Supreme Court rejects challenges to California gun control laws

Justice Thomas delivers pro-gun rant just days after the Parkland shooting

Supreme Court declines to take up challenge to California's 10-day waiting period for gun buys

But the law remained in effect while the state appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which overturned Ishii's ruling in 2016.

A series of mass shootings, including the one in which a gunman killed 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school on February 14, have added to the long-simmering USA debate over gun control and the availability of firearms.

Against the backdrop of a nation struggling again with the tragedy of a school shooting and a debate over guns, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in a blistering dissent Tuesday, accused the U.S. Supreme Court of making the right to keep and bear arms "a constitutional orphan".

California's waiting period is one of the longest in the nation.

Thomas wrote that many background checks can be completed quickly and that the cooling off period made no sense for people who already owned a gun. "And the lower courts seem to have gotten the message". Two years later, by the same margin, they said that Second Amendment rights were "fundamental", in a decision throwing out Chicago's ban on handguns.

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Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito Jr., and the late Justice Antonin Scalia had dissented many times from the high court's denials of review in Second Amendment cases since the landmark 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. The challengers did not seek to invalidate California's waiting period for everyone, just for people who already owned guns and passed a background check. In the lower courts, few challenges to gun control laws since the Heller decision have succeeded. The state also said the 10-day block serves as a "cooling off" period.

The 9th Circuit decision "is emblematic of a larger trend" in which the lower courts fail to protect the Second Amendment to the same extent that they protect other constitutional rights, Thomas said.

Quoting that case, the 2010 ruling McDonald v.

Saying that it's been 10 years since the court clarified the standard for assessing Second Amendment claims, Thomas notes that the court has by contrast granted review, in this term alone, to "at least five cases involving the First Amendment and four cases involving the Fourth Amendment". Because it typically takes only a day or two for most such background checks to go through, they argued, the government has no legitimate reason to make "previous purchasers" wait the full 10 days. But as evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this court. Both tendencies were abundantly in evidence today when, in the middle of one of America's occasional bouts of self-recrimination over loose gun laws, Thomas pitched the juridical equivalent of a tempter tantrum over the Court's refusal to sufficiently revere the Second Amendment and crack down on those anti-gun hippies on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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