On February 2, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (covering Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi) issued its decision in United States v. Rahimi, 59 F.4th 163 (5th Cir. 2023). The Court ruled that 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), which prohibits gun possession by people who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders, is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. On June 30, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the government’s petition for a writ of certiorari in the case. If upheld, Rahimi will have a significant impact on the assignment and enforcement of domestic violence protection orders across the country.
On August 21, 2023, AEquitas submitted an amicus brief in support of the U.S. government’s appeal of the Fifth Circuit’s decision. The brief underscores the dangers posed by domestic violence offenders, particularly those who have access to firearms; discusses the importance of civil protection order processes to keep victims safe and reduce opportunities for witness intimidation while a criminal prosecution is pending; supports the government’s arguments regarding the ample historical precedent for laws like §922(g)(8); and highlights other constitutional rights that are forfeited in the context of an individual’s wrongdoing.Agriculture’s Growing Problem