NYSRPA versus Bruen by Tom Reynolds
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) heard the 2nd Amendment case called NYS Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. (Bruen is the Superintendent of the NY State Police.) This was the first major SCOTUS case since the Heller & McDonald cases, a decade ago.
Always looking for a way to neuter 2A, the left is trying to infringe on the right to carry “outside the home”. Heller & McDonald didn’t specifically include “outside the home”; bearing arms outside the home would only be done by a government authority, if left up to the New York government.
If you surf the web for this case and look at the usual leftist web sites, which are by nature anti-2A, most of them are conceding that they will lose this case. Some were conceding even before the case was heard. That’s encouraging but seems premature since SCOTUS has been known to surprise and Chief Justice Roberts, in particular, is a wild card. The left has been known to find additional votes in the middle of the night.
In NYSRPA v. Bruen, there is a strong constitutional argument against NY State law and SCOTUS now consists of five justices with strong 2A credentials - and possibly six if Roberts goes along. It’s expected that the three liberal justices will blindly vote against NYSRPA no matter what facts are put forth.
NY is a “show cause” state and many NY counties – and especially NY City – force the citizen to prove they have a need-to-carry a handgun and apply a very high bar to the ordinary citizen demonstrating that they having that need. Most states reverse that and in those it is the state that has to “show cause” why the citizen does not have a need-to-carry; and there is a low bar to establishing need.
In presenting their case, New York State’s attorneys showed their true liberal base as they almost completely ignored the question of the constitutionality of the law and just wanted to deal with the social consequences the law – as they saw the consequences, of course. They spoke of social issues, which would seem to concede that NY law was unconstitutional. That approach ignores that we are a nation of laws and if a law’s social consequences are deemed to be negative by enough citizens, there are legal ways to replace it. Judges do not have the right to legislate, under the Constitution, but that doesn’t stop liberal judges. The left knows that they can’t replace the 2nd Amendment so they frequently make a desperate appeal to the social aspects.
The NY State attorneys tried to make the point that gun control has a long history in the United States, going back to the 1800’s. Black Public Defenders had previously obliterated this argument in their amicus brief but that doesn’t stop the left from out-of-context characterizations. Many of the laws in the 1800’s were used to prevent freed blacks from “keeping and bearing arms” in the South. In essence, NY State was using racist Jim Crow laws to justify current gun control.
The NY State attorneys seemed to put their hopes on SCOTUS not issuing a decision but sending it back to lower courts for further hearing. That’s a delaying tactic to drag out the case and hope for a change in the makeup of SCOTUS, if the case comes back to SCOTUS. Remember, the left also wants to pack SCOTUS with enough new liberal justices to create an anti-2A majority, so a delay keeps their hopes alive for a decision that ignores the Constitution
The left has another hope in that SCOTUS will issue a very narrow ruling. This might save anti-2A laws in other states or allow some high level of gun control to remain in force. For instance, a narrow ruling might allow wide government discretion in designating places as “sensitive places” or “gun free zones”. Remember what happened with wide government discretion over designating “essential” businesses that stayed open during the China Virus lockdowns.
The positions presented by NYS before SCOTUS reflect similar efforts by the left on other issues. The left hopes that people (and judges) will not use logic. For instance, NY State’s attorneys pointed out that seven states have similar laws to New York, hoping that justices can’t do basic math or are not aware that the USA consists of 50 states and, therefore, 42 states do not have these unconstitutional laws.
As usual, the left tried to pit one group of citizens against another. In this case it was urban versus rural Americans. NY’s attorneys talked about local discretion and how rural commuters might have a greater need for bearing arms outside the home. (One liberal web site made fun of the idea that there was much crime on NY Subways.) NY Attorneys were appalled at the idea of a crowd of people carrying.
Let’s hope that the commentators and pundits on both sides are correct and SCOTUS finds for NYSRPA and against New York State. Of course, it’s your taxpayer dollars that are financing the legal effort to take away your 2nd Amendment rights.