NPR (among many) are recognizing that the Supreme Court with Amy Coney Barrett on it is stacked 5-4 on a number of issues where Chief Justice John Roberts may have not sided conservatively. Gun rights is among those issues, and one that has been suggest will get the momentum boost that Roberts made suspect. It may even come to pass that since Roberts is no longer the deciding vote he will be more comfortable siding with gun rights since the decision no longer hinged on him.
Honestly that is activism I would prefer not to see in the court but each of the Justices are only human and partisanship towards the President and party that seated them is expected. Most Justices though, including those currently seated, appear to take the “I am a Justice, first” standpoint. That viewpoint tends to get muddied whenever the court sides for or against a particularly contentious item, however reading the opinions, especially those I personally disagree with, has left me with the impression, far more times than not, that the opinion rendered by each Justice was one seriously considered and not a fly-by-night partisan allegiance agreement. Where I personally take greatest issue is where Justices seem to rely heavily on ‘intent’ of something like the SAFE Act to justify upholding an item, as if good intentions are a solid argument for constitutionality. If that were the case, all laws ever enacted could be defend as such.
On guns, though, the court looks — for the first time — to have a clear majority that is hostile to gun regulation. Last term, the court once again punted, and punted again on the issue, declining to hear 10 gun-rights cases. Presumably, Chief Justice Roberts’ then-deciding vote was still in doubt.
But now, with Barrett newly on the court and Ginsburg gone, there appear to be five conservative votes ready to march down the path of expansive gun rights, and Second Amendment activists are teeing up new cases.
“I can tell you people are getting more aggressive,” says professor Blackman, a gun-rights advocate. Gun-rights groups “are emboldened to try to push new frontiers” now.
2021 could shape up to be the year we get definitive and positive decisions on items like magazine capacity and “feature” bans, the cosmetic window dressing that passes for “Doing Something” about all the firearm violence committed with comparatively expensive rifles and all the lives “saved” because the stock on the AR couldn’t adjust for length of pull…
We shall see.