Fascinating decision by the call this week; you should know that the SC hears very few cases each year compared to the number they received, so rejecting a case rarely makes the news…except in this case. The SC declined to hear a case on whether it was constitutional for states to prohibit semi-automatic assault weapons, which gun rights activists had been hoping the SC would find violated the 2nd Amendment.
The SC refusing to hear gun control cases isn’t new; the Court has only really been willing to take 2nd Amendment cases in the last decade (with the minimal exception of US v Lopez in 1995). However, even in deciding Chicago v MacDonald, Alito said that the ruling was not a justification of “any gun, anywhere, anytime” – The Court, it seems, are aware of the weight of public opinion on the matter.
In this instance, it in interesting to see the Court refusing to hear such a case in the wake of the number of mass shootings that have taken place this year; less than a week after San Bernadino and just two months after Oregon. Great evidence that perhaps public opinion does have an impact on the SC despite their independence that comes from appointment rather than election.