Supreme Court Rejects GOP & Denys 10 Second Amendment Cases

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On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court revealed an array of decisions — and it wasn’t a great day for President Donald Trump and his supporters, no matter the two justices who Trump himself has nominated and who were confirmed to the court. Besides the court’s refusal to hear an appeal from the Trump administration in a case that they brought against the state of California over their immigration policy, the court also refused to hear ten gun rights-related cases, meaning that not a single one of those cases will provide any inroads for the “gun rights” movement to get a victory from the highest federal court.

Trump has frequently very openly tied himself to the “gun rights” movement. In one infamous example of many, Trump posted on Twitter — partially in caps — that his followers should “liberate” Virginia, where the Second Amendment was supposedly “under siege.” He sounds like he’s openly trying to incite violence. None of this bombast from the president was enough to sway the Supreme Court, apparently.

Adam Winkler, who is a Constitutional law professor at UCLA, commented:

‘While people are appropriately focusing on the historic LGBT cases decided today, the Court’s rejection of 10 Second Amendment cases is also quite noteworthy — and is a major setback to the gun rights movement. The Court had 10 2A cases to choose from and took none of them. It wasn’t for lack of a good case: these 10 presented the justices with all the major open questions on the scope of the 2A, some by leading advocates.’

Winkler adds that the court’s refusal to hear any of the Second Amendment cases they were presented with “is likely due to Chief Justice Roberts, who apparently isn’t in favor of broadly expanding the scope of the Second Amendment.”

Political commentator Neera Tanden suggested that “Roberts may see the way the winds are blowing in the country and may be getting ready for a different Washington post November.”

The GOP, in contrast, tends to be very much in favor of applying the Second Amendment in the most open-ended way possible. For example, in poll after poll after poll, solid majorities of respondents have indicated that they’d support universal background checks for gun purchases. The Democrat-led House has passed a measure that would institute these universal background checks — and the GOP-led Senate has refused to take it up.

Besides the gun rights cases that the Supreme Court refused to hear this Monday, the court also revealed a ruling that effectively outlaws workplace discrimination on the basis of LGBTQ identity in every single state. They ruled that federal civil rights legislation clearly prohibits that discrimination — and, notably, they revealed that ruling very soon after the Trump administration separately rolled back a prohibition against discrimination against transgender individuals in medical facilities.

The Supreme Court’s ruling against LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace suggests that a future Democratic presidential administration may be able to put back the protections against discrimination for transgender people in medical settings — or, perhaps, a court could effectively take up the issue even without a Democratic president.