This year, for the first time in nearly a decade, the Supreme Court will return to the subject of the Second Amendment. New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. (NYSRPA) v. City of New York concerns a New York City licensing regime that, at the time the Court granted review, prohibited the transportation of any firearm outside city limits. (The City subsequently changed its licensing regime, perhaps in an effort to make the case go away before the Court could rule on the merits. It is unclear, at the time we write, whether that tactic will succeed.) Although most popular attention will focus on the outcome of the case, the long-term significance of NYSRPA could be how the justices arrive at that outcome, for NYSRPA poses a challenge to what has become a familiar feature of American constitutional law: the tiers of scrutiny.
Joel Alicea & John D. Ohlendorf, Against the Tiers of Constitutional Scrutiny, 41 NAT’L AFF. 72 (2019).