The D.C. Office of the Attorney General had argued that Scullin shouldn’t have heard the case. Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement that the decision was “good news for public safety in the District of Columbia.”
“This ruling increases the likelihood that the case will be heard before a judge from our community—something that we have argued is crucial to understanding the public-safety issues at stake,” Racine said.
The case will go back to the district court for assignment to a new judge.
Lawyers for the city didn’t challenge Scullin’s assignment at the time the case was filed. The D.C. Circuit raised the issue on its own in September and asked the lawyers to file papers about whether Scullin was authorized to preside in Wrenn.
Gura asked Roberts to weigh in on the dispute over Scullin’s assignment, but a federal judiciary official replied earlier this month that because the case was pending in the D.C. Circuit, “no administrative action will be taken.”
In the Wrenn case, the plaintiffs challenged D.C. regulations that required individuals who wished to legally carry handguns in the District to show a “good reason” or “proper reason” for having the gun before they could get a license. The D.C. Circuit didn’t reach the question of whether that good cause requirement was constitutional.
Judges Nina Pillard and Laurence Silberman also heard the case.
Updated with comment from Attorney General Karl Racine.