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Justices allow Sandy Hook lawsuit to go forward

This morning the Supreme Court issued more orders from last week’s private conference. After granting one new case last Friday, the justices did not add any new cases to their merits docket for the term, nor did they make any new requests for the views of the federal government.

The justices turned down a request by Remington Arms Co., a gun manufacturer, to block a lawsuit brought against the company by the families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings, in which 20 first graders and six school employees were killed. The plaintiffs allege that Remington, which makes the assault rifle used in the attack, violated Connecticut unfair-trade-practices laws by selling and marketing the rifle to civilians.

Remington had countered that the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which generally gives gun manufacturers and sellers immunity from lawsuits “resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse” of guns by others, shields it from liability. However, the law carves out an exception that allows lawsuits to go forward when the manufacturer or seller knowingly violated state or federal law governing the sale of guns, and that violation caused the harm at issue. Remington urged the Supreme Court to grant review of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision allowing the case to go forward, alleging that the state court had read the exception too broadly, but today the justices turned Remington down without comment.

The justices’ next conference is scheduled for this Friday, November 15.

This post was originally published at Howe on the Court.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Justices allow Sandy Hook lawsuit to go forward, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 12, 2019, 8:04 PM),