SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 6/29/20

  • Date:
  • June 29, 2020

A few weeks ago, the Court denied all the pending Second Amendment cert petitions. I dove into Justice Thomas’s dissent from the decision in one of those cases and what we can next expect from the Court here. Since the Court is nearing the end of its current Term, we won’t hear more news for quite a while. During the summer months, this Gun Watch update will turn from a weekly to a monthly list that tracks new petitions. I’m also deleting all the denied cases now, but throughout each Term I will continue to list even denied cert petitions that occurred during that Term.

There’s one new cert petition to add. It’s a gun case, but not a Second Amendment one. It’s an ACCA vagueness challenge in a case called Johnson v. United States. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because the Court declared the so-called residual clause in ACCA—the Armed Career Criminal Act—unconstitutionally vague in a case by that same name in 2015. (That was Samuel Johnson, this is Martin.) Martin has lined up stellar appellate counsel from white shoe law firm Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher. They may think this Court is inclined to give them a better shot at this sort of challenge given that Justice Gorsuch authored the opinion in a case last year finding another gun crime unconstitutionally vague.


Case Ct. Below Pet. Filed Implicated Law/Issue Status
Rodriguez v. San Jose 9th Cir. 21-Feb-20 Warrantless search and seizure of firearms under Second & Fourth Amendments reply due @ 1-July-20
Johnson v. United States 4th. Cir. 12-Jun-20 Vagueness challenge to ACCA’s elements clause response waived