SCOTUS Grants Cert In VanDerStok Case

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari in Garland v. VanDerStok today. It was one of two cases granted certiorari in the Order List released this morning. The case was a challenge to the ATF’s “frames and receivers” rule published in 2022. The Second Amendment Foundation as an intervenor had won the case in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Justice Department appealed their loss to the Supreme Court.

As Lauren Hill of SAF noted to me in an email this morning, this will mark the second time SAF will argue a case in the Supreme Court following their win the McDonald v. City of Chicago.

There were only two amicus briefs filed in this case before it was granted certiorari. Both were in favor of the Supreme Court taking the case. One was filed by a number of anti-gun attorney generals. Sadly, this included Josh Stein, AG of North Carolina, who is the Democrat nominee for governor. The other amicus brief was by a coalition of the gun prohibitionist groups including Everytown, Brady, Giffords, and March for Our Lives. I anticipate that there will be a slew of amicus briefs filed on both sides now that cert has been granted.

SCOTUS Grants Stay On VanDerStok

By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court extended the stay on the Northern District of Texas’ injunction on the BATFE’s frames or receivers rule. The stay had been requested by the Solicitor General in an emergency request to the Supreme Court. The stay keeps the rule in place. It will be lifted only when the 5th Circuit makes a final disposition of the case or if certiorari is denied assuming an appeal to the SCOTUS.

The four justices who would have lifted the stay are Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Thomas. Justice Barrettt, unfortunately sided with the liberals on the Court as did the Chief Justice.

The order from the Court is below:


VanDerStok was a big win and one hopes that it will continue to be a win.

Note: Blogging may be slow this week as we are visiting relatives.

ATF Gets Stay On VanDerStok Injunction (Update)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives was successful in getting an administrative stay in VanDerStok v. Garland from the Supreme Court. Judge Reed O’Connor had granted a nationwide injunction against the implementation of the ATF’s frame or receiver rule. He had determined it was in “excess of their statutory jurisdiction”.

As might be expected, ATF and the Department of Justice appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals which refused to grant a stay of Judge O’Connor’s order. The 5th Circuit said the ATF had not “demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits, nor irreparable harm in the absence of a stay.” The 5th Circuit still will be hearing ATF’s appeal of Judge O’Connor’s final order.

Yesterday, the ATF and DOJ filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court to receive a stay while the case is under appeal. This would mean the Final Rule would still remain in effect while it was being appealed.

Today, Justice Alito granted an administrative stay until August 4th at 5pm.

UPON CONSIDERATION of the application of counsel for the applicants,

IT IS ORDERED that the June 30, 2023 order and July 5, 2023 final judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, case No. 4:22-cv-691, are hereby administratively stayed until 5 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, August 4, 2023. It is further ordered that any response to the application be filed on or before Wednesday, August 2, 2023, by 5 p.m. (EDT)

Well, crap!

I am sure the attorneys for the Firearms Policy Coalition as well as DOJ are working hard to craft their responses as I write.

UPDATE: Attorney and law professor Mark Smith of The Four Boxes Diner has an explanation of what happened yesterday. The administrative stay was requested by the Solicitor General and the SCOTUS usually grants these without question. Bottom line is that we shouldn’t panic.