Another Trump Supreme Court Appointment Could Tip the Balance on Gun Cases

Another Trump Supreme Court Appointment Could Tip the Balance on Gun Cases

During the Trump-era, an increasingly right-leaning Supreme Court has repeatedly declined opportunities to expand gun rights. Just this year, the justices voted against including 10 different Second Amendment petitions on the docket for their current term. Even as the court had in recent years gutted voter protections, curbed labor unions, and permitted discriminatory immigration orders, its most consequential decision on gun policy remains District of Columbia v Heller, which upended centuries of precedent by finding that the right to bear arms extends to individual Americans. It issued that 5-4 ruling 12 years ago. The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could break the dam. An icon of the court’s liberal wing, Ginsburg joined the dissent in Heller. In her view, the Second Amendment as drafted by the founders did not apply to contemporary gun owners. In a 2013 interview , she said: “I view the Second Amendment as rooted in the time totally allied to the need to support a militia… The Second Amendment is outdated in the sense that its function has become obsolete.” She was among the bloc that voted against having the court hear more recent legal challenges to state and local gun laws. With Election Day seven weeks away, President Trump and Senate Republicans have vowed to seat Ginsburg’s successor, even though Republicans blocked President Barack Obama’s appointee to fill the seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia at a much earlier stage in the 2016 campaign. Should Trump and his allies prevail, the […]

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