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Ruling in Case That Broke Clarence Thomas' Silence

SCOTUS declines to open gun access for misdemeanor domestic violence
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2016 1:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – Clarence Thomas broke a decade of silence when the case was being heard, and now, a ruling: The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that even those convicted of reckless, rather than intentional, domestic abuse can be denied gun-ownership rights under a federal ban. The case involved two Maine men who said their guilty pleas for hitting their partners (which led to misdemeanor abuse convictions, per the AP) should not disqualify them from owning a gun. In a 6-2 opinion by Elena Kagan, the justices rejected their claims. The Wall Street Journal reports that the case's notoriety ratcheted up after Thomas' questions, and he issued what USA Today calls a "blistering dissent" (he was joined by Sonia Sotomayor).

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It reads in part: "In construing the statute before us expansively so that causing a single minor reckless injury or offensive touching can lead someone to lose his right to bear arms forever, the court continues to relegate the Second Amendment to a second-class right." (Read more US Supreme Court stories.)

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