The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
"The Justices chose to write out for themselves the constitutional question they will undertake to answer in Heller. Both sides had urged the Court to hear the city’s case, but they had disagreed over how to frame the Second Amendment issue.
Here is the way the Court phrased the granted issue:
“Whether the following provisions D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?”
The first listed section bars registration of pistols if not registered before Sept. 24, 1976; the second bars carrying an unlicensed pistol, and the third requires that any gun kept at home must be unloaded and disassembled or bound by a lock, such as one that prevents the trigger from operating."
Regarding whether or not the U.S. v. Miller case is a binding precedent, ScotusBlog had this to say about Judge Roberts views on the matter:
"At his nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he said that “the Miller case sidestepped” the issue of whether the Amendment protected a collective or an individual right. He added: “An argument was made back in 1939 that this provides only a collective right, and the Court didn’t address that…. So people try to read into the tea leaves about Miller and what would come out on this issue, but that’s still very much an open issue.”"
That paves the way, as it were, for this Court to make a very substantial ruling.
Gah. I wish I could fast-forward and know the result.
I stand corrected.
I didn't think the robes had it in them.
This complicates things, personally, with little thought as to the actual outcome of the court ruling.
The Brady Bunch has already sent out an e-mail begging for funds:
I'm not even certain I'd have a clue on how to compose an amicus brief, let alone know the cost!
Like Kevin, I too was wrong and I hope I'm going to be happy about it.
I've been examining the court's statement of the issues. Does it not appear in their phraseology of the issues that they implicitly hold the Second Amendment protects an individual right? The manner in which they pose the questions they wish to entertain is cleverly done.
But still I have this nagging intuition, as I have stated before, that the court has already decided the issue. However, their certiori may indicate the D. C. contingent faces an uphill battle.
Does anyone else get this impression?
The observation on ScotusBlog is:
"Some observers who read the Court’s order closely may suggest that the Court is already inclined toward an “individual rights” interpretation of the Second Amendment. That is because the order asks whether the three provisions of the D.C. gun control law violate “the Second Amendment rights of individuals.” But that phrasing may reveal very little about whether the Amendment embraces an individual right to have a gun for private use. Only individuals, of course, would be serving in the militia, and there is no doubt that the Second Amendment provides those individuals a right to have a gun for that type of service. The question the Court will be deciding is, if there are individuals who want to keep pistols for use at home, does the Second Amendment guarantee them that right. Just because the Second Amendment protects some individual right does not settle the nature of that right."
Time will tell.
I was hoping they would take it. Not saying I was happy about the prospect but I felt a definitive ruling was more important for the country as a whole than any nail biting on my part as an individual.
If the Court doesn't blow this by issuing some cheesy narrow ruling that leaves the 2nd on the table for another generation to fight for, I think we're going to see history made. Good or bad. I think the wind blows in our favor.
Otherwise, if the Supremes can read "the People" out of the 2nd on the grounds of lacking militia membership nor systems in the States to make it possible, I think the other amendments will be at risk. I'd like to start with the 1st and work my way down.
Maybe I'm reading too much into this given my personal interest in this but I think we are going to witness the turning point for our nation for better or for worse because of this.
Interesting times ahead. The next few months on the blogs alone will be worth it.
see Hardy's take at
If you've already read enough caselaw to make your eyeballs bleed, how do you think they'll feel after you read the Supreme Court's decision on Heller, assuming, of course, that you have enough reserve curiosity to do so? (Personally, I think you will.)
After reading Hardy's take and today's commentary on scotusblog, I can see where the Court's considerations on this issue may be heading. Therefore, I've resolved to steer clear of any commentary in or out of the blogosphere until the Court's decision is handed down.
This thing may not be the most twisted, convoluted exercise in qualifying and re-qualifying, parsing, semantic dissecting and hair splitting the court has ever attempted, but it'll be up there.
The real tragedy is that there is the distinct possibility (and probability) the court's decision may not truly resolve anything from a practical point of view. We who have participated in the ongoing battle to recover or preserve our right to bear arms may be forced to carry on an even greater struggle after the whip comes down.
Between this issue and the 2008 presidential campaigns I'll be ready for the rubber room within a year.
I'll read every word of the decision, of any special concurrances, and especially the dissents.
I fully expect "language manipulation" that would make Orwell spin in his grave.
You may be steering clear of commentary, but I'm working on an epic-length primer for those new to the discussion. I imagine that today's announcement comes as somewhat of a shock to a large number of citizens who have not been paying attention over the last couple of decades.
Kevin, I'll be looking for that post.
I think that the upcoming ruling will make it more clear than ever what is at stake in next year's coming election.
Supreme Court Justice nominees.
"Just because the Second Amendment protects some individual right does not settle the nature of that right."
Are they going to redefine the nature of a right as being something that the DC City Council has not yet told you that you cannot do?
Why can't I get the video clip of Ronald Reagan saying:
"Mr. President...sign the Brady Bill!"
out of my head?
Here in DC Metro, Mayor Fenty and his co-conspirators on the DC City Council,(as fine a body of freedom-lovers you will never find), are already pledging to craft legislation to end-around whatever the Court decides.
Complete with sound bites about handguns being the "weapons of choice for criminals", (I thought it was assault weapons...I guess that's SOOOO Century XX).
This one's going to be too important to sit on the fence for.
And...being cynical, I thing the GOP is now desperate enough to retain the White House and maybe regain the Congress that they nudged and winked the Court to play the "Gun Card".
Everyone downtown knows how we react, and what happenned in '94 was a direct result of Brady and the AWB.
Gingrich and his "Conract With America" was applied AFTER the votes were tallied.
If folks want to help with an amicus brief check out Clayton Cramer's blog.
I'd have to say that we want the likes of Sanford Levinson and Alan Dershowitz filing those briefs.
"I think that the upcoming ruling will make it more clear than ever what is at stake in next year's coming election.
Supreme Court Justice nominees."
You had to go and cheat, didn't you. I was all set to be a cynical stay at home voter. And, hell, I still might. I do not see a whole lot on the conservative or the "right" to give me much hope and I do not see anything but more socialism or faster communism being offered as potential policy systems. Even then, only one or two "conservatives" could be considered serious gun rights and other Constitutional freedom fighters, if quite weak at that. But the judges... We had to nearly break George's arm off to get what we got though, will that work again?
Dang it, I am trying my damnedest not to care here. Quit mucking it up. *laughs*