATION: “Laws regarding repeating crossbows, launcegays, dirks, daggers, hanks, stilladers and other ancient weapons will be of little help to courts faced with modern problems.”
This dangerous decision is the product of a judicial majority that turns judicial review into judicial diktat. His ideology blinds him to the problems of large-scale violence that all levels of government struggle to contain. It also puts the court at odds with the majority of Americans who do not want to lose an essential freedom: the freedom not to have to be armed.
counterpointWhy the gun deal won’t spark a conservative revolt
Which brings us to the irony of the court making its gun ruling the same day the Senate passed the bipartisan Safer Communities Act. House passage followed on Friday, sending the legislation to President Biden for his certain signature.
Do not underestimate the importance of this victory. The bill is certainly not all we need, but it takes important steps in the right direction.
Jennifer Rubin: The Supreme Court’s gun ruling is bad, but not for the reasons you might think
It strengthens background checks, imposes stricter regulations against illegal gun purchases, tightens rules for access to firearms by those accused of domestic violence, and promotes state “red flag” laws that allow authorities to temporarily confiscate the firearms of persons deemed dangerous. It also provides for reviews of the juvenile and mental health records of gun buyers under the age of 21.
If the Supreme Court seems indifferent to the toll of the mass killings, the American people are not. After Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas – and the massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut; Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC; the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh — voters said the status quo on guns was unacceptable.
Public impatience eventually reached even the lengthy Senate Republican caucus. When backing the bill’s framework, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) referred to “outsized” polls among gun owners for the legislation. . In the end, 15 Republicans joined all Senate Democrats in voting for him.
The Post’s View: The Supreme Court supercharges the Second Amendment
The rallies, protests and relentless organizing since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, including by Parkland students, have made a difference. So has the unwavering advocacy of politicians who have taken on the gun lobby, including Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the Senate bill’s chief negotiator with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.).
This victory should be the prelude to further progress. In a concurring opinion, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. attempted to soften Thomas’ gun ruling by citing the 2008 ruling District of Columbia v. Heller decision. “Correctly interpreted” they wrote, “the Second Amendment allows for a ‘variety’ of gun regulations.” Let’s test their bow in moderation with additional, sensible gun regulations.
In a democracy, public opinion counts. Business organization. Perseverance matters. They finally paid off this week with a small but historic gun reform. All three must be involved in the fight against a partisan majority in the Supreme Court that does not want to recognize any limits to its power.