The Supreme Court Sparks a Strange Alliance Between Advocates of Gun Rights and Abortion Rights

The Supreme Court Sparks a Strange Alliance Between Advocates of Gun Rights and Abortion Rights

Nine o’clock in the evening on a Saturday night is a curious time for a governor to announce a legislative initiative, but that was when California governor Gavin Newsom posted last weekend about his new plan to regulate certain guns in his state. “We will work to create the ability for private citizens to sue anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts in CA,” Newsom’s office tweeted. Newsom’s plan—to allow private individuals to file lawsuits against one another for engaging in constitutionally protected behavior—might seem like a stretch, but he has some reason to believe it’s feasible. The day before, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Texas’s Senate Bill 8 , the six-week abortion ban passed this summer, to remain in effect despite similar constitutional concerns. In announcing the proposal, Newsom made clear that the law he’s supporting would function similarly to SB 8, creating what the courts call “standing” for anyone to sue anyone else on the grounds that the defendant had manufactured, distributed, or sold an “assault weapon” or “ghost gun kit”—an untraceable firearm that can be assembled at home. Newsom’s proposal, like the Texas abortion measure, calls for a minimum award of $10,000 if the courts find the defendant violated the law. Newsom’s timing in making the announcement, and its direct references to SB 8, gave the whole thing an air of trolling, a tit-for-tat bit of “let’s see how you like it when the constitutional rights you value […]

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