Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | Supreme Court | amy coney barrett | scotus | second amendment

Barrett's Conservative Vote Could Tilt SCOTUS in Gun Rights Case

barrett in a purple multicolor coat and lavender top smiling
Justice Amy Coney Barrett (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 30 November 2020 11:45 AM

A case coming before the Supreme Court could give Justice Amy Coney Barrett a chance to make her mark in a Second Amendment rights case that included her conservative gun rights stance, The New York Times reported.

Barrett is poised to supply the fifth vote in a lawsuit brought by a tax evasion felon who wants to buy a gun but is prohibited under federal law.

Lisa Folajtar argued her Second Amendment rights were being violated; a three-judge appeals court panel in Philadelphia ruled against her, however, saying a serious crime has consequences — including losing the right to vote, serve on a jury, or have a gun, the Times reported.

"The right to keep and bear arms is analogous to other civic rights that have historically been subject to forfeiture by individuals convicted of crimes," Department of Justice lawyers argued in the case.

But in a dissent, appeals court Judge Stephanos Bibas, a former law professor and appointee of President Donald Trump, wrote that the framers of the Constitution would not have allowed lawmakers to bar felons convicted of nonviolent crimes from owning guns. 

Bibas referred to a similar case concerning a man convicted of mail fraud — in which the dissent was written by Barrett when she was on the federal appeals court in Chicago.

"History does not support the proposition that felons lose their Second Amendment rights solely because of their status as felons," she wrote in her dissent. "But it does support the proposition that the state can take the right to bear arms away from a category of people that it deems dangerous."

Voting and jury service are different, she wrote, because those are "rights that depend on civic virtue."

The high court hasn't issued a major Second Amendment decision since rulings in 2008 and 2010 established an individual right for law-abiding citizens to keep guns in their homes for self-defense, the Times reported.

Before Barrett's arrival, the court's four most conservative justices had repeatedly written that the court should return to the subject of the Second Amendment, the Times reported — including in 2017, when Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch wrote they'd detected "a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right."

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A case coming before the Supreme Court could give Justice Amy Coney Barrett a chance to make her mark in a Second Amendment rights case that included her conservative gun rights stance, The New York Times reported. Barrett is poised to supply the fifth vote in a lawsuit...
amy coney barrett, scotus, second amendment
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2020-45-30
Monday, 30 November 2020 11:45 AM
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