Skip to comments.Justices to release audio in guns case (D.C. v. Heller)
Posted on 03/04/2008 6:53:13 PM PST by neverdem
The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will quickly release audio tapes after the March 18 argument over gun rights. The case from the District of Columbia could resolve whether the Constitution gives individuals the right to own guns and, if so, whether the government may still strictly regulate gun ownership, including a ban on handguns.
The immediate, same-day release of audio tapes following arguments in major cases started in the 2000 presidential election, when the justices decided appeals of the Florida recount controversy in favor of George W. Bush.
The court has twice this term provided same-day audio. It was made available in cases involving the rights of prisoners detained by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the method of execution by lethal injection.
The court records arguments and ordinarily releases them at the end of each term. With television cameras barred from the court and reporters prohibited from using tape recorders in the courtroom, the availability of audio provides the public with a chance to hear the justices at work.
The case is District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290.
May God have mercy. Some folks could go on the warpath.
I am ready.
Am I wrong to read into this that the Court realizes the importance of this case to large numbers of average American citizens who are looking for them to uphold the clear meaning of the 2nd Amendment? And how far-reaching the effect of their ultimate decision will be all over the U.S.?
The decision will come back as a 5 to 4 (Kennedy will uphold citizen’s rights, with Alito, Thomas, Roberts & Scalia).
The issue has long been settled.
If they want to change it, fine.
If so, please start in Texas. We remain ready to "discuss" the issue of disarmament.
Life and its necessary corollary...
I believe yes to both questions, but I think they will limit it to just the D.C. question as they have already framed it.
That’s how I read it. They KNOW it’s a huge, B.F.D. to a lot of people, which is why they’re releasing same-day audio. So, they’re at least already on notice that a lot of people will be paying very close attention. (Although, more at the decision than the argument.)
Although it’s a tough genie to keep in the bottle. Should they determine that DC folx have a 2A right, it will be hard to argue no one else does, and if they rule the DC folx lack any 2A right, it will be hard to argue that anyone else has one either. So I don’t think they can keep the scope of the decision as narrow as they might wish.
This is a good sign.
The Supreme Court will decide if the People’s Rights mean exactly what it says or if it means the People’s Rights really means the Government’s ability to tax, regulate, ban and/or confiscate.
My son and I are researching the American Revolution. The Revolution didn’t start on July 4, 1776. It actually began around 1760. That’s when the Brits moved troops off the frontier and into the cities to deal with the “unrest”.
If the Supreme Court doesn’t know how to read a simple sentence, we might have the date of their decision seared into our memories.
Parker v. Washington D.C. in HTML courtesy of zeugma.
We also note that 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: Surely a most familiar meaning [of carries a firearm] is, as the Constitutions Second Amendment (keepand bear Arms) and Blacks Law Dictionary . . . indicate: wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person. Muscarello v. United States, 524 U.S. 125, 143 (1998) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting, joined by Rehnquist, C.J., Scalia, J.,and Souter, J.) (emphasis in original). Based on the foregoing, we think the operative clause includes a private meaning forbear Arms.
I believe it could be 7 - 2.
If the court affirms a meaningful individual right, it will be a major legacy of the Bush administration.
I believe it could be 7 - 2.
You may be right. I hope so.
They STILL don’t get it. The Constitution doesn’t “give” rights to anyone!
A legacy indeed. Isn’t his Admin. against Heller on this one, except Cheney?
Wait... they’re just deliberating for one day? I thought they were going to release a ruling in a few months?
But wouldn’t that open the federal district courts all over to hear cases and hand down their own decisions in line with that precedent?
If it is 5-4 against Heller, the gun grabbers will be screaming that this is the ultimate word on the 2nd Amendment.
If it comes out 5-4 against DC and upholds the individual right to keep and bear arms, they will be downplaying it as a “split court” and could be overturned sometime in the future.
They will have read all of the briefs, and have their questions for the oral arguments prepared, IMHO
I thought they were going to release a ruling in a few months?
It will probably take them that long to write their opinions, concurring and dissenting.
Legacy shmegacy. The administration had nothing to do with this; the credit goes to gun-owning individuals and member organizations (GOA, NRA, 2A Sisters, etc.) who have stood firm and not backed down in the face of unconstitutional restrictions and "laws."
Let's not forget the brief filed by the current administration's solicitor general -- not at all helpful to the constructionist argument.
Yes, Justice Ginsburg could very well hold for the individual right. She is astutely aware of what happened in Germany during the 1930’s and 1940’s, after all.
Sometimes the answer is in the question. In Bush v. Gore, when Justice Souter asked about the different standards in different Florida counties, I was able to guess the outcome.
I believe that if SCOTUS upholds an individual right, then jurisdictions like Chicago and other places in Illinois that ban handguns will be challenged, setting the stage for "incorporating" the Second Amendment, i.e. making it explicitly apply to all the states. Corrections from CongressmanBillybob will be appreciated.
Maybe I could be a competent amateur gunsmith in that time. Before they’re outlawed
IF the court is politically savvy, they will offer red meat to both sides, and a 5 to 4 ruling will do that, as you have outlined.
A lot of HEAVILY ARMED people, right?
“The decision will come back as a 5 to 4 (Kennedy will uphold citizens rights, with Alito, Thomas, Roberts & Scalia).”
From your lips to God’s ears.
...And I am not being funny either!
Not difficult at all. DC is under direct federal jurisdiction. They could restrict the federal government's power to regulate firearms without touching the state governments' power to do so.
The Patton of Counterinsurgency LTG Raymond Odierno
From time to time, Ill ping on noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs. FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
But you must realize, it ought to be 9 to 0 to uphold what is clearly declared in the Constitution, but the court has become such a sick political animal that they will rule to uphold the Constitution but it will be oh so close, as if a new challenge could change the outcome! Look at Lawrence v Texas and Stenberg v Carhardt ... the court nolonger functions to affirm the Constitution, it sits to make law. Disgusting
Unfortunately, I'm afraid, you would get what the Branch Davidians got -- and probably run by the same General (Wesley Clark). AR-15's against helicopter gunships and M1 Abrams? Or maybe you have a source for stuff to make IED's?
IN OTHER WORDS....’READ IT AND WEEP, GUN GRABBERS’
What good is a federal right if any state can abolish it? Such a right is worthless. And therefore, not what the Framers were talking about when they wrote the Bill of Rights.
Incidentally, Lawrence v. Texas is cited in the Heller brief filed by the Pink Pistols, a gay gun-rights group.
The guys in the gunships and tanks have to land and get out eventually.
Please!! Are you insane? The "fix" is in on this case. Those in power have known that votes for gun control have been unpopular, but a court decision against the 2nd Amendment will take the decision out of the politicians hands and "seal the deal" for them to finally remove the last obstacle converting Americans from citizens to subjects.
The ATF and Feds will be waiting in running cars to pounce upon every FFL dealer in the US within minutes of the "fixed" decision (could even be a 6 to 3 against the 2nd) being announced and collect their dealer Transfer books. With this information in hand the terror of gun owner will REALLY begin with "examples" being made in the country side of people not willing to turn in their firearms. Any other firearms owners not complying with the new "decision" from the Court will have their information turned over to the IRS and will have their assets frozen and wages confiscated.
While all this is going on, the media will be blitzing the country like you never have seen! Firearms owners will be equated to domestic terrorist, and that it is every citizens duty to turn in those who they know own firearms. The children will be used extensively in this campaign to rat out their parents and friends.
Just you wait and see ... firearms ownership will go out, not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Thanks for the ping!
“But you must realize, it ought to be 9 to 0 to uphold what is clearly declared in the Constitution”
Agreed a 100% I find it sickening that it has come to this. How such a clear cut statement could be tortured into meaning something else is simply wrong.
Did you forget to take your meds today?
Some few of them are that aware; possibly a majority, but I'm not optimistic.
Perhaps one or two even recognize the possibility of civil unrest if their interpretation of the Constitution were to be too "creative."
Even if 99% of firearms owners do as you project, that still leaves roughly a million who will form an uncrackably hard nut of resistance.
According to John Ross, the IRA never had more than about 200 members, but they kept Northern Ireland in chaos for several decades.
Oral arguments are on one day, taking I believe an hour or less to hear from both sides, plus maybe a very few minutes for a amicus ("friend") brief on one side only - the Attorney General of Texas was denied the opportunity to oppose the Bush administration on this! - followed by a long period during which they either deliberate or take long naps.
“The decision will come back as a 5 to 4 (Kennedy will uphold citizens rights, with Alito, Thomas, Roberts & Scalia).”
What odds you laying on that?
I have a couple friends who could each arm that many folks - and they'd be well-armed!
“If the court affirms a meaningful individual right, it will be a major legacy of the Bush administration.”
You must be putting sarcasm out there without the tag again. WTF did Bush have to do with this? I’m pretty sure his admin weighed in AGAINST the individual RTKBA.
The Wall Street Journal published an editorial by Lawrence Tribe, the legal scholar, who essentially admitted the 2nd amendment refers to an individual’s right but that the Supreme Court should now enable the limits to which that right can extend. His argument seems to be that the limitations should be so great that the individual’s right to arms would be extremely small. So small, that handguns would not be allowed and the DC’s infringements would be reasonable.
This argument can not be squared with the individual’s basic right to self defense and to arms. The militia clause would be rendered meaningless if any arm suitable to militia use (contemporary service grade arms including handguns and others) were ok to ban. In the DC case, the issue was self-defense with handguns. In other words, the anti-arms crowd wants a meaningless 2nd amendment—you can have arms but only the very few that government allows you and only then if you own them according to the strict rules government applies, directly conflicint with the amendment (”shall not be infringed”). The enemies of individuals’ freedoms must stay up late seeking creative arguments to keep people bound.
In the 1800’s there were restrictions on concealed carry. Few noticed or complained. Further restrictions were placed on guns to keep them out of the hands of “those people” (blacks, Jews, anyone different and with too little voice to defend their rights; just like the old 1680s English law barring Catholics from having pistols). Too few complained. Then in the 1930s, during the wave of gangster movies, a large array of arms were tightly constrained by applying a tax no one could then afford. Only gangsters used sawed-off shotguns or machine guns, or so it seemed to many, so few complained. In the 1960s, political assassinations led to further restrictions, but not on the guns used in the assassinations. Few would complain, else they would seem insensitive to the tragic deaths of the times.
In the 1990s, political speak would be applied to a number of arms and “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines” would be born and banned. The concept that the Constitution didn’t acknowledge people’s rights but rather acknowledged the government’s rights was openly touted but was so brazen and obviously corrupt it would prove insufficient to fully complete the process of erasing an American’s right to arms. Now, a few more people were complaining, a larger number of people were becoming aware of a vanishing right.
Now, the new attack on individual’s rights is about how much of a right the individual should be allowed. However, the phrase “shall not be infringed” stands in the way. Will the Supreme Court recognize this new attack for what it is? Many see the allowance of this right to be too risky and fear other Americans will be dangerous if allowed this degree of freedom. They think of deranged individuals and evil people and they recoil from the idea that people might have access to arms. But that puts the people’s rights at risk from the actions of insane and evil people. Is that the point of erasing our freedom? Others want the right to extend only to hunting. But, the 2nd amendment was never about hunting, it was about power in the hands of the individual. The Constitution and the philosophy of American government was much about limiting the power of government and much about protecting the power of the individual. That goes to the core of what it means to be an American and over 200 years of American freedom shows what the power of the individual can achieve. Yes, there are risks and there is uncertainty. Are those risks worth erasing every trace of the individual’s right to decide how to defend himself? The Supreme Court is reflecting on a case that touches on nothing short of that. This is a very important moment in American history.