Justices Thomas and Gorsuch: Supreme Court Should Take More Second Amendment Cases

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
By Paul Martin

26 Jun 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Gun owners were disappointed Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take perhaps the highest-profile Second Amendment case in the country right now: Peruta v. California.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch share those gun owners’ disappointment, declaring the need for the nation’s highest court to require adherence to its Second Amendment precedents.

The Supreme Court has only decided two cases on the right to keep and bear arms: D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. Both involved a law-abiding citizen seeking a handgun in his home for personal protection.

Peruta took a logical next step, involving an elderly law-abiding citizen who wanted the opportunity to carry a handgun when he is outside the home, either concealed or openly. In an opinion written by Reagan conservative Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the gun owner, but then an 11-judge en banc panel of that court ruled against gun rights. Former Solicitor General Paul Clement petitioned the High Court for review, backed by the National Rifle Association.

After several weeks of relisting the case, the Supreme Court denied review. Justice Thomas published an opinion dissenting from that denial, joined by Justice Gorsuch.

“We should have granted certiorari in this case,” Justice Thomas began. “The approach taken by the en banc court is indefensible, and the petition raises important questions that this Court should address. I see no reason to await another case.”

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