The Supreme Court on Monday issued a preliminary rejection of New York City’s motion to “moot” the lawsuit filed against them by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA). The case will be heard at Oral Arguments on December 2nd.
On July 22nd of this year, New York City filed a “suggestion of mootness” with the Supreme Court. In it, NYC argued that the case against them was “moot” due to a rule change. What does this mean? Essentially, NYC was asking the Supreme Court to toss the case. They based this argument on the grounds that the lawsuit was no longer relevant. Those readers who have been following the case may remember that NYC issued a rule change designed to do just that. By giving NYSRPA the bare minimum of what they asked for in the form of slightly loosened travel restrictions, NYC was hoping to kill the case.
Basically, imagine you have a neighbor, let’s call him Bill. Bill’s fence is 5 feet over the official property line. You decide to sue Bill to get him to move his fence. While you’re preparing to file the lawsuit, you realize that the official property line is wrong and that the fence is actually 10 feet onto your property. Bill knows this, and he moves the fence 5 feet back. Then he tells the judge that since he’s done that, he should throw out the case. After all, he’s moved his fence. This is a good, if imperfect, analogy for the sequence of events in NYSRPA vs. NYC. Today, the Judge told Bill he would not throw out the case.
However, the Judge also didn’t say Bill was totally wrong for asking. The exact wording of the order is: