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In It to Win It

(8,654 posts)
Sat Jun 22, 2024, 04:32 PM Jun 22

The Supreme Court refuses to accept blame for its worst guns decision


There is good news in Friday’s Supreme Court decision in United States v. Rahimi: The Court concluded that at least some people subject to domestic violence restraining orders do not have a categorical right to own a firearm, and upheld a law preventing them from doing so. While Rahimi produced a maze of concurring and dissenting opinions, eight justices ultimately agreed that a man who literally threatened to shoot the mother of his child should not be armed.

But there’s also bad news: Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion is utterly incoherent.

It does nothing to clear up the mass confusion created by the Court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which held that all gun laws are unconstitutional unless the government can “demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” That decision threw gun regulation throughout the United States into chaos and prompted an unusually long list of complaints from sitting judges.

In Rahimi, the far-right US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down a federal law banning people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from owning guns. Yet, while the Fifth Circuit has a history of taking liberties with the law to achieve conservative results, its decision in the Rahimi case was correctly decided under Bruen.

As Justice Clarence Thomas persuasively argues in dissent, Bruen compelled the Fifth Circuit to rule that domestic abusers do, indeed, have a Second Amendment right to own a gun. Friday’s decision in Rahimi essentially carves out an exception to Bruen that is just large enough to allow Zackey Rahimi, the cartoonishly violent individual at the center of this case, to be disarmed. But Roberts’s opinion does little else. And it provides absolutely no meaningful guidance to lower court judges who are struggling to apply the vague “historical tradition” test announced in Bruen.

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(52,540 posts)
1. The Supreme Court will always blame everyone else for the carnage they cause.
Sat Jun 22, 2024, 04:34 PM
Jun 22

For overturning elections and democracy.
For enabling mass killers.
For making women second class citizens.


(1,180 posts)
2. I have met very few people
Sat Jun 22, 2024, 04:52 PM
Jun 22

throughout my life that willingly accepted blame or criticism for anything. Just a random observation.

Midnight Writer

(22,286 posts)
3. If we want our laws to adhere to "historical tradition", then we should appoint historians to the Court.
Sat Jun 22, 2024, 04:52 PM
Jun 22

Problem is, the originalists don't seem to have any set standards for what is "historical tradition" or even what is historically true or false.


(1,853 posts)
4. "Chief Justice John Roberts's majority opinion is utterly incoherent."
Sat Jun 22, 2024, 05:13 PM
Jun 22

The correct decision for the wrong reason, inconsistent with the test in Bruen this very Court established just two years ago, motivated by fear of a political backlash, undermining the legitimacy of ‘historical analogue’ doctrine.

Roberts’s majority opinion is utterly incoherent because ‘originalism’ is failed, wrongheaded conservative legal dogma; indeed, the conservative justices’ bizarre attempts to justify the ruling is more living Constitution than ‘originalist.’

And future Second Amendment cases will be suspect as a consequence, with more likely carveouts to come and Second Amendment jurisprudence increasingly confusing and inconsistent.

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