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SCOTUS Wrangles Over Highland Assault Weapon Ban

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. | Last updated on

The gun case of Friedman v. City of Highland Park is apparently stuck in limbo at the Supreme Court.

Highland is the country's current poster-child case symbolizing all that must be answered about guns -- until something else comes up. Progressives see the case as an opportunity to draw an arguably wiggly line in the sand against the use of high calibre assault rifles -- a view that has steadily gained currency with the American population following the nation's recent rash of mass shootings. Gun rights activists see victory in the case as staunching the flow of what they take to be a hemorrhaging of American's rights to carry firearms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

The Latest: Relist

The highly controversial assault weapons ban case out of Chicago has managed to meander its way onto the Supreme Court's relist roster.

If you're wondering what this means, don't feel bad. We took the opportunity to brush up on our SCOTUS lingo and looked at helpful explanation of court terms including relist: A cursory reading of the SCOTUSBlog's Q & A reveals that if a case makes it to "relist" status, at the very least one of the justices is trying to drum up enough votes to get the case reviewed. Any bets on who?

Come on Already

Gun advocates and even gun opponents have accused SCOTUS of hemming-and-hawing on the assault weapon ban issue for years. When Justice Scalia opined in 2008's DC v. Heller that firearms were lawful for the defense of one's home and for "traditionally lawful purposes," the nine justices probably hoped they'd at least get a breather from the gun debate.


The case is being watched by conspicuously pro-gun sites like an owl honing on a mouse. Nothing will be clear until the dust clears and the case is removed from relist. But even if the justices have their crack at it, things don't look particularly favorable for are against Highland Park's ban.

Heller's tone can be taken as strong endorsement against "dangerous and unusual" weapons. Imagine if this case finally gets granted review by SCOTUS and is decided. Will the next legal question revolve around how many rounds makes a weapon "dangerous and unusual?"

These are dangerous and unusual times.

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