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In a 6-2 ruling, the Supreme Court decided against easing gun ownership restrictions for misdemeanor domestic violence offenders, even if the offense was a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony. The case, Voisine et. al. v. United States was presented by two men from Maine who argued that their past domestic violence convictions should not prevent them from legally owning a firearm.
Justices Elena Kagan, John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Samuel Alito Jr. agreed that the ban should stay in place. Justices Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, according to the majority opinion on the case, written by Justice Kagan.
The two men argued that because their convictions were the result of "reckless" rather than "intentional" violence in the home, they should retain their right to own a gun. However, the majority of the Supreme Court ruled that there is no Constitutional exception for reckless or unintentional violence when it comes to violent offenders and the right to gun ownership.
This case garnered a fair deal of attention when Justice Thomas, who barely ever speaks from the bench and hadn't in fact uttered a word for a decade, asked several questions while SCOTUS was hearing arguments in this case, the Wall Street Journal reported. In his dissent, where he was joined by Justice Sotomayor pertaining to the first and second sections of the dissenting argument, Thomas argued that because the men had not acted violently on purpose, there was no need to strip them of their gun ownership rights.
The gun ownership ruling was the second major decision the Court handed down on Monday, when SCOTUS also ruled to strike down Texas's HB2 abortion restriction law.