The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away several cases with important Second Amendment questions, continuing the longstanding trend of remaining quiet on the right to keep and bear arms.
Three of the cases challenged lifetime gun bans stemming from relatively minor, non-violent crimes. They included Holloway v. Garland, where the petitioner lost his gun rights over a single DUI that resulted in no damages; Folajtar v. Garland, where the petitioner lost her Second Amendment rights over a false statement on a tax form; and Flick v. Garland, where the petitioner lost their firearm rights for the rest of their life over bootlegged cassette tapes. Yes, moody cassette tapes.
Only four of the nine Justices are required to greenlight a case, meaning that of the high court's half-dozen nominal conservative jurists, a majority did not vote to move forward, allowing the existing lower court rulings to stand in each of the cases.
Notably, the Supreme Court's most recent addition, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, while an appeals court judge, had penned a strong dissent in the 2019 case of Kanter v. Barr, a man who was seeking to have his gun rights restored after losing them due to a non-violent felony conviction, namely mail fraud. Primarily, she went against the majority ruling in the decision and supported Mr. Kanter's Second Amendment claim.
Gun rights groups were disappointed. The Firearms Policy Coalition's legal group were counsel on the Holloway and Folajtar petitions and filed a brief in support of the petitioner in Flick.
“While we are disappointed the Supreme Court chose to allow grossly improper lower court rulings to stand, FPC will continue our aggressive litigation strategy and immediately move forward to litigate new challenges in various circuits to address serious constitutional questions including the proper test for Second Amendment cases, unconstitutional lifetime bans, and other restrictions not supported by history, tradition, or evidence,” said FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations Adam Kraut.
Two other cases
The Supreme Court this week kept a fourth 2A case, NYSRPA v. Corlett, alive by rescheduling it for their next conference. The case, a challenge to New York’s "good cause" requirements for a carry permit, has been relisted three times, a sign often seen by court watchers of a case without enough support from the justices to be granted, but with one or more writing a dissent for the denial, such as seen in the past on other gun cases.
Finally, a fifth case, Fleury v. Massachusetts, challenging the Bay State's mandatory firearm storage law, was also denied.