Arkansas must al­low both names of same-sex mar­ried par­ents on baby’s birth cer­tifi­cate.

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREA NO­BLE

Sec­ond Amend­ment ad­vo­cates stung by the Supreme Court’s de­ci­sion not to take up a closely watched gun rights case vowed Mon­day to pur­sue lit­i­ga­tion as long as it takes to get the jus­tices to af­firm the right to carry a firearm out­side the home.

The court opted Mon­day not to hear Peruta v. Cal­i­for­nia, let­ting stand a rul­ing from the 9th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals that up­held a Cal­i­for­nia law re­quir­ing a gun owner to show “good cause” in order to get a per­mit to carry a con­cealed hand­gun in pub­lic. The state law left the author­ity to de­cide what con­sti­tutes “good cause” up to lo­cal au­thor­i­ties such as sher­iffs or po­lice chiefs.

Gun owner Ed­ward Peruta, of San Diego County, brought the case af­ter he sought to carry con­cealed firearms for self-de­fense but was de­nied a con­cealed carry li­cense in 2009 be­cause he was un­able to show good cause.

While the jus­tices did not of­fer a writ­ten ex­pla­na­tion of their rea­son­ing, Jus­tice Clarence Thomas is­sued a strong re­buke of his col­leagues’ de­ci­sion not to hear the case.

“The Court’s de­ci­sion to deny cer­tio­rari in this case re­flects a dis­tress­ing trend: the treat­ment of the Sec­ond Amend­ment as a dis­fa­vored right,” wrote Jus­tice Thomas, joined by Jus­tice Neil M. Gor­such in his dis­sent.

Chal­lengers had asked the Supreme Court to con­sider whether the Sec­ond Amend­ment en­ti­tles cit­i­zens to carry hand­guns out­side the home in a con­cealed man­ner when the open carry of firearms is pro­hib­ited by Cal­i­for­nia law.

Jus­tice Thomas wrote that the lower court’s rul­ing erred be­cause it had nar­rowly con­sid­ered only whether the reg­u­la­tory con­cealed carry scheme es­tab­lished by a lo­cal sher­iff was valid, not whether res­i­dents had a broader right to carry firearms openly in pub­lic. He also faulted his col­leagues for fail­ing to se­ri­ously con­sider the ef­fect that let­ting the de­ci­sion stand would have on ev­ery­day Amer­i­cans.

“For those of us who work in mar­bled halls, guarded con­stantly by a vig­i­lant and ded­i­cated po­lice force, the guar­an­tees of the Sec­ond Amend­ment might seem an­ti­quated and su­per­flu­ous,” Jus­tice Thomas wrote. “But the Framers made a clear choice: They re­served to all Amer­i­cans the right to bear arms for self-de­fense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State de­nies its cit­i­zens that right, par­tic­u­larly when their very lives may de­pend on it.”

Though dis­ap­pointed by Mon­day’s rul­ing, a gun rights at­tor­ney in­volved in the case said ad­vo­cates have plenty of other op­tions to even­tu­ally present the court with the ques­tion of car­ry­ing a firearm in pub­lic.

“Our plan is to get a case to the Supreme Court as soon as pos­si­ble. Peruta was one of the cases that we saw as a ve­hi­cle for that,” said Chuck Michel, one of the at­tor­neys in­volved in the Peruta case. “But we didn’t put all our eggs in this bas­ket.”

In ad­di­tion to the 9th Cir­cuit, fed­eral ap­peals courts have up­held sim­i­lar re­stric­tive “good rea­son” re­quire­ments in New Jersey, New York and Mary­land.

An on­go­ing chal­lenge of sim­i­lar re­quire­ment in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal was ar­gued be­fore the U.S. Court of Ap­peals for the D.C. Cir­cuit in Septem­ber and awaits a rul­ing.

Two cases that Mr. Michel be­lieves could even­tu­ally make their way to the Supreme Court in­clude the on­go­ing chal­lenge in Wash­ing­ton and the Flana­gan v. Be­cerra law­suit brought in Cal­i­for­nia in the wake of the lower court’s Peruta rul­ing.

Cal­i­for­nia law pro­hibits open carry in pop­u­lous ar­eas. Plain­tiffs in the law­suit, all res­i­dents of Los An­ge­les County, ar­gue that their Sec­ond Amend­ment rights are be­ing vi­o­lated be­cause they are not al­lowed to openly carry in Los An­ge­les, nor are they able to ob­tain con­cealed carry per­mits.

“If you say there is no con­cealed carry right, then there is ei­ther a right to open carry or there is no right,” Mr. Michel said of the Flana­gan case, which was ar­gued be­fore the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the Cen­tral Dis­trict of Cal­i­for­nia in Fe­bru­ary. “We are tak­ing them at their word.”

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