March 18, 2023 at 19:02
CNN —The Justice Department on Friday asked the Supreme Court to fast-track its consideration of a recent appeals court ruling that deemed unconstitutional a federal law barring gun possession by those under domestic violence restraining orders.
The circuit court cited the major Second Amendment ruling handed down by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority last year that laid out a new test for lower courts to use to analyze a gun regulation’s constitutionality.
Prelogar told the Supreme Court on Friday that the 5th Circuit’s reasoning was wrong and the high court should take up the case so “that it can correct the Fifth Circuit’s misinterpretation of Bruen,” referring to last summer’s Supreme Court opinion.
The 5th Circuit said, with its opinion regarding the domestic violence gun restriction earlier this year, that the prohibition on alleged abusers lacked that kind of historical parallel and therefore was unconstitutional.
“Whether analyzed through the lens of Supreme Court precedent, or of the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment, that statute is constitutional.
Accordingly, the Department will seek further review of the Fifth Circuit’s contrary decision,” he said.
Guns are used to commit nearly two-thirds of intimate partner homicides, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said.
A 2021 study found that the majority of mass shootings are also linked to domestic violence.
If the 5th Circuit’s logic were adopted nationwide by the US Supreme Court, the consequences would be devastating, advocates say.
“People are going to know that their abuser still has their gun.
They’re going to continue to live in absolute, abject fear,” said Heather Bellino, the CEO of the Texas Advocacy Project, which works with victims of domestic violence.
“They are going to be afraid to get a protective order, because now that gun’s not going away.”