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Thread: DC vs Heller

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    http://revolutionradio.org/2007/11/07/for-non-gun-owners-heller-v-dc-and-2a-in-a-nutshell/

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    Excellent article. Thanks for sharing.

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    http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/a...ond_amendment/

    The U.S. Supreme Court had not even decided whether Â*to take the case when National Rifle Association lobbyist Wayne LaPierre fired off the distress flare:

    “The biggest Second Amendment court battle in history is about to begin—one that will have a huge impact on you, your children and every other American gun owner for generations to come,” LaPierre wrote in an August fundraising letter to the NRA’s 4.3 million members. “And I’m not exaggerating a bit.”

    He’s probably right there.

    The NRA wants money—lots of it—to make sure the District of ColumÂ*bia’s handgun ban stays buried good and deep. That’s where an appeals court left it after an unprecedented decision early this year that killed it as a violation of the Second AmendÂ*ment’s right to keep and bear arms.

    The decision on March 9 by a split panel of the U.S. Court of ApÂ*peals for the District of Columbia Circuit marked the first time that a fedÂ*eral appellate court used the amendment to invalidate a gun-control regulation.

    The district has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to resurrect the city ordinance containing the ban, which also requires owners to secure rifles and shotguns with trigger locks or keep them disassembled. District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290. The justices are expected to decide by early November whether to accept the case. It may give the court the clearest chance ever to say once and for all whether the Second AmendÂ*ment protects an individual’s right to own guns, as the D.C. Circuit held, or merely affords states a way to arm their militias, as nearly every other court to consider the issue has concluded.


    If the tone of LaPierre’s letter didn’t sound urgent enough, he used plenty of underlined boldface type and capital letters to drive home his point. He told the faithful a top-notch brief may cost as much as $1.2 million.

    “For gun owners and NRA members, this is the biggest legal battle that we have ever fought, or will ever fight—and its outcome will probably impact every law-abiding American gun owner,” LaPierre wrote in the five-page letter. “It is a battle we simply cannot afford to lose.”

    Here’s where LaPierre heads into a wrong turn: It’s not an NRA case. In fact, the gun rights supporters who filed it complain that lawyers working for the NRA, concerned the case could backfire, spent considerable time and money trying to scuttle it. The association finally was dragged kicking and screaming before the Supreme Court after the prospect of review appeared more likely than it has in years.

    “They recognized this was a good case and D.C. was the perfect place,” says plaintiffs lawyer Robert A. Levy, a senior fellow at Washington’s libertarian Cato Institute. “That’s what concerned them.”

    Levy, who is bankrolling and pushing Heller to the Supreme Court out of his own pocket and on his own time, says the NRA first sent two lawyers to try to dissuade him from filing the case. After that failed, Levy says the NRA tried to hijack the case by filing a competing case, then trying to consolidate the two.

    To boot, Levy says, the NRA supports congressional legislation to repeal the gun ban, which could render Heller moot. He also wonders why the NRA waited more than 25 years to challenge the 1976 D.C. ordinance.

    BREAKING A CASE

    NRA lawyers say they’re engaged in nothing more than prudent case selection in much the same way the NAACP incrementally approached civil rights litigation—one baby step at a time.

    But although they fought the Heller plaintiffs at the onset, the NRA ultimately couldn’t stay away. Its leadÂ*ers just can’t afford to let members and contributors see them get cold feet after years of waiting for a Second Amendment case to reach the Supreme Court, confides one lawyer who regÂ*ularly represents the association as outside counsel.

    Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesÂ*man at NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., declined comment on the case. However, he says, the NRA continues to support legislative repeal, first proposed in 2003 but given little chance of passage before the Supreme Court decides what to do with Heller. The association also filed an amicus brief in the D.C. Circuit supporting the Heller plaintiffs, and it intends to file another in the Supreme Court if the justices grant cert, he says.

    Arulanandam also says he believes the NRA previously had gone to court against the district, perhaps during the ban’s early days, but he was unable to provide details. The first challenges came to the D.C. Circuit only recently in Levy’s case, 478 F.3d 370 (March 9), and in the NRA-sponsored competitor, which the appeals court pitched for standing. Seegars v. Gonzales, 396 F.3d 1248 (2005).

    “We’ve been involved in this isÂ*sue longer than anyone else,” says ArulananÂ*dam. “For anyone else to say they have an exclusive right to this issue is extremely arrogant. As long as there’s been a gun ban in the District of Columbia, we’ve been involved.”

    But it’s not the first time the NRA and other gun rights advocates have found themselves at cross-purposes. A California gun rights lawyer gripes that the NRA argued against him and his clients in 2003 in their challenge to the state’s bar on assault weapons, only to switch sides and use the same argument to support the plaintiffs when they asked the Supreme Court to take the case.

    Like Heller, the case of Silveira v. Lockyer, 312 F.3d 1052 (9th Cir. 2002), was regarded at the time as nearly a sure bet for cert. Lead plaintiffs lawyer Gary W. Gorski of Sacramento, Calif., recalls NRA lawyer Chuck Michel asking for a copy of his brief as Michel prepared to ask the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco to hear the case after a panel rejected his arguments to lift the ban.

    “He said he wanted to file a supporting brief,” Gorski recalls, “then he files this thing trying to shoot me down.”

    FRETTING BILATERALLY

    Though the NRA champions individual ownership under the Second Amendment, its critics say the association shares one concern with gun-control advocates: Both fear that a definitive Supreme Court statement against them on the Second AmendÂ*ment would cripple, if not kill, their causes.

    “The NRA wants to be the one to define the meaning of the Second Amendment,” says Josh Sugarman, executive director for the anti-gun Violence Policy Center in WashingÂ*ton. Sugarman’s 1992 book, National Rifle Association: Money, Firepower & Fear, is widely regarded as one of the most authoritative histories of the organization.

    “They don’t want the Supreme Court to do it, because the [NRA view] is good for [the fundraising] business.”

    Discouraging freelance plaintiffs is important to the NRA, whose lawyers worry they tend to file complaints that throw multiple theories against the wall to see what sticks. Such cases can hurt the larger cause, the lawyers say, because they increase the risk of setting unfavorable precedents that may be difficult to undo over time. In California, they call such plaintiffs “orange robers,” says NRA lawyer Michel—a reference to the brightly clad Buddhist monks who torched themselves on Saigon streets during the 1960s in futile demonstrations against the Vietnam War.

    “At the end of the protest, they’re dead,” says Michel, who, as amicus for the NRA-affiliated California Rifle and Pistol Association, filed the brief arguing against standing for Gorski’s clients in Silveira.

    “When you’re trying to litigate on some principle, you don’t want to clog the case up with tangential issues,” says Michel, who practices in Long Beach. “You want to make the case as simple as possible.”

    Besides a Second Amendment issue, Silveira presented a hodgepodge of other causes of action under section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 and the First, Fifth and 14th amendments. They included a takings claim and violations of equal protection, privacy and assoÂ*ciational rights.

    Though the appeals panel produced the most extensive judicial discussion of the Second Amendment to date, it went for the collective militia right and then booted the individual plaintiffs for lack of standing.

    Yet another NRA lawyer took the same argument Michel made against the plaintiffs and used it to support them in their unsuccessful request to persuade the Supreme Court to hear the case. Michel says the California group and the national association have different boards and don’t march in a policy lockstep. Just the same, NRA headquarters praised Michel’s earlier work in a press release announcing its Supreme Court Silveira brief.

    Much more at http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/a...ond_amendment/

    Commentary at http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007...d-amendment-2/



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    http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/...111090069/1004


    The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce by Tuesday whether it will hear the District"s appeal of a federal court ruling that lifted the city"s ban on handguns.

    The high court"s decision, which could come as early as today, may signal the end of the 30-year-old ban, considered to be among the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. I

    f the court denies the appeal, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will issue an injunction that will stop the District from enforcing some laws that ban residents from owning and registering handguns, city officials said yesterday.

    The instructions to issue the injunction would come quickly, officials said. But the process of crafting the injunction could take weeks depending on whether the court writes the injunction independently or develops one based on input from the parties involved in the case.

    If the Supreme Court decides to hear the District"s case, which D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer called a matter of "life and death," it will mark the first time that the court will rule directly on the Second Amendment since 1939.

    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."

    Mrs. Singer said in September that the case would take about a year to resolve in the Supreme Court.

    The District in September appealed a March ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that found restricting residents from keeping guns in their homes is unconstitutional.

    The Circuit Court"s ruling overturned a decision in U.S. District Court against six D.C. residents who in 2003 sued the city to keep handguns in their home for protection.

    The ban has remained in effect through the appeals process at the request of the city.

    Legalizing handguns in the District is opposed by D.C. officials who say that crime in the District will rise if the ban is removed.

    "An easily concealable handgun is a criminal"s weapon of choice," D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said at a September press conference. "More handguns means more gun violence."

    Brian Siebel, senior attorney with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said the center will file a brief in support of the city if the Supreme Court takes the case.

    "You don"t need to go further than reading the Second Amendment to see the Parker case got it wrong," Mr. Siebel said. "They interpreted that the first 13 words have no purpose whatsoever."

    During the summer, representatives of the Brady Center advised D.C. officials against appealing the ruling, saying they worried that the Supreme Court could make a decision that would set a precedent to overturn gun restrictions in other jurisdictions.

    The National Rifle Association is waiting for the Supreme Court"s decision to decide how and whether it will take action in the case.

    "I think we"re all biting our nails on this," NRA spokeswoman Rachel Parsons said. "Right now, we just want to get through this decision."

    The handgun ban, enacted in 1976 to combat a growing number of gun crimes, prohibits residents from owning handguns unless they were registered before the act took effect. Rifles and shotguns are legal, but they must be kept unloaded and disassembled.
    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. LAB/NRA/GOP *******

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    So... if the Supreme Court declines to hear the case; that's good for our cause right? It would mean the ban would be lifted sooner.

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    dngreer wrote:
    So... if the Supreme Court declines to hear the case; that's good for our cause right? It would mean the ban would be lifted sooner.
    In the long run it would be better if the Supreme Court took the case and then affirmed the Circuit Court's ruling. If the Court denies cert for Heller (formerly Parker), the DC ban will still be overturned but the split in the circuits remains: both the DC and 5th Circuit's have ruled that the 2nd Amendment supports an individual right, whereas almost every other circuit supports a collective right. Because of this split the Supreme Court will undoubtedly hear a 2A case sometime in the not-so-distant future.

    Heller is such a simple and pure 2A case that it would be better (IMO) if the Court heard it, rather than some future and possible convoluted 2A case. Which is basically what happened with Miller (United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939)), a very sloppy 2A case that has been screwing up 2A case law for almost the past seventy years.

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    Good points.

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    "An easily concealable handgun is a criminal"s weapon of choice," D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said at a September press conference. "More handguns means more gun violence."

    Then, why did they vote in the assault weapons ban? Why is it back on the table? I have a lot of trouble concealing an AK-47 with a 40 round magazine.:shock:

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    Legalizing handguns in the District is opposed by D.C. officials who say that crime in the District will rise if the ban is removed.

    "An easily concealable handgun is a criminal"s weapon of choice," D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said at a September press conference. "More handguns means more gun violence."
    I have to disagree with the D.C. officials and the Mayor when it comes to crime in D.C. and more handguns, more gun violence statement. Criminals will be criminals; law abiding citizens that want to protect themselves from criminals will be (and should be able to do) just that. I can say (by statistics) it is quite the opposite in VA. D.C. residents and non-residents are not given the opportunity to protect themselves from criminals in D.C. I lived in Chicago for several years and got robbed twice (once at gunpoint), and, I say that if I was able to CC, things would have been different. I hope that common sense prevails and there will come a time that I can have the opportunity to protect myself in D.C. (and Chicago)!!

    2nd Amendment.........Use it...........Or, lose it!!:X
    The 2nd Amendment... brought to you by Beretta and the number 1791!!

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    WOW! the NRA spokeswoman sure blistered the paint with those remarks! Such strong language in defense of the 2nd Amendment! With that kind of help we'll be disarmed by Christmas.

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    AtackDuck wrote:
    WOW! the NRA spokeswoman sure blistered the paint with those remarks!Â* Such strong language in defense of the 2nd Amendment! With that kind of help we'll be disarmed by Christmas.
    She may have said more and just not of been quoted on it.

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    Not that I could find using Scroogle Scraper.

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    Well, the NRA finally stopped calling me asking for money. I told them that every time they called asking for money, I would send a donation, but not to them.

    Those donations went to the GOA and to the Ron Paul for president campaign.

    Guess they finally decided that their calls were counter productive to their purpose.

    Ironic isn't it?

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    For those closely following the D.C. gun ban case in the U.S. Supreme Court, this is a concise background and analysis of the case. Hope to hear if it is granted tomorrow or sometime this week. Stay tuned.

    http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=DC_v._Heller

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    'Granted' would be quite a Veterans Day gift. Maybe leading to a Veterans' Safety Act analogous to LEOSA. Now there's an idea!

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. LAB/NRA/GOP *******

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    We should hear the Cert decision sometime tommorrow

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    BarryKirk wrote:
    Well, the NRA finally stopped calling me asking for money.Â* I told them that every time they called asking for money, I would send a donation, but not to them.

    Those donations went to the GOA and to the Ron Paul for president campaign.

    Guess they finally decided that their calls were counter productive to their purpose.Â*

    Ironic isn't it?

    Well, if they'd quit compromising our rights away, I might join them.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    Very good article.

    We are starting to get a lot of Heller threads on OCDO, it's kind of getting hard to keep up with them all!

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    AbNo wrote:
    BarryKirk wrote:
    Well, the NRA finally stopped calling me asking for money. I told them that every time they called asking for money, I would send a donation, but not to them.

    Those donations went to the GOA and to the Ron Paul for president campaign.

    Guess they finally decided that their calls were counter productive to their purpose.

    Ironic isn't it?
    Well, if they'd quit compromising our rights away, I might join them.
    Exactly! In this thread, Doug Huffman posted the following article that outlines the ways in which the NRA has tried to sabotage Heller from it's inception. Frankly, it's disgusting if you ask me.

    A Shot at the Second Amendment: If the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a right to bear arms, the decision may be in spite of the powerful NRA gun lobby—not because of it


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    Doug:

    Good article. The NRA probably fears the Heller case. In many ways it can be lose, lose for it. If the Supreme Court finds that the Washington D.C. gun control is an infringement on the second amendment and rules that it does represent an individual right the NRA will probably be affected financially. The NRA has lived and survived on it's claim to be our guardian angel in regards to protecting our gun and second amendment rights. If the Court finds in Heller's favor, as we hope it does, then the NRA will no longer have a cause to pursue. It's member's contribution will probably go down as well as it's membership.

    If the Court finds against Heller and declares the second amendment represents a collective right. If it finds that there isn't an infringement because Washington D.C. is not a recognized State and therefore does not have congressional representation and that the (--shall not be infringed) phrase in the amendment was intended to be instruction to congress and does not apply to the individual States. Then the NRA as well as all we gun owners will be defeated. Everything goes back to ground zero. Any hope of having another Supreme Court ruling on the second amendment would more than likely be out of the question into the distant future. The NRA will end up jousting windmills and lose it's reputation as a protector of our gun rights. It is no wonder why it is nervous. We should all be nervous. The Heller case could go either way. As I see it that is probably just as well. It's time the questions surrounding the Second Amendment were answered by the U. S. Supreme Court. Time to let the chips fall where they may.

    Nobody can second guess our court system. We gun owners in Wisconsin put a lot of faith in the recent Andres Vegas case. We all anticipated that if it got to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court it was such a strong case that the Court would surely find the concealed weapon prohibition statute unconstitutional. Well it didn't happen. The lower court threw it out. Vegas was found innocent of carrying a concealed weapon and therefore he couldn't elevate the case to the supreme court level. The prosecution was not about to elevate the case because they realized the cards were stacked against them. As a result the Vegas case ended up to be of little value to we gun owners. It would have been of value only if Vegas was found guilty by the lower court so that he could appeal to the state supreme court.

    I bring all that up only to illustrate how fickle and unpredictable the ferderal and state legal system is. All we can do in regards to the Heller case is cross our fingers and hope.



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    Well, today is the day we find out if SCOTUS grants or denies Cert.

    Personally, I'm hoping that they grant Cert. This particular case is about the cleanest black and white case that we could hope to get in front of SCOTUS. Robert Levy and Alan Gura were very meticulous to create a clean case.

    If SCOTUS upholds the lower courts decision, then it is a victory for all Americans, even those who don't realize it.

    I think it unlikely that they will completely overturn the lower courts decision. It could happen, but it is dangerous for them to do that. Historically, the American Revolution started when the British tried to disarm the colonists. Sometimes history repeats itself.

    SCOTUS would really like to find some middle of the road position. To thread the eye of the needle so to speak. The genius of Levy and Gura was to craft a case that makes that almost impossible.

    As for the NRA, they are like an arms dealerselling toboth sides of a war and encourging the fight. They have a lot to lose here.

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    From http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/

    At 10 a.m., the Court is scheduled to release orders from the Justices’ private conference last Friday. We will provide coverage as soon as the list becomes available.

    So, by 11:00 AM we should know.

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    Duplicate Post

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    The Supreme Court on Tuesday announced no action on a new case testing the meaning of the Second Amendment. The

    next date for possible action on it is likely to be November 26, following a pre-Thanksgiving Conference set for November 21.

    The Court agreed to hear one new case, on the rate of recovery of the costs of paralegal services when a winning party in a case seeks attorney fees. The issue is whether such services are to be paid at the market rate for such services, or only at the level of their actual cost. The new case is Richlin Security Service v. Chertoff (06-1717).

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