Op-Ed: Did the Supreme Court tip its hand on the blockbuster gun case it’s hearing Wednesday?

Op-Ed: Did the Supreme Court tip its hand on the blockbuster gun case it’s hearing Wednesday?

Guns and bullets found after a police stop in South Los Angeles in 2019. The Supreme Court will hear a case this week that could determine if cities can no longer limit who may carry a gun in public. For years, cities across the country have limited who may carry a gun in public. The Supreme Court will soon decide whether these limits violate the 2nd Amendment. The effect could be staggering — the difference between a few hundred guns and hundreds of thousands of guns on the streets of Los Angeles, New York City or Washington. With stakes so high, commentators have naturally speculated about the outcome. Given the court’s conservative supermajority, many expect the court to dramatically expand the right to carry firearms in public. Quietly, however — in a rare action taken through the court’s docketing procedures — some of the court’s conservative justices may have tipped their hand. What they’ve revealed is a fact-sensitive approach to the case that should give gun safety proponents reason for cautious optimism. Start with a bit of Supreme Court 101. When a party that has lost in a lower court wishes to obtain the Supreme Court’s review, it files a petition for a “writ of certiorari.” The most important page of this petition is the first one, which sets forth the question presented by the case. As the court’s own rules explain , “Only the questions set out in the petition, or fairly included therein, will be considered by […]

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