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DC – GUN RIGHTS – Justice Barrett’s Vote Could Tilt the Supreme Court on Gun Rights

Justice Amy Coney Barrett is just starting to make her mark at the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, her vote flipped the court’s approach to restrictions on attendance at religious services during the coronavirus pandemic. While Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was alive, the court had allowed such limits, in California and Nevada, by 5 to 4 votes. After Justice Barrett succeeded her, she joined the court’s four most conservative justices to strike down restrictions in New York. Those same four justices are now on high alert for a promising case in which to expand Second Amendment rights, having written repeatedly and emphatically about the court’s failure to take gun rights seriously. Justice Barrett seems poised to supply the fifth vote they need. A Second Amendment case decided last week by the federal appeals court in Philadelphia is a promising candidate for Supreme Court review, not least because it presents an issue on which Justice Barrett has already taken a stand. It concerns Lisa M. Folajtar, who would like to buy a gun. But she is a felon, having pleaded guilty to tax evasion, which means under federal law she may not possess firearms. She sued, arguing that the law violated her Second Amendment rights. A divided three-judge panel of appeals court rejected her challenge, saying that committing a serious crime has consequences. It can lead to losing the right to vote, to serve on a jury — or to have a gun. The ruling adopted the position of the Trump Justice Department. “The right to keep and bear arms is analogous to other civic rights that have historically been subject to forfeiture by individuals convicted of crimes, including the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury and the right to hold public office,” lawyers for Attorney General William P. Barr told the appeals court.  [full article]

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