Senators had threatened justices with ‘restructuring’
Oct 7, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court justices are defying Democratic senators who had threatened to restructure the court if they didn’t drop a gun-rights case.
The Washington Examiner reported Monday that the court announced it will review a Second Amendment case challenging handgun regulations in New York City.
The city had asked that the case be dropped, and five Democratic senators wrote a supporting brief arguing the case is now moot because the city changed its rules.
The city feared a Supreme Court ruling on the matter would establish a precedent that would expand gun rights.
But the court said the question of whether the case is moot will be “subject to further consideration at oral argument,” said lawyers for several of the gun owners, according to the Examiner
The arguments are scheduled for Dec. 2.
The threat to restructure the court came from Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
They challenged the impartiality of the sitting justices, writing, “From October Term 2005 through October Term 2017, this court issued 78 5-4 (or 5-3) opinions in which justices appointed by Republican presidents provided all five votes in the majority.
“Today, 55 percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court is ‘mainly motivated by politics’ (up five percent from last year); 59 percent believe the court is ‘too influenced by politics’; and a majority now believes the ‘Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics,'” the Democrats said.
Then came the threat: “The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”
The complaint was filed by three New York City handgun owners and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. They are fighting the city’s regulation of where licensed firearms owners can transport their unloaded and locked handguns.
The city requires owners to keep their handguns in their homes or take them to one of seven shooting ranges in the city, banning them from taking the firearms outside of the city limits.
Gun owners argue that violates the Second Amendment.
After the Supreme Court accepted the case, officials in New York scrambled to reverse their rules to allow transportation to second homes and other shooting ranges.
According to the Examiner: “City officials then asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case, arguing the change in rules gave gun owners and New York State Rifle and Pistol Association ‘everything they have sought in this lawsuit.’ But the challengers accused the city of attempting to head off a ruling that could’ve expanded the rights of gun owners.”
The Democratic senators said conservative justices shouldn’t overturn previous decisions because they have the five votes on the bench to so do.
Some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates also have argued for “stacking” the court with additional justices to curb the power of the current conservative majority.
Among them are former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
Meanwhile, WND reported last week the Supreme Court will review an abortion case that pro-lifers hope will present the court with an opportunity to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a right to abortion.