Samuel Alito’s new opinion shows he’s ‘feeling the heat’ – legal analyst

Legal analyst Harry Litman wrote on social media Friday that conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s new opinion on gun laws shows he is “feeling the strain.”

The decision in the case came 6-3 on Friday Garland v. CargillThe Supreme Court struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks. A bump stock is a gun accessory that allows AR-15-style rifles to fire automatically.

Alito, who voted against the ban along with the court’s five other conservative justices, explained his decision in a concurring opinion: “There is no other way to read the statutory language.”

The conservative judge added: “There is a simple remedy for the unequal treatment of bump stocks and machine guns. Congress can amend the law — and probably would have done so already if the A.T.F. [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] Congress stuck to its previous interpretation. Now that the situation is clear, Congress can take action.”

Meanwhile, the three liberals on the bench dissented.

Litman is a senior legal affairs columnist. Los Angeles Times And a former deputy assistant attorney general called Alito’s opinion “interesting” in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday.

Alito says that “the Vegas massacre was a tragedy, but only Congress can fix it. It’s the ‘I feel your pain’/’don’t hate me’ kind of opinion that I call it.” [Conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett] “Not Alito, but Kavanaugh. He probably feels pressured,” he wrote.

Newsweek Litman’s podcast Talking Feds was contacted via an online form for analyst comment, and the Supreme Court was contacted via an online form for Alito’s comment.

Garland v. Cargill The event focuses on the bump stock ban put in place after the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which a gunman fired more than 1,000 rounds into a crowd at a country music festival over 11 minutes. Sixty people were killed, and hundreds were injured.

Michael Cargill, a Texas gun shop owner, challenged the ban, arguing that the ATF overstepped its authority when it classified bump stocks as machine guns.

During the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies, the ATF said bump stocks, invented in the early 2000s, did not turn semiautomatic weapons into machine guns. But it changed its stance at Trump’s urging after the Las Vegas shooting and the 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

It’s unclear what Litman thinks Alito is “feeling the heat” for in his X post, but easy access to assault rifles has been a contentious issue as gun violence, including mass shootings, continues to plague the US. There have been 7,625 gun deaths so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks gun incidents in the United States. Of those gun deaths, 216 were due to mass shootings.

Meanwhile, Alito has also recently faced some criticism in an unrelated incident following the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

In May, the new York Times On January 17, 2021, a photo was published of an upside-down American flag taken outside Alito’s Virginia home.

The upside-down flag was flown 11 days after supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. The riot was sparked after Trump claimed the election was stolen from him through widespread voter fraud despite there being no evidence of that. Many of Trump’s supporters flew the American flag upside down as a sign of protest following his loss in the 2020 election.

Justice Alito said Times He said he “had no involvement in the flag flying,” and that while his wife had flown the flag upside down “for a period of time,” it was “in response to a neighbor’s use of offensive and personally insulting language on a yard sign.”

Alito was asked to recuse himself from any cases involving Trump and the Capitol riot. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on Trump’s claim of presidential immunity. Trump is facing four federal felony counts for his alleged actions connected to the Capitol riot. He has pleaded innocent and claims the case against him is politically motivated because he is a potential GOP presidential nominee. In April, the court heard arguments on Trump’s claim that he is immune from prosecution because he was still in office during the riot.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is seen in Washington, DC, on October 7, 2022. Legal analyst Harry Litman said on social media that Alito’s new opinion on gun legislation shows he is “feeling the heat.”

Alex Wong/Getty Images