SCOTUS Rarely Takes On 2A Cases, but One's Coming Up

Justices agree to review whether government can bar domestic abusers from having guns
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2023 7:45 AM CDT
SCOTUS Rarely Takes On 2A Cases, but One's Coming Up
The Supreme Court, as seen Friday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The Supreme Court wrapped up its latest term this week with high-profile rulings involving affirmative action, LGBTQ+ and religious rights, and student loan debt, and now it's looking ahead to its next roster of cases, including one that's sure to draw the attention of both gun safety and gun rights groups. The high court on Friday agreed to review a 1994 federal law that bans individuals who are subject to domestic violence orders from having firearms, reports the New York Times. The case comes a year after a Supreme Court ruling last year that greatly expanded gun rights around the country.

That 6-3 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which struck down a New York state law restricting who can carry concealed weapons, set the stage for a federal appeals court in March to similarly strike down a law barring people subject to domestic violence orders from possessing guns. That case, United States v. Rahimi, involves Zackey Rahimi, a Texas drug dealer with a history of armed violence who was prohibited from having guns after a 2019 altercation with his girlfriend. He violated the order and was sentenced to six-plus years in prison, a sentence the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit initially confirmed. Then, after the Bruen case, the appeals court withdrew its original ruling based on the new standard.

Gun safety and anti-domestic violence groups, as well as the Biden administration, subsequently asked the Supreme Court to step in, per CNN. "Prohibiting domestic violence abusers from accessing firearms is common sense, lifesaving, and constitutional," Douglas Letter of the nonprofit gun-control group Brady, says in a statement. The Times notes that the Supreme Court "has decided very few Second Amendment cases"—only two major ones since 2008. In the court's new term, which begins in October, it will also hear cases related to immigration, job discrimination, and criminal defendants' rights, per the Washington Post. (More US Supreme Court stories.)

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