The DC Gun Case


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The Supreme Court is going to hear the DC gun case.

The District of Columbia has banned individual ownership of hand guns. You can not have assembled shot gun or rifle in your home. This law has been challenged through the efforts of Robert Levy of the Cato Institute.

I am personally delighted to report that I have met two of the three lawyers pictured in today's Washington Post at Cato Institute. I have also met Robert Levy at the Cato Institute. I have high hopes that the Supreme Court will allow private ownership of hand guns.

The DC gun laws have only disarmed the innocent and I hope will be given the heave.

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Virginia; Since the Appeals Court had thrown out the DC law. The Supremes had to take it.

Not true, Chris, the Supremes don't have to take anything, technically and legally speaking; that's what Supreme Court means. Not to take it would have meant the DC law null and void period, but not resolved any issues nationally. (I might be wrong here, somehow.)

--Brant

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  • 1 month later...

It is true that the Supreme Court does not have to hear a case. Thankfully, they are for the first time since 1939, I believe, and that case involved a very narrow federal law regarding bringing a certain "weapon" across state lines.

A full review of the actual meaning of the second amendment is expected in this case because of the strength of the Silberman(?) opinon which is brilliantly reasoned and powerful.

However, if the Court upholds the unconstitutionality of the DC case, it will only apply to Federal Districts, but will stimulate many cases from individual states which will probably be consolidated and heard down the road a piece.

I think this is headed for a real close vote. In my evaluation it is 4-4 as the case goes up. I am unsure of that 5th vote.

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The Supreme Court is going to hear the DC gun case.

See here

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8794

and here

http://www.dcguncase.com/blog/

But also this:

D.C. GUN CASE LIKELY TO VALIDATE CALIFORNIA’S FIREARM REGULATORY SCHEME – ENACTED BY DEMOCRATS OVER N.R.A. OBJECTIONS

March 20, 2007.

What the DC Circuit Court granted in terms of the relief requested and granted the in opinion by Judge Larry Silberman was to create a regulated system of acquisition and possession (including carrying) of registered handguns that people could have on their private property and in the case of conventional firearms (including handguns) that were capable of use (not being required to be locked and unloaded at all times).

What the Cato plaintiffs asked for was a system somewhat comparable to California law. The relief sought was narrow because – as pointed out in a Washington Post story – CATO did not want to get into bed with the National Rifle Association. Also, an unrestricted individual right would raise any number of concerns.

http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/20...n_case_lik.html

As part of my associate's in criminal justice, I had a class in Constitutional Law. The class was an eye-opener for me. Like the rightwingers of all stripes from anarcho-entrepreneurialists to historical populists I, too, displayed alarming and typical ignorance of the Constitution. We know all the words. We do not know what the words mean.

The Bill of Rights is your protection against too much federal government. We saw this in the case of state laws banning atheists from jury duty and giving testimony in court. South Carolina's Supreme Court overturned that state's law. The others still stand. That they are not enforced is a moot point. The laws stand (and have stood) on the books in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts as well as a half dozen other states. The First Amendment right to "freedom of religion" limits the federal government, not your state government. The people in your state can establish a state church if they wish.

So, too, with gun control. We have been registering handguns for several generations now. Some cities ban them entirely. The Second Amendment has never been incorporated to the states.

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The Washington Post has an article in today issue (Jan 5th) about the team that will be opposing Bob Levy and the plaintiffs. The team is impressive.

I believe I'm meet two of them at Cato events.

Tom Goldstein is a real gentleman and has a very good reputation with people who appear before the US Supreme Court.

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Virginia; Since the Appeals Court had thrown out the DC law. The Supremes had to take it.

Not so. If the Supremes do not want to hear a case (on appeals), the lower court decision stands. Before the S.C. hears a case, it must grant a writ of certiorari. This does not require the entire court, but if enough of the Brethren (4) want to hear a case, then it will be heard.

Bob Kolker

Edited by BaalChatzaf
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As part of my associate's in criminal justice, I had a class in Constitutional Law. The class was an eye-opener for me. Like the rightwingers of all stripes from anarcho-entrepreneurialists to historical populists I, too, displayed alarming and typical ignorance of the Constitution. We know all the words. We do not know what the words mean.

The Bill of Rights is your protection against too much federal government. We saw this in the case of state laws banning atheists from jury duty and giving testimony in court. South Carolina's Supreme Court overturned that state's law. The others still stand. That they are not enforced is a moot point. The laws stand (and have stood) on the books in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts as well as a half dozen other states. The First Amendment right to "freedom of religion" limits the federal government, not your state government. The people in your state can establish a state church if they wish.

So, too, with gun control. We have been registering handguns for several generations now. Some cities ban them entirely. The Second Amendment has never been incorporated to the states.

The Bill of Rights applies now to the states as well as the Federal Government. This is one of the consequences of the Civil War.

Laws still on the books are mostly irrelevant; they are not usually enforceable considering Federal appeal.

I do not know what you mean when you say "We do not know what the words mean."

To the extent that the "Second Amendment has never been incorporated to the states" it is because of S.C. muddled and ambivalent judgments and refusal to address the matter since 1939.

--Brant

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The link is to the brief filed in the DC case by the plaintiffs.

uploads

The actual argument in the brief begins on about page 56 of 90 plus pages.

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I do not know what you mean when you say "We do not know what the words mean."

I mean this: "The Bill of Rights applies now to the states as well as the Federal Government. This is one of the consequences of the Civil War."

I also mean this: "Laws still on the books are mostly irrelevant; they are not usually enforceable considering Federal appeal."

Men who had no hope for federal appeal were tortured into confessions in BROWN v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, 297 U.S. 278 (1936). That they won a federal appeal does not change their initial circumstances. At trial the police freely admitted the coercion, as it was common practice, seventy years after your "civil" war.

The South Carolina statute was in force in 1997 and was overturned because a college professor (Herb Silverman of the College of Charleston) made a case out of it. The other laws are still in force because no one has dared to challenge them, as no one in South Carolina had been brave enough the previous 130 years.

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.

Does the District of Columbia have a militia (or a "national guard")?

Is the the District of Columbia a State?

Since the word "people" is not capitalized, does it refer the whole population as an abstraction, as in the Fourth amendment. On the other hand, in the Third amendment the word "Owner" is capitalized and in the sixth, we read of "the accused" as opposed to "the people." So, as long as the people of the states have their militas, then there is no problem forbidding civilian ownership of firearms within the District of Columbia, which is, after all, the very seat of government.

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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Michael M.; Shame on you.

People in DC share all of the rights of our fellow citizens.

Apparently not the right to bear and keep arms. :D

In fact, I saw a license plate from DC: "Taxation without representation." The Federal District has no voice in Congress. That is as it should be as it is wrong for the government to represent itself to itself for itself and by itself. However, they do have their own city council and that, too, is appropriate.

So, how does libel work in DC? I ask because as a journalist, I know that merely printing the truth is not always a defense in suits at common law, though here in Michigan, by our state constitution, it is.

What is the speed limit in DC? Here in Michigan it is 70. Down in Ohio it is 65. Out in New Mexico, it is 80. (In Hawaii, it is 60. After all, where can you go??)

How about the drinking age? It is now generally 21 in the US states by virtue of Federal strongarming. However, there is an exception at Fort Bliss, Texas. Also, the age is 18 in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Gambling? You have a DC Lottery, but, alas, no casinos... of course, you have no Native Americans, appropriately enough, I suppose, since it would be hard to share the nation's capital with the people who want you to leave. :rolleyes:

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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Michael, Can you relate what you learned to Objectivism? --Brant

Do you mean in college, generally, in my constitutional law class, or in the criminal justice and criminology curricula in particular?

In any case -- whatever the answer -- I prefer to think in the other direction: I apply Objectivism to what I am presented in class. First of all, philosophy is the wide and abstract body, with these being more particular. Of greater weight is the fact that Objectivism is as a body generally correct and what I am learning in just about any class is as a body generally incorrect.

We can discuss whatever in that interests you in a different topic or topics.

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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I'm not sure I'm quite following you Michael, but I once got into an argument with my step-mother about a point of law--she was what is now known as an Immigration Judge, then a Special Inquiry Officer--and I couldn't win because she kept referring to the law and I kept referring to logic. If then. Aren't we only talking about constitutional interpretation and isn't the only interpretation that ultimately matters is that upheld by the courts?

--Brant

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Early in the DC Gun case there was a suggestion that the Bill of Rights did not apply to DC. It was a non starter.

It is worth noting that the city is basing its defense on the idea of local control.

Edited by Chris Grieb
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