Yesterday was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ 74th birthday. And to celebrate, the high court released a landmark opinion reaffirming the importance of the Second Amendment, written by: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The 6-3 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen marks the first major Second Amendment case heard by the high court in more than a decade.
The case syllabus indicated that “New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.”
Thomas wrote that "we hold that when the Second Amendment's plain text covers an individual's conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct.”
Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer called the decision “Justice Thomas’ most important majority opinion thus far in his entire Court tenure.”
Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, referred to a number of recent mass shootings, including Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.
Justice Samuel Alito’s concurring opinion shot back that New York’s restrictive concealed carry law did nothing to stop the Buffalo shooting.
Two recent Texas church shootings are also worthy of note.
In November 2017, Devin Kelley, 26, stormed the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, armed with an AR-style rifle, and shot 46 people, killing 26. No one but the gunman was armed.
In response, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law permitting parishioners to carry firearms in places of worship.
Two years later Keith Kinnunen entered the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas armed with a 12-gauge shotgun. He killed two before parishioner Jack Wilson, a member of the church’s security team, ended the mayhem.
Without surprise, the usual suspects were appalled by the decision, beginning with President Biden, who released a statement claiming he was “deeply disappointed” with the court.
“This ruling contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all,” Biden added.
If he thinks the decision contradicts the Constitution, he should revisit the part that says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” As for defying common sense, he may want to review the two Texas church shootings.
New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul thought it “outrageous” that the court would choose this period in time to strike down New York’s century-old law.
“It is outrageous that at a moment of national reckoning on gun violence, the Supreme Court has recklessly struck down a New York law that limits those who can carry concealed weapons,” she tweeted.
To be clear, the New York statute did not “limit those who can carry concealed weapons” — It limited those who can legally carry weapons. Criminals don’t follow the rules; that’s why they’re called criminals.
All this does is even up the sides and make a criminal think twice before opening fire in a supermarket or subway station, knowing that one or more intended victims may be armed.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin just invented things to make his point, claiming that the court wanted people to have a right to carry a weapon “without background checks, without restrictions.”
He admitted later that “they haven’t gone that far yet, but they are clearly moving in that direction.”
They’re “clearly moving in that direction”? The court isn’t moving in any direction on guns; this was its first major Second Amendment case in more than a decade, and so far no others are on the horizon.
There are still decisions pending, including one on illegal immigration and one on affirmative action. The court set today as an additional decision day.
One on abortion already struck down Roe v. Wade.
As for Justice Thomas, he was livid two years ago when the court declined to hear 10 Second Amendment cases.
One, Rogers v. Grewal, was remarkably similar to yesterday’s. The state of New Jersey denied a carry permit to a man who serviced ATM machines in high-crime areas, claiming he failed to show a “justifiable need” for such a permit.
Thomas penned a scathing 19-page dissent.
“One would think that such an onerous burden on a fundamental right would warrant this Court’s review. This Court would almost certainly review the constitutionality of a law requiring citizens to establish a justifiable need before exercising their free speech rights,” Thomas wrote. “But today, faced with a petition challenging just such a restriction on citizens’ Second Amendment rights, the Court simply looks the other way.”
His wish was finally granted yesterday, near the end of his 30th term on the Supreme Court. May he give the court and America another 30 terms of his wisdom and common sense.
And most of all, happy birthday, Justice Thomas.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.