NYC Mootness Argument Denied – NYSRPA Case Going to Oral Argument

    New York

    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.

    What happened?

    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.

    An Analogy

    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.

    The Order

    However, the Judge also didn’t say Bill was totally wrong for asking. The exact wording of the order is:

    The Respondents’ Suggestion of Mootness is denied. The question of mootness will be subject to further consideration at oral argument, and the parties should be prepared to discuss it

    As you can see, the Supreme Court is willing to entertain the idea that NYC has rendered the case moot. However, they want the argument made in person, while discussing all of the relevant facts of the case.

    I am hoping to be able to attend the oral arguments in DC. With any luck, the next update on this case from me will be after the arguments themselves.

    Benjamin is a student in Massachusetts, where he is getting his Master’s in Criminology. He is originally from Virginia, where he was introduced to firearms at summer camp when he was thirteen. Ever since his first shot with a .22LR bolt-action he has been in love with shooting sports. He is a moderator on the TFB Discord, which can be found at https://discord.gg/bcVD9zw. On reddit he can be found under /u/HuskyCriminologist.


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