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Supreme Court declines to rule on assault weapons bans

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday denied certiorari [order list, PDF] in two separate cases challenging bans on assault-style weapons. The court denied the appeals without comment, letting stand lower court rulings that had upheld the bans [JURIST report] as constitutional. The cases were Shew v. Malloy, concerning Connecticut's ban, and and Kampfer v. Cuomo [dockets], dealing with New York's ban. The Supreme Court has not taken a Second Amendment [text] case since the 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller and the 2010 follow-up decision in McDonald v. Chicago [JURIST reports].

Also Monday the court granted certiorari in two cases. In Jennings v. Rodriguez [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will address three questions concerning immigrant detention under 8 USC § 1225 and § 1226 [text]:

  1. Whether aliens seeking admission to the United States who are subject to mandatory detention under Section 1225(b) must be afforded bond hearings, with the possibility of release into the United States, if detention lasts six months.

  2. Whether criminal or terrorist aliens who are subject to mandatory detention under Section 1226(c) must be afforded bond hearings, with the possibility of release, if detention lasts six months.

  3. Whether, in bond hearings for aliens detained for six months under Sections 1225(b), 1226(c), or 1226(a), the alien is entitled to release unless the government demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the alien is a flight risk or a danger to the community; whether the length of the alien's detention must be weighed in favor of release; and whether new bond hearings must be afforded automatically every six months.

In National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc. [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will rule on presidential appointments. The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) provides for someone to fill a vacant role in an acting capacity. Section 3345(b) provides as a general rule that "[n]othwithstanding subsection (a)(1)," a person who is nominated to fill a vacant office that is subject to the FVRA may not perform the office's functions and duties in an acting capacity unless the person served as first assistant to the vacant office for at least 90 days in the year preceding the vacancy. The question presented is whether the precondition in 5 USC § 3345(b)(1) on service in an acting capacity by a person nominated by the President to fill the office on a permanent basis applies only to first assistants who take office under Subsection (a)(1) of 5 USC § 3345, or whether it also limits acting service by officials who assume acting responsibilities under Subsections (a)(2) and (a)(3).

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