Supreme Court to hear cases on guns, free speech, and regulatory authority

 November 5, 2023

In a move that has the potential to leave Democrats furious, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear several cases that implicate guns, free speech, and regulatory authority. 

As Breitbart reported last week, the nation's highest judicial body has accepted a challenge by the National Rife Association of America (NRA) over its treatment by New York's Department of Financial Services.

NRA says its First Amendment rights are being violated

The NRA maintains that the state is using "pressure tactics—including backchannel threats, ominous guidance letters, and selective enforcement of regulatory infractions—to induce banks and insurance companies to avoid doing business with" it.

Further, the NRA asserts that it is being targeted for such coercion solely due to its status as a Second Amendment advocacy group.

"A regulatory regime—even a facially content-neutral one—that inhibits protected freedoms of expression and association violates the First Amendment," the NRA declared in a brief.

"An overt campaign by state officials to wield regulatory power against a disfavored civil rights organization—here the NRA—precisely because of its disfavored speech at least as clearly merits this Court’s attention and reversal," it added.

Court to examine bump stocks

The Supreme Court has also agreed to hear Garland v. Cargill, which challenges whether the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) can classify a device known as a bump stock as a machinegun.

Federal law defines the term "machinegun" to mean "any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger."

Critics say that bump stocks fail to meet this criteria as they simply enable a shooter to pull a firearm's trigger faster than normal by harnessing its recoil.

At issue is a legal doctrine called "Chevron deference," which is named for the 1984 case Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. It holds that courts should generally defer to bureaucrats when it comes to interpreting ambiguous statutory language.

Fishing case implicates bureaucratic authority

This is not the only case in which Chevron's deference will play a role, as Breitbart noted that the doctrine also features prominently in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo.

According to the University of Washington School of Law, the case arises out of a 1976 piece of legislation known as the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

The act requires fishermen to operate within 200 nautical miles off the U.S. coast to allow federal observers on their vessels for data collection purposes.

However, the fishermen object to a decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service that they must pay the observers' salaries.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.