At The Daily Signal, Elizabeth Slattery and Amy Swearer remark Tuesday’s cert grant in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York, a challenge to New York City’s limits on transporting personal firearms, “gives the Supreme Court an opportunity to shed some much-needed clarity on its Second Amendment jurisprudence and ensure that the right is not treated like a second-class right.” At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps writes that “[a]lmost of necessity, the result is likely to give lower courts what they have lacked—a constitutional test that can be applied to a wide variety of handgun restrictions,” and that “the new conservative majority seems likely to create a test that will invalidate many local laws—and may in fact shred the entire fabric of state and local gun regulation.” David French observes for National Review that this is “a strange case indeed” because it involves “a draconian, one-of-a-kind New York City law”; he speculates about what the Supreme Court’s decision to “step into the arena now” may “signal about the new Court’s approach to the Second Amendment more broadly.”


  • At The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie notes that “[a]s a result of the justices’ inaction” Tuesday in the Trump administration’s request for review of a lower-court ruling barring it from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, “some 700,000 DACA recipients who were brought by their parents illegally to America when they were children will, for the time being, keep their work authorisations and remain protected from deportation.”
  • At Verdict, Michael Dorf explores the recently mooted issue that the Supreme Court had been set to consider in Department of Commerce v. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, whether a trial judge “erred by ordering discovery outside of the administrative record to discern the motives behind the Trump administration’s decision to add a question concerning citizenship to the 2020 census,” noting that “government motive tests remain; nonetheless, judges understandably deploy them cautiously,” and wondering whether “judges [should] abandon that caution in the face of the Trump administration.”
  • At Take Care, Leah Litman looks into a recent report suggesting that “the administration intentionally attempted to mislead the Supreme Court about some facts relevant to the Court’s decision in Jennings v. Rodriguez,” an immigration case from last term.
  • At Just Security, Marty Lederman assesses the implications of Tuesday’s 5-4 decision “to stay two of the injunctions that district courts have imposed to bar implementation of the 2018 Mattis policy” barring service in the military by most transgender individuals.
  • At The National Law Review, Warren Woessner analyzes Tuesday’s opinion in Helsinn Healthcare v. Teva Pharmaceuticals, in which the court held that an invention is “on sale,” and therefore cannot be patented, if the inventor made a “secret sale” of the invention before seeking a patent.
  • At Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, Eugene Volokh considers the suggestion of four justices on Tuesday that they would be open to overruling a free exercise clause precedent that sharply limits constitutionally based religious exemptions from generally applicable laws; he notes that “very many observers suggest that the modern debate about religious exemptions is largely a matter of whose ox is being gored.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 24, 2019, 7:14 AM),