Another Monday With No Cert Grants on the 10 2A Cases Before SCOTUS Could Be a Bad Sign

dick heller DC v heller scotus decision

Dick Heller signs an autograph outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 26, 2008, after the court ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to keep guns in their homes for self-defense, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun control in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Ten gun rights-related cases are still awaiting a determination by the Supreme Court. The cases involve everything from “may issue” carry permits to banning “assault weapons” to the interstate sales of handguns. After the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association case was declared moot by the Court, gun rights supporters have had high hopes that the Justices would grant cert to one or more of these for consideration next term.

But that hasn’t happened. At least not yet and this term is winding down. The Court continues to punt the cases along…not denying cert, but not granting it either.

That could be a bad sign. Back in the pre-Kavanaugh days when Justice Anthony Kennedy was the Court’s swing vote, the conservative Justices were reluctant to take up certain cases — RKBA-ralated cases among them — because they were unsure how he’d rule. They made the calculation that the status quo was better than an adverse decision.

That may be where we are now. As TTAG’s legal advisor tells us . . .

Amy Howe at SCOTUSBlog is now speculating that the reason for nothing on the 2A cases (despite having 4 justices clearly on record as wanting to address the lower courts’ refusal to take Heller seriously) is because the pro-2A justices fear Roberts has gone squishy and might vote to overrule or gut Heller.

Direct quote from Howe: “We’re back in the Anthony Kennedy days.”

Now, the Court is also holding fire on a LOT of other cases (the order list has been pretty short for the last 2 weeks), so it could be that the Court is just busy and keeps putting these off.But I agree with another of Amy’s speculations: the longer they keep re-listing the 2A cases, the more likely it is that something is going on.

And the only thing I can see that could possibly explain things is that Roberts has gone so squishy that it has spooked the four pro-2A justices (and/or they are delaying things as much as possible to see if Ginsburg is gone before the end of the term).

As always, watch this space.


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