He wrote the lone dissent. Will Justice Thomas be the only hope for our Second Amendment?
In a 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the landmark ruling in which the justices, in an opinion written by the now-deceased Antonin Scalia, held for the first time that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to own guns. Before then, guns were primarily a political issue—one for legislatures to sort out without much judicial oversight. Now guns are also unambiguously a constitutional issue, which means the justices, not elected lawmakers, have the final say.
Heller was a 5-4 decision. Without Scalia’s vote, there would not have been a majority of justices in favor of an individual-rights reading of the Second Amendment. The National Rifle Association argues that if Scalia would have been replaced by Garland, or any other liberal to moderate justice, Heller would be overturned and your right to keep and bear arms would be little more than a memory.
This latest Supreme Court decision is a reminder of the importance of Justice Thomas’ role on our US Supreme Court, as he defends our precious Second Amendment.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear a Second Amendment challenge to California’s law requiring a 10-day waiting period for new gun purchases. The high court’s refusal let stand a federal appeals court decision that called the waiting period a “reasonable safety precaution” without requiring the state to produce evidence and without hearing contrary arguments.
What is the background?
The case began with a lawsuit by California gun owner Jeff Silvester and the CalGuns Foundation, who said the waiting period is too long for gun owners who are purchasing a second or subsequent weapon and for citizens who already have a California concealed carry permit.
The 9th Circuit Court upheld the law based on California’s stance that the waiting period could deter purchasers from getting another gun “better suited for a heinous use.”
What did Clarence Thomas write in the dissent?
Only one justice, Clarence Thomas, wrote a dissent of the high court’s refusal to hear the case.
In his dissent, Thomas slammed the cavalier treatment of the Second Amendment and accused the court of taking an unfavorable stance toward an explicit constitutional right.
Here is some of his dissent:
Because the right to keep and bear arms is enumerated in the Constitution, courts cannot subject laws that burden it to mere rational-basis review. But the decision below did just that. Purporting to apply intermediate scrutiny, the Court of Appeals upheld California’s 10-day waiting period for firearms based solely on its own “common sense.”
If a lower court treated another right so cavalierly, I have little doubt that this Court would intervene. But as evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this Court.
Thomas also made it clear he did not “believe we should be in the business of choosing which constitutional rights are ‘really worth insisting upon.’” – The Blaze