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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is calling bullshit on her conservative colleagues’ rationale for throwing out a 2018 ban on bump stocks, the device used to modify the gun used in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting—the deadliest in modern U.S. history. The Trump administration reclassified guns with bump stocks as machine guns, thereby banning the device’s use under a 1934 law that heavily restricts access to machine guns.

In Sotomayor’s dissent in Garland v. Cargill, which Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson and Elena Kagan joined, she called out how her conservative colleagues had basically bent over backwards to redefine the legal definition of a “machine gun.” She noted that these linguistic gymnastics  are particularly galling given how much conservative jurists claim to prize textualism—a theory that stresses adhering closely to the plain text of the law and to the ordinary meaning of words.

To drive the point home, Sotomayor came with receipts: She quoted past opinions where each one of […]

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