It has been said that politics makes for strange bedfellows, while at other times lawmakers are forced to stand by those they would normally be at odds with. Such may be the case with Hunter Biden, the deeply troubled son of President Joe Biden.
Even as Republicans in Congress have continued an investigation into the business dealings of Hunter Biden, and whether it involved his father while serving as vice president in the Obama administration, some will likely be watching carefully if the pending criminal case goes to the highest court in the land.
Though it isn’t certain that it will, some legal experts predict it could.
Hunter Biden’s Gun Charges
The younger Biden was indicted earlier this month on charges related to his purchase of a firearm, including lying on a form where he answered “no” to the question on the transaction record that specifically asked, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” Hunter Biden later acknowledged in his memoir “Beautiful Things” that he was struggling with crack cocaine addiction at the time of the purchase. Hunter Biden purchased a handgun at a Delaware gun shop and owned it for about 11 days.
It was the first time that federal criminal charges were brought against a child of a sitting president. It came after a plea deal over two misdemeanor tax offenses fell apart. That deal would have seen the gun charge dismissed, assuming Hunter Biden met the conditions of a pre-trail diversion agreement.
He is due to appear in federal court on October 3 and could face up to a decade in prison if convicted.
In a letter to the judge in the upcoming case, the Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, wrote that his client would plead not guilty. He has previously argued that the charges against Hunter Biden were politically motivated.
Joe Biden Has Been a Strong Supporter of Gun Control
The issue is tricky for a number of reasons. First, President Joe Biden has long been a strong supporter of gun control and has repeatedly called for stricter background checks. That could put the president at odds with his son – who would likely benefit from the conservative-leaning Supreme Court, whose rulings have supported the second amendment.
This fact hasn’t been lost on some lawmakers, who might expect that the court would find Hunter Biden’s charges to be unconstitutional.
“How are we supposed to feel if U.S. v Hunter Biden goes all the way to the Supreme Court and becomes a landmark pro 2nd Amendment decision, deeming large swaths of gun control screening or “background check” questions unconstitutional? Will we be cheering Hunter? Will the left all of a sudden accuse him of funneling bribes to Joe? Strange times may be ahead, man…,” wrote Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida from his personal account on X – the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
It was in August that a decision from the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit challenged the law barring users of illegal drugs from possessing firearms. It ruled that the Supreme Court’s decision last year in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc v Bruen essentially established a new standard for reviewing firearm regulations in a historical context, rendering the 1968 law unconstitutional, The Guardian reported.
“In short, our history and tradition may support some limits on an intoxicated person’s right to carry a weapon, but it does not justify disarming a sober citizen based exclusively on his past drug usage,” Judge Jerry Smith wrote in the ruling. “Nor do more generalized traditions of disarming dangerous persons support this restriction on nonviolent drug users.”
However, the fifth circuit oversees only Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi, and as a result, the decision will not have a direct impact on Hunter Biden’s case in Delaware. Yet, it could lay the groundwork for the case to head to the Supreme Court.
It was also in February that a federal judge in Oklahoma dismissed a case where the defendant was found to have a gun and marijuana as “unconstitutionally vague.”
If the case does reach the Supreme Court, it would certainly put President Biden in a strange and likely uncomfortable position.
“We could have the odd situation of the son of a president who is calling for stricter gun laws challenging these charges as violating his Second Amendment rights,” William “Widge” Devaney, a former federal prosecutor now practicing at Baker McKenzie, told USA Today. “Like any criminal defendant, he’s going to use the laws and the arguments available to him, regardless of what his personal beliefs may or may not be.”
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.