IMPACT OF U.S. SUPREME COURT NEW YORK CITY GUN TRANSPORT CASE DECISION ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT
The U.S. Supreme Court released its orders from the June 11, 2020 conference. No Second Amendment cases were relisted for consideration. Worse, there will be no Second Amendment cases reviewed this term; all were rejected. The High Court denied certiorari in all of them.
This comes as no surprise to the Arbalest Quarrel. We expected this and were making this very point in a comprehensive analysis of the New York City transport gun case we’ve been working feverishly on these last two weeks. Word came down from SCOTUS before we could get our series to print, but we intimated as much in numerous other articles.
We realized how important the New York City gun transport case was to the preservation of our sacred Second Amendment right, even if many did not. We knew what a loss meant; and we did lose much, contrary to what some proponents of the Second Amendment may otherwise think. How much we lost is apparent from what just transpired in today’s SCOTUS morning conference.
We held little expectation that the High Court would take up any new Second Amendment case, contrary to Justice Kavanaugh’s wimpish suggestion that the Court “should.” And, unfortunately, we were correct.
In one of the cases the Court denied cert on, Thomas Rogers, et al. v. Gurbir Grewal, Attorney General of New Jersey, et al. on Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, decided June 15, 2020, Justice Thomas wrote another justified blistering dissenting opinion.
Justice Kavanaugh joined Justice Thomas except for Part II of the dissent. We will analyze the dissenting opinion in a forthcoming article. But——
WHY DID KAVANAUGH JOIN THOMAS IN THE GREWAL DISSENT?
Recall Justice Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion in the New York City case. Kavanaugh intimated the High Court would be taking up one of the new Second Amendment cases soon. That was nonsense and we suspect Kavanaugh knew it.
The tactics and strategy of U.S. Supreme Court review of Second Amendment cases must not be underestimated. It defines what Second Amendment case is heard and when. As of now, it is clear that the liberal wing of the High Court, along with Chief Justice Roberts, intend to block review of any further Second Amendment case that comes before the Court in which the Heller and McDonald rulings come into play. This is no longer theoretical speculation. This is ice-cold fact.
We suspect that had Kavanaugh voted to deny the mootness claim in the New York City case, joining the conservative wing—Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch—then Chief Justice Roberts would have joined Kavanaugh. He would have been forced to, if for no other reason than for the fact that Roberts did, after all, join the majority in the seminal Second Amendment Heller case.
If Chief Justice Roberts were to stand with the liberal wing of the Court, alone, wholly apart from the conservative wing, in the first and only Second Amendment case—where the Second Amendment issue had not been altogether side-stepped as the issue was side-stepped in the Voisine case, to the justified frustration and righteous and virtuous indignation of Justice Thomas—would be untoward, unseemly, awkward. Appearances are, after all, important to the Justices. But when appearances become more important than intellectual honesty and logical consistency, then a Justice should not expect to garner and retain the respect of Americans.
Chief Justice Roberts, as the Chief Justice, wishes to give the impression of his “supreme” impartiality and conviviality. But, at what cost to his the principles of intellectual honesty and logical consistency, and at what cost to our Bill of Rights?
Each Justice votes to grant or deny a writ of certiorari predicated on his jurisprudential and ideological predilections; and those jurisprudential and ideological predilections reside as much on a visceral level as on an intellectual one. They inform a Justice’s decisions—influenced, on occasion, by the internal give and take of political maneuvering and jockeying; but that political maneuvering and jockeying should come by sacrificing one’s duty toward preserving and strengthening our Bill of Rights.
Yes, Chief Justice Roberts sided with the Conservative wing of the Court in Heller and McDonald, but he would go no further—ever. He has made clear his visceral disdain for the Second Amendment, known.
The progressive website, Politicus, made known Writing, today, on the results of the SCOTUS morning conference, Politicus reporters said, in an article with a title meant to “sock it to Trump” and to all Americans who happen to venerate our Bill of Rights. Politicus says,
“Supreme Court Rejects 10 2nd Amendment Cases As Trump’s Bad Day Gets Worse”: “Chief Justice John Roberts doesn’t have an expansive view of the Second Amendment, which means that the odds of the Second Amendment being expanded or local and state gun laws being reversed by the high court is practically zero.”
Roberts would prefer not to appear like a liberal wing, Anti-Second Amendment, Anti-Bill of Rights Justice, in the vein of the liberal wing, even if he is one. He would not like to be seen standing alone with the liberal wing on a Second Amendment case. The jig would be up if he were to join the liberal wing of the Court, finding the New York City gun transport case moot, and no non-liberal wing Justice stood with him.
Did Roberts pressure Kavanaugh to go along with him? It is not improbable. Perhaps, that explains why Kavanaugh’s really did file his singularly odd concurring opinion in the New York City case after all. It may be that Kavanaugh did agree with the Associate Justices, Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch—wanted to join them—but was strongly urged by the Chief Justice not to; was cajoled to side with the liberal wing. Perhaps, as the newest member of the Court, Kavanaugh was reluctant to draw the ire of Chief Justice Roberts.
Clearly the liberal wing of the Court did not need Kavanaugh’s vote. Robert’s vote gave the liberal wing the fifth vote needed—a majority—sufficient to prevent the substantive merits of the case from being heard.
But, Roberts, standing with the liberal wing of the Court on the mootness issue would make patently clear the Chief Justice’s negative views toward the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and would also make clear the Chief Justice’s jurisprudential leanings and tendencies in matters concerning the Second Amendment: those in line with the liberal wing of the Court, comprising: Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Justice Roberts obviously sought to prevent that perception.
By voting with the liberal wing of the Court in the New York City case that ruled the case moot, Kavanaugh gave cover to Roberts, and Roberts also gave cover to Kavanaugh. Who loses? We do, the American people.
The New York City gun transport case took a page out of the Heller case playbook, albeit to obtain a negative rather than positive result: weakening the Second Amendment; not strengthening it.
We surmise that Chief Justice Roberts, no less than retired Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, had an understanding with the conservative wing. They would agree, both of them, to join the conservative wing or neither of them would. Both of them would join the conservative wing or neither of them would. And if they couldn’t both get on board, Heller would have failed and we all know how much worse off we would be now for it.
The late eminent Justice Antonin Scalia, who penned the Heller majority, was compelled to mute what otherwise would have been a stronger opinion that he, and Alito, and Thomas had much preferred to write, making a one-point crystal clear.
The point is this: Government action infringing the core of the right of the people to keep and bear arms must be struck down. Courts are forbidden to engage in interest-balancing, which is nothing more than a ruse anyway; a ruse created to rationalize and legitimize unconstitutional, unconscionable government action infringing the fundamental, unalienable right of the people to keep and bear arms.
That point was muddied, obfuscated, diluted. It was a concession that Justice Scalia, Justice Alito, and Justice Thomas were forced to make to obtain Chief Justice Roberts acquiescence and Justice Kennedy’s acquiescence. To obtain the acquiescence of those two Justices, necessary to obtain a slim, but critical majority, Justice Scalia wrote,
“. . . nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” This assertion has nothing whatsoever to do with the Heller rulings and the majority’s reasoning. But it had to be made to appease Kennedy and Roberts.
The result was to undermine the efficacy of Heller.
We have seen in the years since how Anti-Second Amendment governments rely on the softening of Heller to enact laws that directly and contemptuously attack the right of the people to keep and bear arms; and we see courts using interest-balancing to defend these unconstitutional laws.
Heller was meant to rein in both government and courts. But, the language that Justice Scalia was compelled to include in Heller gave Anti-Second Amendment State governments and Anti-Second Amendment courts a way to deviously slither around the impact of the Heller rulings and holdings, even if it is clear to everyone what these governments and courts were doing.
In fact, to provide a safe harbor for Anti-Second Amendment State governments and Anti-Second Amendment courts, Justice Scalia had to reiterate the point that these governments may do whatever the hell they want to eviscerate the Second Amendment, notwithstanding the dictates of the Second Amendment. The point was made in the last paragraph of the majority opinion. Compelled to humble themselves before the anti-Second Amendment crowd, Justice Scalia, joined by the conservative wing, wrote:
“We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns.”
The sickening concession to anti-Second Amendment amici and Anti-Second Amendment governments and Anti-State Courts that the majority was forced to make and which we, Americans are forced to endure has served the Anti-Second Amendment zealots well. Heller and McDonald are routinely ignored.
Chief Justice Roberts and the liberal wing of the High Court will make damn sure that the rulings of those two seminal Second Amendment cases will never be clarified. That is where we are now and where we will remain unless or until another Justice sits on the High Court who actually honors the oath he takes to the Constitution.
WHAT IS TAKING PLACE IN OUR NATION TODAY IS NOT A PRETTY PICTURE
We are seeing a massive campaign of brainwashing taking place in our Nation at this very moment, and we are getting much more than a foretaste. We are getting a choking mouthful of what the Marxists, Communists, Socialists, Anarchists, and billionaire Neoliberal Globalists have in store for each of us.
We are holding onto our Nation by a thread. Make no mistake about that. The puppet masters have brainwashed the mass of Lemmings, and they intend to destroy those of us who are immune to the nonsense spouted.
Today we see every monument to our glorious past—our ancestral memory—being wiped out; erased. Tomorrow, we will see the absolute destruction of our Bill of Rights. No question about it.
If Trump fails reelection and if the Senate is lost, we will lose everything irreplaceable: but likely not before the “cold” War at home turns “hot.”
I know what my next purchase will be; and it won’t be a toy.
Copyright © 2020 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.