Is This The End Of Carrying Guns: Supreme Court Supermajority Clarify Its Constitutional Mandate

The founders expected a permanent battle for power between the Congress, and the presidency
By: The Conversation
WASHINGTON - Oct. 3, 2023 - PRLog -- By: Morgan Marietta, University of Texas at Arlington

The first Monday in October, the traditional date for the beginning of the U.S. Supreme Court's term, is almost here: On Oct. 2, 2023, the court will meet after the summer recess, with the biggest case of the term focused on the limits of individual gun rights.

The other core issue for the coming year is a broad reassessment of the power of the administrative state.

Both issues reflect a court that has announced revolutionary changes in doctrine and must now grapple with how far the new principles will reach.

Two years ago, the court began what many consider to be a constitutional revolution.

The new supermajority of six conservative justices rapidly introduced new doctrines across a range of controversies including abortion, guns, religion and race.

When the court announces a new principle – for example, a limit on the powers of a specific part of government – citizens and lawyers are not sure of the full ramifications of the new rule. How far will it go? What other areas of law will come under the same umbrella?

In a revolutionary period, aggressive litigants will push the boundaries of the new doctrine, attempting to stretch it to their advantage. After a period of uncertainty, a case that defines the limits on the new rule is likely to emerge.

Focus On Guns

U.S. v. Rahimi may be the limiting case for gun rights, identifying the stopping point of the recent changes in Second Amendment doctrine.

Zackey Rahimi is a convicted drug dealer and violent criminal who also had a restraining order in place after assaulting his girlfriend. The court will decide whether the federal law prohibiting the possession of firearms by someone subject to a domestic violence restraining order violates the Second Amendment.

In the 2022 case of New York Rifle & Pistol v. Bruen, the court announced a new understanding of the Second Amendment. The amendment had long been understood to recognize a limited right to bear arms. Under the Bruen ruling, the amendment instead describes an individual right to carry a gun for self-protection in most places in society, expanding its range to the level of other constitutional rights such as freedom of religion or speech, which apply in public spaces.

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