The Court expanded the time for the oral argument scheduled forMarch 18 on the scope of the Second Amendment and the right to have guns for private use, allowing the U.S. Solicitor General to join in the argument. The Solicitor General asked for 15 minutes of time, apart from the time allotted to each side (30 minutes each); that is the arrangement the Court allowed. The Court, however, refused to allow the state of Texas and other states to share time with the D.C. resident, Dick Heller, who successfully challenged the D.C. handgun ban in the D.C. Circuit Court. (The case is District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290).
In the police search case (Gant), the Court said its review would be limited to the following issue: “Does the Fourth Amendment require law enforcement officers to demonstrate a threat to their safety or a need to preserve evidence related to the crime of arrest in order to justify a warrantless search incident to arrest conducted after the vehicle’s recent occupants have been arrested and secured?” The state of Arizona contended in its appeal that the Arizona Supreme Court had undercut the Supreme Court’s 1981 decision in New York v. Belton, which the state said laid down a bright-line rule allowing police to search a vehicle without a warrant following an arrest of the occupant.