Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Supreme Court Says No to NYC’s Second Amendment–Avoidance Scheme 

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to buy into New York City’s transparent scheme to avoid the Court’s review, and wisely denied the city’s request to indefinitely put a hold on NY State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York. It’s the Supreme Court’s first true Second Amendment case since 2010.

For years, residents of New York have been required to apply for a “premises license” to own a handgun. Worse, city officials place a number of restrictions on what a resident can do with a firearm possessed pursuant to such a license. Most egregiously, license-holders may not transport their handguns outside of city limits, even to another home owned by the resident or to a licensed shooting range or competition.

Six years ago, NY State Rifle & Pistol filed this lawsuit. And for six years, New York has fervently defended its rule, maintaining it is necessary for “public safety.” That is, until the Supreme Court agreed to review the constitutionality of the regulation.

Seeing the writing on the wall, New York officials decided to propose a new regulation to delay the case. Unsurprisingly, the proposed changes — and they are merely proposed changes — go directly to the heart of the lawsuit, providing exceptions to handgun owners for transporting their guns to vacation homes, shooting ranges, or shooting competitions outside city limits.

The Supreme Court saw through New York’s scheme. The Court denied the state’s request to delay briefing until New York resolved its rulemaking process. As a result, briefing will go forward on the first true Second Amendment case since McDonald v. Chicago.

Keep your eyes open for New York State Rifle & Pistol’s opening brief on May 7, and amicus briefs in support on May 14.

Most Popular

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More
Elections

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
U.S.

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More