Thomas Calls Second Amendment High Court's 'Constitutional Orphan'

by Abel Hampton February 21, 2018, 0:30
Thomas Calls Second Amendment High Court's 'Constitutional Orphan'

In the case Silvester v. Becerra, two lawful gun owners and two nonprofits challenged the constitutionality of the state's 10-day waiting period as applied to "subsequent purchasers" who already own a firearm or have a license to carry a concealed weapon, and who clear a background check in less than 10 days. That program targets an estimated 18,000 people who acquired their weapons legally but then became ineligible to own a gun because of a criminal conviction, domestic-violence order, or mental-health condition.

Thomas complained that the Supreme Court had not heard a gun case in eight years, as students from a Parkland, Florida, high school beg lawmakers to pass gun safety restrictions after a mass shooting killed 17 of their classmates and teachers.

The NRA and its allies said the state was putting an unconstitutional burden on Second Amendment rights.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

And now the Supreme Court is leaving the appeals court ruling intact. While those laws reflected the wisdom of "thousands of years of human history in every society known to have populated the planet", they faced a much tougher time in the Ninth Circuit than California's new and unusual waiting period for firearms. "Its dismissive treatment of petitioners' challenge is emblematic of a larger trend".

In his dissent Tuesday, Thomas dwelled on what he called "dismissive treatment" of the Second Amendment claims in the case.

In dissent, Thomas said the lower court's ruling reflects the "general failure to afford the Second Amendment the respect due an enumerated constitutional right".

"Her obsessive quest to try and destroy Clarence Thomas [and pull her career out of free fall] has resulted in another 4,200 words of warmed-over, long-ago debunked, and perjurious allegations", Severino writes of Abramson. The state also said the 10-day block serves as a "cooling off" period.

The 9th Circuit decision "is emblematic of a larger trend" in which the lower courts fail to protect the Second Amendment to the same extent that they protect other constitutional rights, Thomas said.

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