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losing control of gun control

Supreme Court conservatives reportedly don't trust John Roberts for a 5th vote on gun rights cases

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' liberal streak reportedly has his fellow conservatives worried.

Roberts, once a reliable conservative vote, has recently sided with the court's liberals to give them a majority in several recent cases. That, combined with internal discussions on Second Amendment rights, has convinced the court's conservatives not to take up gun rights cases right now, CNN reports via people familiar with the justices' deliberations.

After Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement in 2018, Roberts has emerged as the de facto swing vote on the Supreme Court. His recent decision to block the Trump administration's attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program only solidified that status, as did his votes to strike down an abortion ban and block President Trump's claims of immunity from court and congressional subpoenas.

But it's what's happening behind the Supreme Court's closed doors that have conservative justices most worried. Just four justices need to agree to take on a new case, and with a conservative majority, it seems likely they would choose a firearms case that would expand Second Amendment rights. But they explicitly turned down a case regarding a gun control regulation in New York City in December and 10 other challenges to state gun control laws. That's because Roberts "sent enough signals during internal deliberations on firearms restrictions ... to convince fellow conservatives he would not provide a critical fifth vote anytime soon to overturn gun control regulations," CNN reports.

The fact that Supreme Court arguments have been happening remotely, with Roberts controlling which justices speak when, doesn't help their confidence. Read more at CNN.