Supreme Court could give Hunter Biden path to reverse conviction

 June 12, 2024

Hunter Biden's conviction for illegal gun possession has raised the faint possibility that the conservative Supreme Court will come to his rescue.

The top court is expected to issue a ruling on a major gun case this term that could provide a pathway for Hunter to appeal, CNN reported.

It's an ironic possibility since Biden's father has furiously attacked the conservative court as reactionary and extreme, citing its rulings on guns and abortion.

The Supreme Court and Hunter

The Supreme Court's 2022 ruling in Bruen upended gun control regimes nationwide by establishing a new test - namely, that gun restrictions have to be rooted in the nation's "historic tradition."

In the case US v. Daniels, an appeals court last year cited Bruen to rule that a federal ban on drug addicts owning guns cannot stand.

The ruling did not impact Biden's trial, which fell under the jurisdiction of a different appeals court, but Biden's lawyers cited it while trying to have the case dismissed.

The judge rejected Biden's Second Amendment challenges, and he was found guilty on three felony counts after a brief trial where jurors were shown evidence of his drug abuse. But that's not the end of the story.

The case US v. Rahimi concerns a man who lost his gun license after being issued a restraining order for domestic violence.

Hunter's path forward

The Supreme Court appeared inclined to rule against Rahimi during oral arguments. Still, the case could work in the favor of someone like Hunter, who was convicted of lying on a gun form.

"The key issue may be where the Court ultimately draws the line of dangerousness––that is, whether false swearing on a form is an appropriate proxy for classifying a gun buyer as a danger and thus a potential felon," Michael McAuliffe said.

While Hunter is not accused of any violence, Rahimi allegedly shot his gun into the air at a fast-food restaurant.

The courts may decide that gun bans like the one Hunter violated are limited to "people who are found to be dangerous in some way," Jacob Charles, a law professor at Pepperdine University, said.

At some point, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Daniels case, which could also grease the skids for Hunter's appeal.

There is also speculation about a pardon from Hunter's father. The White House declined to rule out commuting Biden's sentence, days after Joe Biden said he would not pardon his son.

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