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Supreme Court refuses to hear 2nd Second Amendment case this year

The Supreme Court. (Joe Sohm/Dreamstime/TNS)
October 05, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear its first Second Amendment case of the 2020 term — and the second case of its kind this year.

The high court began its 2020 term on Monday and did not offer any comment when it declined to hear Zoie H. v. Nebraska, a case that challenged the state’s denial of gun rights without the right to a jury trial.

Nebraska’s Supreme Court had upheld the state’s law, which lawmakers amended to bar young adults from possessing a gun until age 25 if convicted of specific crimes as a juvenile, and regardless of whether those individuals received a jury trial.

“The constitutional problem here is that the state seeks to impose restrictions—indeed, prohibit petitioner from exercising her Second Amendment rights at all—for six years after petitioner becomes an adult,” the petition to the Supreme Court argued.  “The state insisted on depriving her of her Second Amendment rights well into adulthood via a bench trial.”

The Nebraska law permits individuals who are denied gun rights to petition a court for reinstatement upon reaching age 19.

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“If a state deems a juvenile offense sufficiently serious to warrant disenfranchisement well into adulthood, then it must provide the protection that the Constitution guarantees for serious offenses with serious, longterm consequences: the right to a trial by jury,” the petition argued.

In April, near the end of the court’s 2019 term, the Supreme Court was expected to decide whether or not to hear a gun rights case involving a New York City ordinance. However, the city changed its ordinance, nullifying the case before the high court could issue its opinion, and necessitating a decision to reject the case.

The case would have been the first Second Amendment case heard since McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010. The court has appeared reticent to address any laws regarding gun rights since that decision.

Monday marked the first court session since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18.