The Supreme Court seemed unlikely Monday to be heading for a major ruling on Second Amendment rights after hearing courtroom arguments in a dispute over a New York City gun restriction — a law no longer on the books.
Because New York repealed the law after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, the city argued that the case should be dismissed as moot because there’s nothing left to fight over. Based on the comments by the justices Monday, it did not seem that a majority was willing to keep the case alive and rule on the broader gun rights issue.
Since declaring in a 2008 case from Washington, D.C., that the Second Amendment provides a right to keep a handgun at home for self defense, and then clarifying that the right applies nationwide, the court steadfastly declined to take up any other gun rights cases. The court’s willingness to consider this one, even though the law at issue was recently repealed, had gun rights advocates hoping it could lead to a ruling about the right to bear arms outside the home.