The Second Amendment Revolution May Have To Wait | Justices Hear Dispute Out Of Montana Over Pollution Cleanup
December 3, 2019
MOOT ON ARRIVAL|
The Supreme Court yesterday heard a case out of New York City regarding a gun regulation that had actually been updated prior to reaching SCOTUS — perhaps making the entire case moot on arrival. Nina Totenberg with NPR explains, “For the first time in 10 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has heard a major gun-rights case. But the drumroll of anticipation seemed to fade, as the debate in the high court Monday focused almost exclusively on whether the case should be dismissed as moot.”
NOT SO FAST SKIPPY|
The justices were charged with determining whether the New York City gun regulation violates the Second Amendment because it limited how and where individuals could transport their guns throughout the city. However, the city and state abandoned the law after it was challenged in court, and it was argued yesterday that the gun owners who had brought the challenge to the Supreme Court had already gotten everything they were gunning for (see pun!). Richard Wolf with USA Today reports, “Because the city no longer blocks firearms owners from taking their guns to shooting ranges or second homes outside the city, the court’s four liberal justices seemed inclined to declare the case closed. But several conservative justices said it remains unclear what’s allowed and what is not.”
THE REVOLUTION WILL HAVE TO WAIT|
Mark Joseph Stern with Slate says that all the pieces are in place for the Supreme Court to have its “Second Amendment Revolution.” Unfortunately, he notes, it’s not likely to happen with the case they heard yesterday. “Not only has the city repealed the law, but New York state has since forbidden the city from ever reviving it. Moreover, the city has sworn never to take any adverse action against individuals who violated the old law. Up to that point, the city had successfully defended the law in court. But lawmakers threw in the towel as soon as SCOTUS granted review, fearing a crushing loss that would curb every other state’s ability to regulate firearms. The question for the Supreme Court, then, is whether the justices are so eager to turbocharge the Second Amendment that they will bring a dead law back to life—just to drive a stake through its heart once more.”
ED BOARD OVERTURE|
The Editorial Board of The New York Times thinks the Supreme Court should drop the NYC gun case, arguing it should “fizzle out if sanity and common sense prevail.” The Ed Board concludes, “More important, New Yorkers have made their voices clear about the gun transportation ban through their elected representatives. The justices would be wise to let them have the last word.”
KEEP IT CLEAN|
Before the Supreme Court today is a case out of Montana in which nearly 100 state residents are taking on one of the largest corporations in the world. Residents of the towns of Opportunity and Crackerville say that Atlantic Richfield Co. — owned by BP — needs to go beyond what federal Superfund law requires and clean up arsenic pollution left over from a century of mining.
QUICK AND DIRTY|
Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux with FiveThirtyEight considers how SCOTUS might rule in the battle over the president’s tax returns. She provides a “quick and dirty” explainer on the legal disputes that landed at justices’ feet over Trump’s financial records, as well as a preview on what may happen next at the Supreme Court.