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

Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More