WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation signals a SCOTUS shift to the right on guns. By a 52-48 vote margin in the Senate, the conservative favorite replaces the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As we’ve reported here, Barrett’s only major gun case as a federal judge was Kanter v. Barr, in which she wrote a dissent arguing that there is no historical precedent for banning guns because of felony status. During her confirmation hearing, Barrett fleshed out her philosophy and said she would prioritize “original meaning” in gun cases. As we’ve written, that approach to the Second Amendment prioritizes “history and tradition” over public safety concerns in determining the constitutionality of gun restrictions. Legal experts have told us it’s a standard some gun safety laws may not survive. However Barrett rules on gun cases in the future, the fact of a 6-3 conservative majority makes it far more likely the court will vote to hear more gun cases.
An unrepentant Wayne LaPierre warns of an NRA under siege. Unlike last year, no eruption of infighting threatened the gun group’s boss as he spoke Saturday at the Annual Meeting of Members, which took place in Tucson, Arizona. Pointing to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is seeking to dissolve the National Rifle Association, LaPierre described his organization as under attack from “gun-ban politicians.” He told the small crowd, which was limited because of COVID-19 restrictions, that he was ready to fight. “Let me tell you right here and right now and for the record, in front of this whole country, we will not submit, we will not give an inch, we will not surrender our freedom,” he said. LaPierre made no reference to recent news that the Internal Revenue Service is investigating him for possible tax fraud. —Will Van Sant, staff writer.
Illinois mayor pledges to release footage of Black teenager fatally shot by police. Waukegan’s mayor, Sam Cunningham, offered no definitive timeframe for the release except that it would occur only after Marcellis Stinette’s family viewed it first. During a traffic stop last week, an officer fatally shot Stinette and seriously wounded his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, who was allegedly backing up their car when the officer fired. The officer was subsequently terminated because of “multiple policy and procedure violations,” and the FBI and State Police are investigating the incident. The shooting has led to days of protests, and family and friends held a vigil over the weekend.
Feds seek more time to decide whether further charges are warranted against Michigan plotters. In a court filing first reported by The Detroit Free Press, federal prosecutors said they found “firearms and explosive device components” that could merit additional indictments against the six men charged in a conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Eight other men involved in the alleged plot were charged with state crimes.
A spate of fatal shootings of teens roils Baltimore. Last week, 16-year-old Jaheem Atkins was the fifth person under 20 to be killed in two weeks, and one of 31 homicides this year in that age group. Caryn York, CEO of the Job Opportunities Task Force in Baltimore, decried the lack of a city plan to deal with the root causes of gun violence. She told The Baltimore Sun, “It is easier for young people in West Baltimore where the young man was killed to get a gun than it is to get food.”
At least $2 billion — how much police misconduct settlements have cost the 20 U.S. cities and counties with the largest forces since 2015. New York City accounted for just over half the total amount. [The Wall Street Journal]