Appeals to be Reheard by Tom Reynolds
New York State’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) tried to work around the NYSRPA v Bruen decision of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). This has resulted in numerous lawsuits to stop enforcement of various portions of CCIA since many view CCIA as a direct challenge to SCOTUS’ decision.
Originally, the lawsuits challenging CCIA were generally successful at the trial court level but were appealed to the Appeals Court level where the trial courts’ decisions were generally overturned.
The Appeals Court decisions were then appealed to SCOTUS which declined to hear the appeals now but sent them back to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to be reheard.* SCOTUS believed that the Appeals Court had not furnished an adequate explanation of why they had overturned the trial courts’ very well thought out and well-documented decisions against the CCIA.
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals announced it would hear arguments “in tandem” on four lawsuits challenging several provisions of CCIA on March 20. Those four lawsuits are:
Ivan Antonyuk, et al v. Steven A. Nigrelli (This lawsuit was to stop NYS from enforcing major areas of the CCIA)
Jimmie Hardaway, Jr., et al v. Steven A. Nigrelli (This lawsuit was to stop NYS from enforcing the CCIA’s firearm ban covering places of worship and religious observation.)
Brett Christian, Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., Second Amendment Foundation, Inc v. Steven A. Nigrelli, (This lawsuit is to stop NYS from enforcing CCIA’s firearm ban on private property unless the owner affirmatively allows it.)
Nadine Gazzola, et al. v. Kathleen Hochul, et al. (This lawsuit is to stop NYS from enforcing the Federal Firearm Licensee portions of the CCIA.)
This only covers four of the many lawsuits already filed against CCIA.
Until March 20, almost all of the CCIA is in effect almost everywhere.
We should not expect an immediate decision. And whatever the decision, it will probably be appealed back to the Supreme Court, which has the option of hearing or not hearing the appeal. This might take a long time to finish.
Or it might not.
If the 2nd Circuit’s new decision keeps the CCIA in place and enforceable until SCOTUS decides on an appeal, we can hope that SCOTUS would hear the appeal on an expedited basis since CCIA flies directly in-the-face of the NYSRPA v Bruen decision. It is hard to imagine SCOTUS not hearing an appeal if CCIA is left in place
If the new 2nd Circuit decision strikes down the CCIA, in whole or in part, New York would probably appeal to SCOTUS but SCOTUS might choose to not hear the appeal and just leave it in place. If it does hear the appeal, it might not be in a hurry to do so.
We should take heart in the Caetano v Massachusetts decision in which every court level in Massachusetts ruled against Caetano while ignoring SCOTUS’ precedent. SCOTUS had no difficulty in overturning Massachusetts and basically saying to Massachusetts, “Can’t you guys read?”
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is held at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, in the City of New York. It exercises federal jurisdiction in six districts with each district having multiple seats on the court:
- District of Connecticut (New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport)
- Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn, Central Islip)
- Northern District of New York (Albany, Binghamton, Plattsburgh, Syracuse, Utica)
- Southern District of New York (Manhattan, White Plains)
- Western District of New York (Buffalo, Rochester)
- District of Vermont (Burlington, Rutland, Brattleboro)
*Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said in a letter attached to the order that CCIA "presents novel and serious questions under both the First and the Second Amendments." The pair also made clear that the court's denial was in no way "expressing any views on the merits" of the challenges brought by firearms proponents; instead, it was to "reflect respect for the 2nd Circuit’s procedures in managing its own docket."