Barrett Seen as Likely Vote for New Gun-Law Test

If Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett tips the high court toward a stronger gun-rights stance that’s hostile to more gun controls, the shift is likely to center on embracing a test of existing laws based only on their “history and tradition” rather than on a balancing of gun rights and public safety, the Trace reports . Barrett’s short tenure as an appellate judge includes only one case, a dissent, in which she invoked the history test that many pro-gun litigators think will eventually make it easier to strike down gun regulations. But gun advocates are also banking on her alignment with originalist sentiment among the court’s conservatives. Thanks to the high court’s vague guidance and inactivity in Second Amendment jurisprudence, lower courts have been fashioning their own test through which to judge Second Amendment challenges. In place of the current balancing test, which gun-rights advocates see as giving courts too much power to undercut the Second Amendment, the “test, history and tradition” test holds that if there is some kind of historical precedent for a current gun law, then then the court should uphold the gun regulation as constitutional. If the answer is no, then the court must strike down the gun regulation. That test appeared in 10 of the 12 Second Amendment petitions that crossed the Supreme Court’s desk last term. Even if Barrett lends her vote to existing support at the court for the new test, that might not offer the carte blanche that gun rights […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.