Looks like there’s at least a solid possibility that John Roberts thinks an unusual local gun control law that has not only been repealed but banned by the state legislature going forward is not an ideal vehicle to expand the rights of gunowners:
The Supreme Court’s first Second Amendment case in nearly a decade may not end up changing anything, judging from questioning at arguments on Monday that focused largely on whether the repeal of a New York City law made the case challenging it moot.
“What’s left of this case?” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked. “The petitioners have gotten all of the relief they sought.”
The other three members of the court’s liberal wing made similar points. “The other side has thrown in the towel,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor told a lawyer for the challengers.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a member of the court’s conservative majority, asked questions that seemed aimed at making sure that the case was truly moot. But two other conservatives, Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch, seemed ready to decide the case, saying that the repeal of the law did not settle every question before the court.
Leah Litman has a good piece on why what the Court does here matters even beyond gun rights — it’s about whether this Court is so self-aggrandizing it is willing to step into disputes that have already been resolved.