In fight at Supreme Court over N.Y. gun law, a surprising conservative split

In fight at Supreme Court over N.Y. gun law, a surprising conservative split

WASHINGTON — When the Supreme Court first declared an individual right to gun ownership more than a decade ago, the court’s conservative majority relied on founding-era legal history to invalidate a D.C. law banning firearm possession in the home. An even more conservative court is poised to scrutinize on Wednesday the follow-up question left unanswered since 2008: To what extent do Americans have a constitutional right to carry loaded, concealed firearms outside the home and in public places? Although some observers say it seems likely that the court took the National Rifle Association-backed lawsuit to overturn a century-old New York state law, which is similar to restrictions in seven other states, there is a surprising split among conservative judges and legal analysts that could influence how broadly the justices rule. Justice Antonin Scalia’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller drew fire from some conservatives who said the court was creating an individual right to gun ownership that it was not clear the Constitution granted. Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, a Reagan appointee on the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, fueled the controversy with a law review article calling the Heller majority ‘’guilty of the same sins’’ as the Supreme Court that found a right to abortion in Roe v. Wade. Similarly, a conservative judge on the 9th Circuit recently wrote for the court an opinion that upheld Hawaii’s gun restrictions, pointing to ‘’overwhelming’’ historical evidence that there has never been an ‘’unfettered right’’ to carry […]

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