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Thread: Supreme Court Conferencing On DC 2A Case Totday

  1. #1
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    These guys have the power.

    I hope they take the case. It's time.

    Supreme Court gun-control case could be landmark

    By Michael Doyle

    Seattle Times
    McClatchy Newspapers

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court takes aim at gun control today, in a private conference that soon could explode publicly.

    The high court's nine justices will consider taking a case that challenges the District of Columbia's stringent handgun ban. Their decision will shape how far other cities and states can go with their own gun restrictions.

    "If the court decides to take this up, it's very likely it will end up being the most important Second Amendment case in history," said Dennis Henigan, legal director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

    Henigan predicted "it's more likely than not" that the necessary four justices will vote to consider the case. The court will announce its decision Tuesday, and oral arguments could be heard next year.

    The District of Columbia bans possession of handguns but permits possession of other firearms if they're disassembled or stored with trigger locks.

    States assemble arguments

    Lawyers already are swarming.

    Texas, Florida and 11 other states weighed in earlier on behalf of gun owners who are challenging D.C.'s strict gun laws. New York and three other states want the gun restrictions upheld. Pediatricians filed a brief supporting the ban. A Northern California gun dealer, Russell Nordyke, filed a brief opposing it.

    The full text of the Second Amendment says, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    Gun-control advocates say this means the government can limit firearms ownership as part of its power to regulate the militia. Gun ownership is cast as a collective right, with the government organizing armed citizens to protect homeland security.

    "The Second Amendment permits reasonable regulation of firearms to protect public safety and does not guarantee individuals the absolute right to own the weapons of their choice," New York and the three other states declared in an amicus brief.

    Gun-control critics contend that the "well-regulated militia" business is beside the point and say the Constitution protects an individual's right to possess guns.

    "The right to keep and bear arms should be understood in light of the many reasons that the founding generation of Americans valued that right, including hunting and self-defense," Texas, Florida and the 11 other states declared in a competing amicus brief. Washington state is not a party to the case.

    Ban rejected on appeal

    Last March, a divided appellate court panel sided with the individual-rights interpretation and threw out the D.C. handgun ban.

    "The right to keep and bear arms was not created by the government, but rather preserved by it," Judge Laurence Silberman wrote for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

    The ruling clashed with other appellate courts, creating the kind of appellate-circuit split that the Supreme Court likes to resolve. The ruling obviously stung D.C. officials, but it perplexed gun-control advocates. If D.C. officials tried to salvage their gun-control law by appealing to the Supreme Court — as they then did — they could give the court's conservative majority a chance to undermine gun-control laws nationwide. "There is a lot at risk," Henigan acknowledged.

    Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia have indicated sympathy for the individual-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment. Others have been coy about the amendment's scope.

    "People try to read into the tea leaves ... but that's still very much an open issue," Chief Justice John Roberts said during his 2005 Senate confirmation hearing.

    The high court last considered such a direct challenge to Second Amendment interpretation in the 1939 case United States v. Miller. The court upheld the conviction of a bank robber for carrying a sawed-off shotgun across state lines, finding no evidence, the opinion said, "that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense."

  2. #2
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    Dumfries, Virginia, USA

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    Any news on this? Been looking at all the major outlets for some word and haven't seen any. Most seem to be covering the OJ trial like a hawk tho...

    If anyone gets word about this, if just to say that oral's were presented and the Justices will render a decision in 6 years.

    Hope you all have a great holiday weekend. I'm off to attempt to OC from VA to NC without getting arrested. SC is a no OC state from what I understand so it's going in the trunk.


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