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in a unanimous decision, the justices reversed a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming a Texas federal court’s grant of relief to a convicted felon who filed suit after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) declined to process his application for relief from the statute barring convicted felons from possessing firearms. United States v. Bean, No. 01-704. The court held that an actual decision by the ATF on the application was a prerequisite for judicial review. Thomas wrote the decision for the court.

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