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Thomas, conservatives impatient at Supreme Court’s inaction on 2nd Amendment

CNN – What’s the Supreme Court done about the 2nd Amendment lately? Not much, to the deep frustration of Justice Clarence Thomas. “Thomas, joined by two of his colleagues, the National Rifle Association and many gun rights supporters believe that lower courts are thumbing their nose at a landmark 2008 Supreme Court opinion holding that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. [Last week], Thomas blasted the lower courts for what he described as a cavalier attitude toward the 2nd Amendment. The landmark opinion — District of Columbia v. Heller — was penned in 2008 by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Supporters of gun rights thought that after that opinion, and a follow up two years later, lower courts would begin striking down gun regulations across the country. But in large part, that has not happened. Some judges have pointed to Scalia’s own words in Heller: “The right secured by the 2nd Amendment is not unlimited.” Thomas, in an opinion released on Tuesday, criticized the courts for a “general failure to afford the 2nd Amendment the respect due an enumerated constitutional right.” He was writing a dissent after his colleagues declined to take up a challenge to California’s 10-day waiting period as it applies to individuals who already own guns. “The lower courts are resisting this court’s decision” in Heller, Thomas complained, “and are failing to protect the 2nd Amendment to the same extent that they protect other constitutional rights.” The 69-year-old justice also turned to his own colleagues on the bench bemoaning the fact that there haven’t been the necessary four votes to take up a major 2nd Amendment related case since Heller. “If a lower court treated another right so cavalierly, I have little doubt that this court would intervene,” Thomas said. “The 2nd Amendment is a disfavored right in this court.” No other justice joined Thomas’s dissent in the California case, but conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito have chimed in with similar sentiments concerning other cases…”

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