News from the Supreme Court
On June 26, the Supreme Court declined to hear a Second Amendment case from the People’s Republic of California. The majority of justices gave no reason for turning the case down.
It involved the San Diego County sheriff’s interpretation of a state law so narrowly that it rejected almost all applications for concealed carry licenses. “Simply fearing for one’s personal safety” is not sufficient for a license to be issued. An application has to be accompanied by documentary evidence that the applicant is “in harm’s way.”
Since the Heller case in Washington D.C. and the McDonald case in Chicago confirmed the right of citizens to keep arms. It was a little vague on the bearing of arms in those cases.
In a stinging rebuke to the rest of the court, Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Neil Gorsuch, accused the court of treating “the Second Amendment as a disfavored right.”
He pointed out that in the seven years since McDonald vs. Chicago, the Supreme Court has heard no Second Amendment cases while hearing 35 cases concerning the First Amendment and 25 cases about the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.
“This discrepancy is inexcusable, especially given how much less developed our jurisprudence is with respect to the Second Amendment compared with the First and Fourth Amendments,” Thomas wrote.
“For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous. But the Framers made a clear choice: they reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”
The good news is that by joining the dissent, our latest justice, Neil Gorsuch, appears to be a strict constitutionalist.