Supreme Court agrees non-violent misdemeanor crimes may not strip 2A rights
By Chris Eger
The nation’s high court on Monday let stand a ruling against the government in the combined cases of two men blocked from gun possession after run-ins that resulted in convictions for non-serious crimes.
This week, the court declined to take up an appeal sought by the Obama-era Justice Department in the cases of Binderup v. the U.S. Attorney General and Suarez v. the U.S. Attorney General. Four Justices were needed to grant the petition but only two, Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor, felt the court should hear the case.
Last September, a 15-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pennsylvania disagreed 8-7, siding with Binerup and Suarez in a lengthy 174-page decision. In the end, that panel cited the relatively minor sentences passed on the two men as the reason to disregard their crimes as being serious enough to void their gun rights.
Binderup pleaded guilty in 1996 in Pennsylvania to a misdemeanor charge of corrupting a minor — a 17-year-old he was in a relationship with — to which he received three years’ probation and a $300 fine rather than the maximum of five years in prison.
Suarez pleaded guilty in 1990 to unlawfully carrying a handgun without a license