Justice Thomas Passionately Argues That Convicted Domestic Abusers Need Easier Access To Guns

Today the Supreme Court handed down two decisions: The first is a monumental, headline-grabbing defeat for anti-abortion groups. The second is a highly technical case about gun rights that’s being mostly overlooked.

 

In the dissenting opinion for the latter case, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argues that convicted domestic abusers have been defrauded of their right to deadly weapons.

 

At-issue in Voisine v. United States is a technical question of whether two men with convictions for “reckless” domestic assault fall under a federal law prohibiting people convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from possessing a firearm. The law prohibiting domestic abusers from possessing firearms wasn’t the question under discussion — instead, the question was how far that law reached over certain states’ differing domestic assault laws.

 

Justice Thomas, however, was very concerned in arguments about the broader law that domestic abusers at large can’t have guns — breaking 10 years of silence on the Court to complain at arguments in February.

 

“In construing the statute before us expansively so that causing a single minor reckless injury or offensive touching can lead someone to lose his right to bear arms forever, the Court continues to “relegat[e] the Second Amendment to a second-class right.”

 

 

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