This past Monday, the supreme Court handed down a 6-2 ruling that a person convicted of domestic abuse can lose their Second Amendment right “to keep and bear arms.” The case, Voisine et al v. United States, involves two Maine residents, under state law a decade ago of committing domestic violence and later charged for violating federal law for owning guns.
The only justice who seemed to care about the Second Amendment was Justice Clarence Thomas and seeing that the case had Constitutional ramifications, he asked one of the prosecuting attorneys: “Ms. Eisenstein, just one question: can you give me — this is a misdemeanor violation, it suspends a constitutional right. Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right?”
The question left Eisenstein stumped.
In the end, Thomas wrote in his dissenting opinion, “We treat no other constitutional right so cavalierly. At oral argument the Government could not identify any other fundamental constitutional right that a person could lose forever by a single conviction for an infraction punishable only by a fine.”
“I have little doubt that the majority would strike down an absolute ban on publishing by a person previously convicted of misdemeanor libel,” he added. “In construing the statute before us expansively so that causing a single minor reckless injury or offensive touching can lead someone to lose his right to bear arms forever, the Court continues to ‘relegat[e] the Second Amendment to a second-class right.’”
The supreme Courts’ decision not only validated the removal of Second Amendment protections, but it has now expanded the reasons for removing them as well.