The Supreme Court is set to hear its first Second Amendment case in almost a decade. This happened when the HIgh Court granted a writ of Certiorari (decided to hear) for the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York, No. 18-280. The case may have major ramifications for Second Amendment jurisprudence. Differing from decisions handed down from previous Supreme Court decisions is the makeup of the current court. Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are believed to be more pro Second Amendment than Justice Stevens. However, the anti-Second Amendment Just Ginsburg is still on the court but has missed oral arguments in January for the first time since being nominated to the Court.
There associated issues will be going before the court and are defined as:
Issue(s): Whether New York City’s ban on transporting a licensed, locked, and unloaded handgun to a home or shooting range outside city limits is consistent with the Second Amendment, the commerce clause, and the constitutional right to travel.
For now, the question at hand is “When will the case be heard (oral arguments) and when will it be decided?” Justice Ginsburg’s health, or whether President Trump has the opportunity to appoint a third judge before the case is heard, could impact the decision.
Reuters thinks the case will be heard in October of 2019. From reuters.com:
The case will be heard and decided in the court’s next term, which starts in October and ends in June 2020.
Heritage thinks it could be in the spring or fall. From heritage.org:
Thankfully, the Supreme Court will hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, either this spring or next fall.
The Daily Caller calls it for the fall of 2019: From the dailycaller.com:
The case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, will likely be heard in the fall.
However, the Supreme Court Oral Argument calendar does not have it scheduled yet.
Since this term started in October of 2018, the Court has heard 40 cases and settled two without oral arguments. There are eight cases scheduled for oral arguments in February, and nine cases scheduled for oral arguments in March of 2019. There are 14 cases that have been granted cert (writ of certiorari) but have not been scheduled.
April does not have any oral arguments scheduled yet. However, the Court has not heard oral arguments in May for the last few years. The Court generally hears 1-3 cases a day. The Court has six days in April to hear oral arguments. There is a chance it will hear oral arguments from the NYSR&PA v. City of New York in April. A 50/50 chance is a reasonable guess.
If the Court does not hear oral arguments in April, the next available date will be in October of 2019. There is generally a 4-9 month gap from granting cert to the oral arguments. It is not uncommon for cases to be granted cert in January or February and for oral arguments to be heard in October or November.
The Hope of the Antis
Those who are hoping for a decision that minimizes Second Amendment rights are likely hoping for the oral arguments to be heard in April, and the case to be decided by July.
The reason is simple: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Justice Ginsburg is 85 years old and in failing health. She is more likely to be able to vote on a decision if it is held sooner rather than later. If the case is not heard until October, President Trump may have already successfully nominated another justice to the Supreme Court. Six months is a long time given Just Ginsberg’s health and demands of a sitting Justice do not equate to a restful schedule.
Justice Stephen Breyer is 80 years old, and is the next oldest justice on the Supreme Court. He consistently votes with the Court’s left wing and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
I doubt that the Supreme Court will take Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health, or Justice Breyer’s age, into account when they are scheduling the oral arguments for the coming cases.
In a few weeks the April schedule should be posted online. Then we will know if NYR&PA v. The City of New York will be heard in April or late in 2019. If the case is heard in April, we would probably have a decision by late July of 2019. If it is hear in October or November, we may not get a decision until the summer of 2020.
It’s your Second Amendment rights, so you make the call. When will the Supreme Court hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York? What do you think the makeup of the Supreme Court will be? Will President Trump get to nominate a third or fourth Justice? Share your answers in the comment section.
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