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SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 6/8/20

By on June 8, 2020 Categories: ,

It’s beginning to feel like déjà vu all over again. For the 5th time in a row, the Supreme Court has discussed the pending Second Amendment cert petitions at a conference and declined to act on them. I can’t quite figure out what might be happening, but I think we can break the possibilities down into several groupings:

  1. Nothing special is happening. This isn’t unique to the Second Amendment cases. The Court also hasn’t yet issued many of the blockbuster decisions of the Term and hasn’t acted on many other high-profile cert petitions. We’re just being impatient.
  2. The Court is preparing to GVR one of the lower court rulings—to reverse it without argument in a per curiam opinion. This is, in fact, what happened in the last Second Amendment case before NYSRPA, Caetano v. Massachusetts. The Court relisted Caetano for 10 conferences after its initial one before the Court issued the per curiam opinion.
  3. The Court is going to deny one or more (up to, possibly, all) of the petitions and one or more justices are writing dissenting or separate opinions about the decision to deny cert. That would hold up the process.
  4. The justices inclined to expand the right, and the justices inclined to restrict the right, are trying to strategically figure out the best case to convince Chief Justice Roberts to take their side. They may each be trying to persuade/feel him out before deciding which case or cases to vote to grant.

I have no idea which of these possibilities—or another one I have not thought of—is driving the relisting. It seems to me that possibilities (2) and (3) are less likely, but anything’s possible. Barring anything unusual, we won’t know which of these might be true until next Monday, June 15 at the earliest.

Case Ct. Below Pet. Filed Implicated Law/Issue Status
Mance v. Barr  5th Cir. 19-Nov-18 Federal ban on out-of-state handgun purchases distributed for

11-Jun-20 conf.

Rogers v. Grewal  3rd Cir. 20-Dec-18 NJ “may issue” public carry regime distributed for

11-Jun-20 conf.

Pena v. Horan  9th Cir. 28-Dec-18 California’s Unsafe Handgun Act (microstamping, etc.) distributed for

11-Jun-20 conf.

Gould v. Lipson  1st Cir. 1-Apr-19 MA “may issue” public carry regime (as implemented locally) distributed for

11-Jun-20 conf.

Cheeseman v. Polillo N.J. 28-June-19 NJ “may issue” public carry regime distributed for

11-Jun-20 conf.

Ciolek v. New Jersey N.J. 18-July-19 NJ “may issue” public carry regime distributed for

11-Jun-20 conf.

Daniel v. Armslist Wisc. 29-July-19 Scope of immunity for gun-broker website under Communications Decency Act Cert Denied
Remington Arms v. Soto Conn. 1-Aug-19 Scope of  gunmaker immunity under the Protection for Lawful Commerce in Arms Act Cert Denied
Guedes v. ATF D.C. Cir. 29-Aug-19 Ban on bump stocks Cert Denied
Medina v. Barr D.C. Cir. 30-Aug-19 Ban on felon possession under 922(g)(1) (as applied) Cert Denied
Worman v. Healey 1st Cir. 23-Sep-19 Ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines distributed for

11-Jun-20 conf.

Malpasso v. Pallozzi 4th Cir. 26-Sep-19 MD “may issue” public carry regime distributed for

11-Jun-20 conf.

Pennsylvania v. Hicks Penn. 27-Sep-19 How a firearm can factor into reasonable suspicion under the Fourth Amendment Cert Denied
Culp v. Raoul 7th Cir. 10-Oct-19 IL refusal to grant carry permits to most non-residents distributed for

11-Jun-20 conf.

Matsura v. United States 9th Cir. 25-Oct-19 Unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person Cert Granted; vacated and remanded
Baker v. City of Trenton, MI 6th Cir. 26-Nov-19 Reasonableness of warrantless search in light of the Second Amendment Cert Denied
Wilson v. Cook County, IL 7th Circ. 27-Nov-19 Assault weapons and high-capacity magazine ban distributed for

11-Jun-20 conf.

Beers v. Barr 3rd Cir. 9-Jan-20 Unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person (involuntarily committed) Cert Granted; vacated and remanded
Rodriguez v. San Jose 9th Cir. 21-Feb-20 Warrantless search and seizure of firearms under Second & Fourth Amendments resp. requested –due 22-June-20