The Supreme Court took a look around at the U.S. and said: Why not have more guns on the street?
Today, in a divided 6-3 decision, the court struck down a New York state law that required anyone who wanted a concealed-carry permit to prove that they had “proper cause” for doing so—that is, they needed to carry a gun for self-defense. As Slate legal writer Mark Joseph Stern points out, the opinion is a huge blow to any hopes for gun control legislation in this country.
The scandal-ridden Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA) v. Bruen, saying the law violated both the Second Amendment and 14th Amendment. Thomas was joined by all five conservative justices, though some wrote their own concurring opinions. All three liberals dissented; Justice Stephen Breyer opened his dissent with the line: “In 2020, 45,222 Americans were killed by firearms.”
The ruling could impact similar laws in five other states: California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
In a statement on Thursday, President Joe Biden said the ruling “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.”
The decision comes in the weeks after New Yorkers have experienced tragic mass shootings. An April mass shooting on the New York City subway wounded 23 people, then in May an 18-year-old murdered 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store.
During oral arguments in the case in November, Justice Alito said that New Yorkers should be able to carry guns on the subway system to protect themselves:
We are still waiting for the court’s ruling in the case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, which could come on Friday or Monday.
Today’s case is all the more galling because it underscores that the court’s rulings more often suit the justices political ideologies than their stated legal principles of originalism or textualism. This same court is about to overturn Roe because, as Alito claimed, “the constitution doesn’t mention abortion,” but the court invented the individual right to bear arms which also isn’t referenced in the original document. We live in hell.
This is a breaking news post and will be updated.