Barrett’s expansive view of Second Amendment could provide fifth vote to strike down gun laws

Barrett's expansive view of Second Amendment could provide fifth vote to strike down gun laws

Image from U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett has written just one Second Amendment opinion—a dissent—but the analysis shows that she is likely to go further to protect gun rights than her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Barrett “has a very expansive view of the right to bear arms and is pretty likely to be hostile to gun control efforts,” according to Adam Winkler, a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who spoke with Bloomberg Law . The National Law Journal and SCOTUSblog also covered Barrett’s Second Amendment views. Barrett, a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Chicago, dissented in the 2019 decision Kanter v. Barr when a panel majority upheld a ban on felons owning firearms. The felon challenging the law, Rickey Kanter of Mequon, Wisconsin, was banned from gun possession under federal and Wisconsin law after he pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. He had been accused of selling shoe inserts that weren’t approved by Medicare while maintaining that they had approval. The panel majority reviewed the law using intermediate scrutiny, which requires a challenged law to be substantially related to an important government objective. The majority concluded that the gun possession bans was an important goal of keeping guns away from people convicted of serious crimes. Barrett argued that legislatures have power to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people but not all felons. She grounded her decision in historical practices. […]

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