SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 10/19/20

  • Date:
  • October 19, 2020

With a vote on Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court likely to occur the week before the presidential election, the set of gun cases at the Court takes on heightened importance. There are a number that will be fully briefed in the coming months that a majority anxious to expand gun rights may find useful vehicles. From my review of Judge Barrett’s gun cases as a Seventh Circuit judge, she will very likely provide a solid vote in that project. A recent amicus brief in Torres—concerning the availability of as-applied challenges to the felon prohibitor in 922(g)(1)—argues in conformity with Judge Barrett’s Kanter dissent that history only allows disarming dangerous individuals. (As Joseph and Catie Carberry argue in a forthcoming essay, and summarize on the blog, this dangerousness principle should not be reduced to a mere search for historical analogues of today’s laws.) As of right now, Torres represents the only square Second Amendment challenge, but a determined majority could use many of the vehicles below to clarify its view on guns if Judge Barrett is confirmed.

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 Cert Denied
Johnson v. United States


4th. Cir. 12-Jun-20 Vagueness challenge to the Armed Career Criminal Act’s elements clause Cert Denied
Zoie H. v Nebraska


Neb. Sup. Ct. 22-June-20


Second and Sixth Amendment challenge to jury-less conviction that can result in gun disqualifer for juveniles Cert Denied
Caniglia v. Strom


1st Cir. 10-Aug-20 Fourth Amendment challenge to gun removal reply due @ 28-Oct-20
Hobbs v. United States


6th Cir. 13-Aug-20 Guilty plea under 922(g) without knowledge of disqualifying status


reply due @ 30-Oct-20
Torres v. United States


9th Cir. 27-Aug-20 As-applied challenge to 922(g)(1) response due 2-Nov-20
Caldara v. City of Boulder


10th Cir. 24-Sep-20 Federal court abstention over Second Amendment claims being adjudicated in state court response due 2-Nov-20
United States v. Gary


4th Cir. 5-Oct-20 Guilty plea under 922(g) without being informed that knowledge is an element of the offense

(Govt is petitioner)

response due 8-Dec-20