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Court Rejects Strict Gun Law as Unconstitutional
New York Times ^ | 3/10/07 | ADAM LIPTAK

Posted on 03/10/2007 12:31:16 AM PST by JohnHuang2

Interpreting the Second Amendment broadly, a federal appeals court in Washington yesterday struck down a gun control law in the District of Columbia that bars residents from keeping handguns in their homes.

The decision was the first from a federal appeals court to hold a gun control law unconstitutional on the ground that the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals, as opposed to the collective rights of state militias. Nine other federal appeals courts around the nation have rejected that interpretation.

Linda Singer, the District’s acting attorney general, said the decision was “a huge setback.”

“We’ve been making progress on bringing down crime and gun violence,” Ms. Singer said, “and this sends us in a different direction.”

By contrast, advocates of gun rights praised the decision, by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, saying it raised the prospect of a national re-evaluation of the meaning of the Second Amendment and the rights of gun owners. They said the District of Columbia would have to begin procedures to allow handgun possession in private homes unless yesterday’s decision was stayed.

Lawyers on both sides of the case said it had created a conflict among the federal courts of appeal on a significant constitutional issue, making review by the Supreme Court likely. The Supreme Court last considered the issue in 1939, and there are only scattered hints about how the current justices might rule.

The majority in yesterday’s decision pointed to a 1998 dissent in which “at least three current members (and one former member) of the Supreme Court have read ‘bear arms’ in the Second Amendment to have meaning beyond mere soldiering.” They were former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who died in 2005, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia and David H. Souter.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; muscarello; parker
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To: Lurker
"then lost a massive civil suit brought against him by one of the thugs who tried to rob him."

Indeed.

Helpful tip: "If you really are going to shoot somebody, shoot 'em dead.

"Dead men don't bite." - Billy Bones

21 posted on 03/10/2007 4:25:06 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: USMCVet
Right you are!

Washington, D.C. is a tide pool of DemocRAT socialist politics. Were it not for the fact that the City receives a HUGE (and increasing) Federal payment every year, which somewhat covers over the crime, filth, disease etc. that plague the place, D.C. would look like something out of "Heart of Darkness."

22 posted on 03/10/2007 4:28:04 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: JohnHuang2

Same circuit as "Warren v. DC." Could they actually be coming to their senses and allow individual citizens to protect themselves from the predators in their midst?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j73SsNFgBO4


23 posted on 03/10/2007 5:09:25 AM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: JohnHuang2
It is good to see that there are some judges who can read and interpret English.

5.56mm

24 posted on 03/10/2007 5:11:39 AM PST by M Kehoe
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To: Lurker

Actually, while I love this ruling, I am not about to take a gun into DC - I would rather let them figure it out, first.


25 posted on 03/10/2007 5:14:15 AM PST by patton (Sanctimony frequently reaps its own reward.)
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To: bamahead
Isn't it interesting?

How many laws are there RESTRICTING the First Amendment? The Third, the Fourth, the Fifth?

None that I know of -- laws pertaining to those Amendments amplify and broaden those rights.

What's the latest count for laws restricting the Second? 20,000?

26 posted on 03/10/2007 5:56:43 AM PST by Jerrybob
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To: Jerrybob
First ammendment: Libel, Slander, McCain-Feingold, Hate speech

Fourth ammendment: No knock search warrants, Seizure laws

27 posted on 03/10/2007 6:33:12 AM PST by Fellow Traveler
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To: Jerrybob
How many laws are there RESTRICTING the First Amendment?

Um, CFR for one.

28 posted on 03/10/2007 6:33:38 AM PST by maryz
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To: JohnHuang2
While he was the “Republican Mayor” of New York City he appointed more than 60 men and women to the Civil, Criminal, and Family Court benchs. In all of those judicial appointment only two were Republican.

All of his other judical appointments were either registered Liberals or registered Democrats. As the “Republican Mayor” he had appointment power over more than 70 full commissioners in more than 50 City agencies, yet at no time during his administration did REPUBLICANS account for more than 10% of those appointments.

He even appointed Chuck Schumers wife as the City’s Department of Transportation Commissioner.


________________________________________________________________
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/9054.html

“And even as we grieve for those who lost their lives, and our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones, we may be able to find some sort of meaning in this tragedy by using it as a catalyst to revive national gun control efforts.”
Rudolph Giuliani

29 posted on 03/10/2007 6:34:47 AM PST by narses ("Freedom is about authority." - Rudolph Giuliani)
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To: Fellow Traveler

30 posted on 03/10/2007 6:35:16 AM PST by narses ("Freedom is about authority." - Rudolph Giuliani)
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To: patton
Actually, while I love this ruling, I am not about to take a gun into DC - I would rather let them figure it out, first.

When I drive into DC, I always carry but I know the trouble that I'll be in if I'm forced to use it. Given the options, I'd rather be alive and in court, than be a law abiding corpse.

31 posted on 03/10/2007 6:43:09 AM PST by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages - In Honor of Standing Wolf)
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To: USS Alaska

I just stay out of DC, myself. ;)


32 posted on 03/10/2007 6:44:47 AM PST by patton (Sanctimony frequently reaps its own reward.)
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To: Jerrybob
Oh, you did. LOL. Please disregard my FReep mail.

5.56mm

33 posted on 03/10/2007 6:50:00 AM PST by M Kehoe
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To: Sacajaweau
The bill of rights is the rights of the people as individuals. It is not a group thing.

True. A right MUST be possessed by an individual before it can be possessed by the collective society.

Nor can a 'collective' right exceed rights as possessed by an individual.

-----------

"When rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them."
Miranda ~vs~ Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491.

-------------------------------------------

"An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed."
Norton ~vs~ Shelby County, 118 US 425 p. 442.

-------------------------------------------

"The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it's enactment, not merely from the date of the decision branding it? No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it."
6 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177, late 2d, Sec 256.

34 posted on 03/10/2007 7:04:56 AM PST by MamaTexan (Neither I or my children are administrative, corporate, legal , political or public entities!)
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To: JohnHuang2
Liberals think only the Second Amendment should be read in a collective context. That makes no sense since even they concede the rest of the Bill Of Rights has always been understood to mean individual rights. I'd love to know where that suddenly changed when it comes to guns and the RKBA.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

35 posted on 03/10/2007 7:09:44 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Lurker
The right of self-defense does NOT require prior authorization from government since it pre-existed the emergence of society and the formation of government itself. No law may take that right away from any one.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

36 posted on 03/10/2007 7:13:16 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: JohnHuang2
Mr. Fenty said at a news conference. “We intend to do everything in our power to get this decision overturned.”

Good, that means the next step is probably the Supreme Court. If this is upheld by the Supreme Court, the effect will be nationwide. If DC doesn't appeal, then the effect, while important, is strictly local.

Another possibility is an intermediate hearing before the full DC Circuit court. However if that one upholds the decision, DC would presumably appeal to the Supreme Court, if not then the appellants will appeal.

The Supreme Court could refuse to hear the case, as they've done before. But if the case goes to the Supreme Court as is, that is with the DC laws declared unconstitutional, there will then be a clear disagreement between the circuits, and not in mere dicta. The SC will have a hard time refusing to hear the case if that is the situation before them. Not that they haven't been known to duck the Second Amendment before

37 posted on 03/10/2007 12:47:41 PM PST by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: JohnHuang2

Wow. Considering this is D.C., it's big big news.


38 posted on 03/10/2007 2:53:36 PM PST by George W. Bush
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To: JohnHuang2
The majority in yesterday’s decision pointed to a 1998 dissent in which “at least three current members (and one former member) of the Supreme Court have read ‘bear arms’ in the Second Amendment to have meaning beyond mere soldiering.” They were former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who died in 2005, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia and David H. Souter.

Could this mean that Ginsburg would vote to affirm?

39 posted on 03/10/2007 4:10:37 PM PST by ozoneliar ("The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -T.J.)
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To: JohnHuang2; HangFire; sam_paine
If the Supreme Court were to adopt the District of Columbia Circuit’s interpretation of the Second Amendment, gun control laws and gun prosecutions around the country could be endangered.

They write this like it's a bad thing.

40 posted on 03/10/2007 4:54:07 PM PST by AnnaZ (I keep 2 magnums in my desk.One's a gun and I keep it loaded.Other's a bottle and it keeps me loaded)
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