This statement represents the commonly-held personal views of the seven partners of Ford O'Brien Landy LLP, and no employee of the firm was asked to endorse this statement in advance of its publication.
NEW YORK, June 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The partners of Ford O'Brien Landy LLP share in the tremendous outrage of the majority of Americans over the recent Supreme Court decisions in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen and Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Bruen struck down a century-old New York State law requiring citizens to establish a special need for self-protection in order to carry a concealed weapon, and Dobbs overturned the 50-year-old precedent set in Roe v. Wade granting women autonomy to make their own health care decisions.
In Bruen, the Supreme Court for the first time held that an individual has a constitutional right to carry a concealed firearm outside of their home, expanding gun owners' rights under the guise of the Second Amendment in an unprecedented way. In Dobbs, on the other hand, the Supreme Court for the first time in this nation's history eliminated a previously recognized individual constitutional right. We reject the twisted priorities endorsed by these decisions, that the Constitution prevents New York from enacting a law requiring an individual to establish a need to carry a concealed firearm, but fails to recognize a woman's right to make perhaps the most profound decision of her life: whether or not to bear a child.
As a law firm based in New York City and Austin, Texas, we are gravely concerned about the impact of both of these decisions on our communities. In our view, the Bruen decision, which invalidated a law that has been in place in New York for a century, is not mandated by the Constitution, and it will increase the probability that innocent New Yorkers will fall victim to gun violence while failing to promote public safety. The Second Amendment, by its plain language, speaks of the need for a well-regulated militia to provide for security of a free state, and was intended by its drafters to ensure that there be a counterweight to a professional standing federal army (which was considered a threat to state sovereignty in the late 18th century). Contrary to the drafters' express goal, Bruen imperils the security of the free State of New York, by striking down a long-standing regulation that both protected the lives of its citizens and those of law enforcement.
We are also gravely concerned about the ramifications of Dobbs on all citizens. More than half of the states in the U.S. have already banned or are likely to ban abortion, and many of those bans have criminal penalties, including Texas. Other states are poised to enact or expand restrictions that could still make abortions difficult to obtain — including bans on the procedure after a certain point in pregnancy including just six weeks, bans based on the patient's reason for the procedure, limits on the distribution of abortion pills, mandatory waiting periods, and more. And we know that these measures will disproportionately impact low-income women, women of color, and victims of sexual and other violence. And we also know that these measures will not actually eradicate abortion, but will result in women and girls seeking unsafe abortions, further putting them in harm's way.
But the precedent set by the Court could lead to stripping away more rights than just a woman's right to choose. The rationale employed by the Court is plainly intended to be used to reconsider (with an eye towards revoking or limiting) the Court's prior recognitions of other civil and human rights, such as the decriminalization of same-sex relationships, the right of same-sex couples to marry, and access to safe and effective forms of contraception. The notion that the United States, in the name of constitutional restraint, would embark on a campaign of eliminating settled rights and expectations of its citizens is anathema to the meaning and ideals of our nation and its place in the world.
Whatever a person's individual views about guns may be, we believe the Second Amendment was never intended to confer an individual right to carry concealed weapons without any ability by the state to impose reasonable restrictions aimed at protecting the public. And, whatever a person's individual views about abortion may be, we believe that the Constitution confers equal rights on all Americans to make their own individual health care decisions, and thus confers on women the ability to make their personal choices with dignity, to make medically-necessary and often heart-wrenching decisions in consultation with their health care providers, and to determine their own destiny, without state coercion.
The partners of Ford O'Brien Landy LLP remain committed to the fight against the unabashedly political motivations of these decisions, to the fight for the imposition of much needed public safety legislation to reduce the number of firearms on our streets, and for the return of the rights granted to Americans under Roe. As a result, we have donated $10,000 to Everytown for Gun Safety and $10,000 to the National Network of Abortion Funds.
The members of Ford O'Brien Landy LLP
Adam C. Ford
Matthew Aaron Ford
Noah D. Genel
Renée L. Jarusinsky
Robert S. Landy
Kevin J. O'Brien
For further information contact:
Ford O'Brien Landy LLP
275 Madison Avenue, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: + 1 (212) 858-0040
Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Ford O'Brien Landy LLP is a limited liability partnership formed in the State of New York.
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