Home » Supreme Court sidesteps gun law challenge that could impact Hunter Biden’s case

Supreme Court sidesteps gun law challenge that could impact Hunter Biden’s case

by John Jefferson
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The Supreme Court has sidestepped a challenge to the federal law used to convict the president’s son, Hunter Biden.

On Tuesday, the justices asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to look again at the recent ruling in US v Daniels, the SCOTUS decision which overturned a conviction on drug users owning guns.

Hunter Biden’s defense attorneys cited the ruling in their appeal to his case, where he was found guilty last month of buying a gun while addicted to crack cocaine.

Last year, the Fifth Circuit reversed the conviction of a Mississippi man who owned two guns while using marijuana, saying US history and tradition “does not justify disarming a sober citizen based exclusively on his past drug usage.”

Should the lower federal court uphold its ruling, it could be useful for Biden’s appeal.

The case involving the Mississippi man is just one of eight cases the Supreme Court returned to lower courts in light of their June 2024 decision in United States v Rahimi, which determined that the Second Amendment has restrictions for potentially violent individuals.

Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, exits the J Caleb Boggs Federal Building on June 10, 2024 in Wilmington, Delaware during his federal gun charges trial
Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, exits the J Caleb Boggs Federal Building on June 10, 2024 in Wilmington, Delaware during his federal gun charges trial (AFP via Getty Images)

Other cases that the Supreme Court asked lower courts to revisit include disputes to laws that prevent people convicted of a felony or a nonviolent felony from owning a firearm.

One challenge asks whether a New York law requiring a person seeking a gun license to prove they are “of good moral character” and place restrictions on sensitive locations is a violation of the Second Amendment.

Those lower courts – which include the Second, Third, Fifth, Eighth and Tenth – will need to consider Rahimi when deciding if their original rulings re valid. Those decisions could be brought back to the Supreme Court at a later time if there is a further constitutional question.

It has been a contentious term for the Supreme Court with strong criticism of the justices’ decisions to significantly scale back the authority of the administrative state like federal agencies. Their decisions this term may cause lower courts, like the Fifth Circuit, to face a massive docket of cases to revise.

The gun cases make up just a small portion of those cases to revise.

Tuesday’s list of cases going back to lower courts also includes nine requests that relied upon the recently overturned 40-year precedent in Chevron v Natural Resources, a landmark case that gave federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and more the authority to defer to their own expertise when interpreting vague language.

Nine other cases are going back to the lower courts thanks to a ruling that found juries are required in criminal cases that invoke a law carrying minimum sentencings of 15 years.

The Supreme Court has agreed to take up only four cases in the next term, two of which are notable. One has to do with the FDA’s ban on flavored vapes and the other has to do with age verification requirements on websites containing sexual content.

Read the full article here

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