The Corner

Law & the Courts

March For Our Lives’s Corlett Amicus Brief Is a Non Sequitur

The nine Supreme Court justices pose for a group photo in Washington, D.C., April 23, 2021. (Erin Schaff/Reuters)

CNN tells us that the March For Our Lives gun-control group has filed a brief with the Supreme Court in the case of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett:

Survivors of shootings are giving the Supreme Court justices a first hand account of their experiences in a brief filed Tuesday in a case that could impact concealed carry and Second Amendment laws across the country.

In hopes of influencing the court’s decision on a New York concealed carry law, the “friend of the court” brief shares the stories of eight people whose lives have been directly affected by gun violence. It was filed by law firm Hogan Lovells for March For Our Lives — the youth-led gun violence prevention organization founded by students following the 2018 deadly school shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

In part, the brief includes the detailed experience of Samantha Mayor, who was shot in the knee.

According to the brief, Mayor, who was 16-years-old and a junior at the time, was at first, “dazed and in disbelief,” and she did not realize she had been shot until her teacher called to report the number of students who had been injured in her classroom.

Only then did Mayor “look down, notice a hole in her leggings, and realize that she had been shot. Blood poured out of the hole in her kneecap and onto the tiled floor,” the brief says.

“I started telling myself that it was okay. I was coming to terms with dying,” Mayor said in the brief, describing the aftermath of the shooting.

Mayor’s narrative, along with the seven other detailed stories, is meant to shed light on the potential ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision, including the way the court’s ruling could directly impact the lives of young Americans.

This is one long non sequitur. The issue at stake in this case is whether New York’s “may issue” carry regime — which allows the state to deny concealed-carry permits to law-abiding citizens if it considers that they lack “proper cause”  — is so strict as to be unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. It is not whether firearms are dangerous. Like everyone else in America, the Court knows full well that they are.

Indeed, harrowing though they are, the stories being relayed here do not even intersect with the case at hand — which, again, is about whether cities and states are allowed to deny carry permits to those who are legally eligible but who have failed to demonstrate subjective “need.” The people who were killed and injured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 were not injured or killed by a concealed carrier, and nor, at any point, did the perpetrator rely upon a concealed carry permit, apply for a concealed carry permit, or take any action of any sort that called into question the wisdom, legality, or execution of Florida’s “shall issue” concealed carry rules. Whatever they may be, the “potential ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision” have precisely nothing to do with the stories contained within the brief. They are ingermane.

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