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Thread: US Supreme Ct. Rules on a Lautenberg Case

  1. #1
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    This one is for Repeater and VAPlanter since they are so helpful posting new cases.

    The upshot is that a conviction under the Lautenberg amendment (people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence are prohibited from possessing guns) stands.

    Understand that there are two offenses here,the lateroffense hinge-ing on theexistence of an earlier offense:thelater offense--possession of a gun when the Lautenberg law said he weren't s'posed to;and the predicate offense--the previous domestic violence.

    The question was whether the earlier offenseshould be a conviction for violatinga lawspecifically against"domestic violence", or whether the earlier offensewas just a conviction for violating a general law againstbattery, but the battered person just also happened to be a household member. Meaning, does thelawinvolved in the earlier convictionhave to expressly mentiondomestic violence? The SCOTUS says it does not.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-608.ZO.html

    Holding:

    The federal Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U. S. C. §921 et seq., has long prohibited possession of a firearm by any person convicted of a felony. In 1996, Congress extended the prohibition to include persons convicted of “a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.” §922(g)(9). The definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” contained in §921(a)(33)(A), is at issue in this case. Does that term cover a misdemeanor battery whenever the battered victim was in fact the offender’s spouse (or other relation specified in §921(a)(33)(A))? Or, to trigger the possession ban, must the predicate misdemeanor identify as an element of the crime a domestic relationship between aggressor and victim? We hold that the domestic relationship, although it must be established beyond a reasonable doubt in a §922(g)(9) firearms possession prosecution, need not be a defining element of the predicate offense.

    The dissentfrom Roberts and Scalia is a breath of fresh air:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-608.ZD.html

    Dissent excerpt:

    If the rule of lenity means anything, it is that an individual should not go to jail for failing to conduct a 50-state survey or comb through obscure legislative history. Ten years in jail is too much to hinge on the will-o’-the-wisp of statutory meaning pursued by the majority.



    I found out about it at a great little blog by a very pro-gun lawyer:

    http://www.armsandthelaw.com/


    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  2. #2
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    This is all good and well, but I would like to know how this was pursued and if Lautenberg would stand if it were argued differently. SCOTUS rules on very specific questions. In this case, was the overall constitutionality of Lautenberg questioned or just the specificity of the how "Domestic Violence" was interpreted? INAL nor am I an expert in Constitutional Law, but it seems to me there are myriad of other grounds upon which to mount a challenge to Lautenberg that should produce a different result.

  3. #3
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    Dahwg wrote:
    This is all good and well, but I would like to know how this was pursued and if Lautenberg would stand if it were argued differently. SCOTUS rules on very specific questions. In this case, was the overall constitutionality of Lautenberg questioned or just the specificity of the how "Domestic Violence" was interpreted? INAL nor am I an expert in Constitutional Law, but it seems to me there are myriad of other grounds upon which to mount a challenge to Lautenberg that should produce a different result.
    Ruled on the question about whether the first law specifically mentioned domestic violence.

    The questions you are asking were being hashed out on law blogs shortly after the decision was published. Hunt around. One that comes to mind is Volokh Conspiracy--a group of bloggers on one blog, hence the "conspiracy"--including very pro-gun Dave Kopel.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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