US Supreme Court Postpones Decisions on Gun-Rights Cases

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This morning the US Supreme Court announced that it has once again postponed a decision on whether or not it will grant the petitions in three separate appeals involving the Second Amendment.

In all of its history, the US Supreme Court has granted only two petitions where the Second Amendment was specifically at issue in the appeal. The first petition was granted in 2007 and the second petition was granted in 2009.

Two of the cases raise the question as to what types of arms are protected under the Second Amendment. The arms at issue in these two cases are so called “assault rifles” and stun-guns but that doesn’t prohibit the US Supreme Court from publishing a decision which informs the lower courts how to determine what types of other arms are protected under the Second Amendment.

The third asks the question as to whether or not the possession of a firearm in both the home and in public is by default lawful under the Second Amendment or is it by default unlawful and unprotected by the Second Amendment?

supreme court postpones decision
US Supreme Court Postpones Decisions on GunRights Cases

This last one is the most important of the three and also has the best chance of being heard by the Supreme Court for technical legal reasons and because the handgun was not carried concealed. Concealed carry is the 3rd rail of Second Amendment cases. If the case so much as touches concealed carry it is D.O.A. as far as the Supreme Court is concerned.

One of the stun-gun cases also involves carrying arms in public but the Massachusetts Supreme Court (Supreme Judicial Council) ducked the Second Amendment question in that case. The Supreme Court could simply kick that case back to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Council for a do-over.

The nine justices of the US Supreme Court will meet once again in private conference and vote on whether or not to grant the petitions in these three cases on Tuesday, November 24, 2015.

It takes the vote of one justice to relist the petition for the next conference of which there are two remaining this year (December 4 & 11) and it takes the vote of four justices to grant the petitions.

The three Second Amendment cases are:

Arie Friedman, et al v. City of Highland Park (“assault” rifle) No. 15-133

Caetano v. Massachusetts “” (carrying a banned stun gun in public) No. 14-10078

Powell v. Tompkins (carrying & possession of firearms in public) 15-6063