August 17th, 2018
Glass v. Paxton
Opinion Date: August 16, 2018
Judge: Leslie Southwick
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of claims brought by University of Texas professors challenging a Texas law permitting the concealed carry of handguns on campus and a corresponding University policy prohibiting professors from banning such weapons in their classrooms. The court held that plaintiffs lacked standing to bring a First Amendment claim and rejected their claim of "standing based on their self-imposed censoring of classroom discussion caused by their fear of the possibility of illegal activity by persons not joined in this lawsuit." The court held that none of the cited evidence alleged a certainty that a license-holder would illegally brandish a firearm in a classroom, and thus the alleged harm was not certainly impending. The court also held that plaintiffs' claim that the Campus Carry Law and University policy violated the Second Amendment because firearm usage in their presence was not sufficiently "well regulated" was foreclosed by precedent. Finally, the court rejected plaintiffs' claim that the law and policy violated their right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment because the University lacks a rational basis for determining where students can or cannot concealed-carry handguns on campus. The court held that plaintiffs failed to address Texas's arguments concerning rational basis.
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