With less than two weeks left in office, President Obama’s solicitor general, Ian Gershengorn, filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to review a September 7, 2016 decision from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
In the cases Daniel Binderup and Julio Suarez (heard together by the Court of Appeals), the appellate court ruled that Second Amendment rights may be restored to certain individuals who have completed their jail sentences. Federal law currently prohibits many classes of former convicts from possessing firearms.
Binderup and Suarez were convicted back in the 1990’s of non-violent misdemeanors and successfully petitioned the State of Pennsylvania to remove a state law that disqualified them from possessing firearms. However, federal law still prohibited possession because the convictions were punishable by more than two years. (Binderup had received a 3-year probated sentence and Suarez received a suspended 180 day sentence).
In essence, the Court of Appeals ruled that the federal firearm disqualification violated the Second Amendment rights of these two individuals.
There is a good possibility that the Supreme Court will take up the case considering the 3rd Circuit Court was divided over a number of questions in their ruling, and the case involves exceptions to a rule.
However, the petition can be withdrawn when President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20 and appoints a new solicitor general. – by Michael Wisdom, Senior Contributing Editor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield Blog