By Abigail Gilder
On Nov. 14, the Supreme Court is expected to reevaluate and discuss U.S. v. Rahimi, a domestic violence case that has the potential to renew the precedent on future gun control laws, as ABC News reports.
This case will be the first gun rights case the Supreme Court will be ruling on since last year’s New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen decision, where the Court ruled conservatively. In that case, the state of New York required that applicants for a concealed carry permit show proper cause prior to approval. This means that prior to being allowed to own and carry a gun, a unique personal need must be demonstrated on an individual basis. Chief Justice Clarence Thomas, as well as the other conservative justices on the court, struck down this decision, claiming it was a violation of the second and fourteenth amendments. While three liberal justices dissented, the law is now struck down, and individuals do not need to demonstrate a specific need for a gun prior to applying for gun ownership in the state of New York, as stated by ABC News.
The Supreme Court is conservative-leaning, meaning one would expect the Court to rule in U.S. v. Rahimi in such a way that would maintain the ability for gun ownership. The Court set a precedent over thirty years ago that prevented domestic abusers whose victims had active restraining orders from owning a gun. In the case presented today, one would expect the Court to strike down the law, considering it prevents an individual from owning a gun. However, many conservative justices on the Court have suggested the possibility of ruling on the contrary, as AP News reports.
As reported by the New York Times, Amy Coney Barrett, the most recent justice appointed to the Court, said, “someone who poses a risk of domestic violence is dangerous.” She later added that due to this potential danger, it is within reason that such a group of people would not be permitted to own a gun, despite their second amendment rights suggesting otherwise.
According to Reuters, other members involved in the Court have agreed with Barrett's sentiment. The Solicitor General of the Court, Elizabeth Prolegar, even added that, “guns and domestic are a deadly combination,” implying that she holds a similar sentiment as the majority of the Court. Prolegar has also mentioned that despite this ruling being contrary to the expected decision of the mainly Conservative Court, a ruling upholding this law would remain in alignment with past precedent, due to the fact that past precedent dictates that those indicating a clear and present danger are not permitted to own a gun. These people include, “loyalists, rebels, minors” and other groups that are threatening to the federal government.
Despite the opinions of some justices being released, the official decision of U.S. v. Rahimi will be released by early summer.