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Exclusive: Blue states’ gun control efforts hinge on the Supreme Court



Blue states’ gun control efforts hinge on the Supreme Court

#Blue #states #gun #control #efforts #hinge #Supreme #Court

The US Supreme Court is about to decide its first Second Amendment case in more than a decade. Its decision could severely limit the options available to state lawmakers that are considering gun control measures in the wake of a recent streak of major mass shootings.

The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, concerns a more than 100-year-old New York law that requires anyone who wants a license to carry a concealed handgun in public to show “proper cause,” or a specific need to defend themselves.

The court’s conservative majority seemed to favor striking down that “proper cause” provision during oral arguments. But how it goes about doing so has important implications for states that want strong gun control laws.

If the ruling is more limited, the Court could remove a critical barrier that has restricted the number of people who can legally carry a concealed handgun in New York and seven other states with similar laws. The Supreme Court might rule more broadly, however, and use the case as a vehicle to create a new standard by which courts must evaluate all Second Amendment cases. Essentially, that would reopen the debate over a whole set of legal questions around gun control policy that were previously considered settled.

Should the justices do that, states potentially would not only need to rethink concealed weapon laws but also a slew of other gun control ones — from minimum age restrictions to assault weapons bans.

The court could just rule narrowly on the New York law

If the New York “proper cause” provision is struck down, it would become far easier to legally carry a concealed handgun in the state. And it would come at a moment when New York City is grappling with a 16 percent increase in shootings over the last year.

A court decision would also potentially undermine similar laws in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Hawaii, though those states would likely try to differentiate their laws from the New York one and argue that they should be upheld. Together, those eight states are home to about 80 million people, or about one-quarter of the US population, and they each have lower-than-average gun violence rates.

The court could also rule more broadly

If the justices go even further in creating a new legal framework to evaluate Second Amendment cases, the decision could also reignite legal fights over a swath of other gun control measures, embroiling states in court battles over laws that have been on the books for years.

Right now, courts typically take into account a number of factors when evaluating Second Amendment cases challenging gun regulations. That includes how guns have been regulated historically, social science research, and whether the regulation impacts the core Second Amendment right to have a firearm in your home for self-defense.


Second Amendment advocates, however, have argued that the courts should look exclusively to the history and tradition of permissible regulation at the time that the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791. The Supreme Court could adopt that framework through Bruen.

Rewriting how courts evaluate gun control policies in that way would put “a burden on jurists to understand history at a particular point in time and declare a right, even though they’re here in modern day and are not historians,” said Esther Sanchez-Gomez, senior litigation attorney with Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. It could also result in inconsistent rulings if different jurists interpret history differently.

Such a ruling would also effectively undermine previous gun control rulings made under the current legal framework, Sanchez-Gomez said, which would lead to the “re-litigation of all of the laws that have already been upheld under the Second Amendment.”

That would have ripple effects that “extend well beyond” the New York law at issue in the case, potentially throwing states’ age limitations, assault weapon bans, large capacity magazine restrictions, taser restrictions, and other policies onto shaky legal footing, said Eric Ruben, a Brennan Center for Justice fellow and assistant professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law.

“Every weapon law you can imagine would have to be considered under this new methodology,” he said. “That could unsettle all of those issues that we thought were more or less resolved in lower courts.”

Gun control advocates are already gearing up for those potential legal attacks from pro-gun states and organizations.

“We’re ready to stand by states and cities who are looking to pass gun safety laws and help them defend those laws,” said Janet Carter, director of issues and appeals at Everytown Law.

States are readying their other options to restrict gun access

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who recently pushed through a gun control package in the wake of last month’s mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, has already announced that she will consider calling a special session of the state legislature if the Supreme Court strikes down the state law.

One thing that lawmakers might consider is explicitly defining and expanding the kinds of “sensitive locations” where concealed guns cannot be carried. The Supreme Court explicitly did not rule out restrictions on guns in sensitive locations and even named schools and government buildings as examples in its 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the last major Second Amendment case it took up. If states like New York can’t keep people from carrying concealed guns through its “proper cause” licensing requirement, then they might be able to do so in a broader array of public spaces.

“I think that we could expect some effort both at the state and at the local level, to be more specific about where it’s not permissible to carry guns. How broadly policymakers go will determine how likely it is that it’s going to get litigated,” Ruben said.

Essentially, states would be more limited when it comes to restricting concealed carry than they are now, but they would still be able to take some steps to keep concealed guns from being allowed everywhere. They still have means to restrict the number of guns that are on the streets, but they’ll have to look for workarounds if they can’t require that gun owners show “proper cause” to concealed carry.



Exclusive: Trump’s Social Media Company Subpoenaed by Federal Grand Jury –




Trump’s Social Media Company Subpoenaed by Federal Grand Jury

#Trumps #Social #Media #Company #Subpoenaed #Federal #Grand #Jury

A federal grand jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoenaed President Trump’s social media company on Friday.

According to CNBC, Trump Media and Technology Group said it would comply with the subpoenas.

Although some employees received subpoenas, none were issued to Trump or TMTG CEO Devin Nunes.

“The Justice Department and the SEC, which regulates the stock market, are investigating the deal between DWAC and Trump Media. By merging with DWAC, which is a kind of shell company called a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, Trump’s firm would gain access to potentially billions of dollars on public equities markets.” CNBC reported.

TRENDING: White Failed CNN Host Says Clarence Thomas Isn’t Truly Black Because He Doesn’t Go to NBA Games

The subpoena issued to TMTG by the SEC is regarding a civil investigation.

CNBC reported:

Donald Trump’s media company was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in connection with a criminal probe, according to the company with which the former president’s firm plans to merge.

Digital World Acquisition Corp. said in a filing Friday that Trump Media and Technology Group received a subpoena from the grand jury in Manhattan on Thursday. The Trump company also received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding a civil probe on Monday, DWAC said.


DWAC also said some current and former TMTG employees have also recently received grand jury subpoenas. Later Friday, TMTG said it would comply with the subpoenas, and that none of them were directed at its chairman, Trump, or CEO, former U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes.

The filing came days after DWAC said the government investigations could delay or even prevent its merger with Trump’s newly formed company, which includes Truth Social, a social media app intended to be an alternative to Twitter.

Early criticism of the Trump-DWAC deal came from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. In calling for an investigation, she wrote to SEC Chair Gary Gensler in November, telling him that DWAC “may have committed securities violations by holding private and undisclosed discussions about the merger as early as May 2021, while omitting this information in [SEC] filing and other public statements.” The lawmaker’s request came shortly after The New York Times published a report that said the deal might have violated securities laws and regulations.

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Exclusive: Residential Picketing and Abortion –




No Pseudonymity in Challenge to Federal Vaccination Mandate

#Residential #Picketing #Abortion

I’ve seen some people argue that the Supreme Court’s objection to the picketing of Justices’ homes about abortion is inconsistent with the Court’s upholding the right to picket outside abortion clinics, or stressing the right to protest more broadly.

It’s worth noting, though, that bans on residential picketing have been particularly useful to, among other people, abortion providers. Frisby v. Schultz (1988), upheld a content-neutral ban on targeted picketing that was prompted by picketing “outside the … residence of a doctor who apparently performs abortions.” That opinion was written by Justice O’Connor, and joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Blackmun, Kennedy, and Scalia; Justice White concurred as to the principle. Justices Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

Then in Madsen v. Women’s Health Center (1994), the Court considered an injunction banning picketing within 300 feet of abortion clinic employees’ homes. The Court struck that down, because

[T]he 300-foot zone around the residences in this case is much larger than the zone provided for in the ordinance which we approved in Frisby…. [That] prohibition was limited to “focused picketing taking place solely in front of a particular residence.” By contrast, the 300-foot zone would ban “[g]eneral marching through residential neighborhoods, or even walking a route in front of an entire block of houses.”

But the majority (here, Chief Justice Rehnquist, joined by Justices Blackmun, O’Connor, Souter, Ginsburg, and Stevens) reaffirmed Frisby, as to “targeted residential picketing.” (Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas viewed such injunctions as unconstitutional prior restraints, but didn’t cast doubt on the correctness of Frisby as to content-neutral ordinances.)

So the rule seems clear: Content-neutral bans on residential picketing are constitutionally permissible. And that would apply whether the residence is that of an abortion provider or that of a Justice who ruled that the Constitution doesn’t secure abortion rights. Perhaps Justices Brennan and Marshall (and possibly Stevens, though his position in Frisby was more complex) were right to reject this, and to conclude that people should be free to picket outside the homes of everyone (again, abortion providers or others). But the current rule upholding residential picketing bans has been useful to abortion providers as well as others.

UPDATE: For more on whether the bans being discussed in this situation are indeed content-neutral and therefore valid, see this post as to Maryland and this post as to Virginia. (Summary: Maryland law very likely invalid, Virginia law likely invalid, Montgomery County ordinance likely valid.)

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Exclusive: Many GOP Primary Losers Refuse to Admit Defeat –




Compelling Television

#GOP #Primary #Losers #Refuse #Admit #Defeat

NPR: “While Trump has most notably spent the last 18 months denying his 2020 election defeat, despite clear evidence he lost, he’s not the only one. During this election cycle, candidates across the country have refused to concede – even in races that are not remotely close.”

“In all of these cases, there is no evidence to back up claims of fraud that could reverse defeats, and most of these elections were not remotely close.”

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