Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in 3 Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in three cases this week, with the Second Amendment taking center stage. In the wake of the country’s most recent mass shooting, the justices considered a case that could overturn a federal gun law.

The case, United States v. Rahimi, challenges a federal law prohibiting the possession of a firearm by anyone who is the subject of a domestic violence restraining order. While the Fifth Circuit initially upheld the statute, it reversed course following the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, 597 U.S. ____ (2022).

In Bruen, the Court struck down New York’s handgun licensing scheme, holding that it violated the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense. Under the Court’s new precedent, lower courts may only uphold gun restrictions if a tradition of such regulation exists in U.S. history. In deciding Rahimi, the Court will provide lower courts with much-needed guidance on how to apply the new text, history, and tradition test.

Below is a brief summary of the other two cases before the Court:

Department of Agriculture Rural Development Rural Housing Service v. Kirtz: The case involvesfederal sovereign immunity under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Third Circuit Court of Appeal held that the Agriculture Department (USDA) could be held liable for incorrectly noting a past due loan on plaintiff Reginald Kirtz’s credit report. The justices have agreed to consider the following question: “Whether the civil-liability provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., unequivocally and unambiguously waive the sovereign immunity of the United States.”

Rudisill v. McDonough: The case centers on eligibility for veterans’ education benefits under two federal law. The justices will decide the following issue: “Whether a veteran who has served two separate and distinct periods of qualifying service under theMontgomery GI Billand thePost-9/11 GI Billis entitled to receive a total of 48 months of education benefits as between both programs, without first exhausting the Montgomery benefit in order to obtain the more generous Post-9/11 benefit.”

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