Skip to comments.Ohio at odds with Cleveland and Columbus in major gun case (Case before the SCOTUS)
Posted on 03/02/2010 1:47:52 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
Washington -- Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and the city of Cleveland are at odds -- again -- over gun regulation, this time in a potentially groundbreaking gun-rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Cordray's position in support of the Second Amendment right to bear arms could ultimately make it tougher for cities to pass and enforce highly restrictive, local gun-control laws. If the high court agrees with positions taken separately by Corday and the National Rifle Association, it could "handcuff" the ability of Cleveland, Columbus and cities nationwide to respond to gun-related violence, the cities' attorneys contended in a legal filing.
"As a city confronted with safety issues day in, day out, do we have the ability to ultimately do something about it?" asked Cleveland City Attorney Robert Triozzi in a telephone interview Monday.
Cordray says he, too, wants safety, and that Ohio has laws against those who abuse their gun rights. "That's not what this case is about," he said. Rather, it's about how gun rights are applied, and about assuring their even application throughout the nation.
"This case is about constitutional law," he said.
Ohio and its cities are secondary parties in the case that will be argued Tuesday, McDonald v. Chicago, which will determine whether Chicago and a suburb, Oak Park, can heavily regulate guns bought for self-protection. But Cordray's office and its counterpart in Texas led the writing of a friend-of-the-court brief signed by 38 state attorneys general in support of limited gun rights.
The NRA, and Cordray, want the high court to rule that the Second Amendment applies to states and cities. While that might seem obvious -- most constitutional rights, such as the First Amendment guarantee of free speech and assembly, apply in nearly all cases across the land -- the Second Amendment's primacy has never been established outside of federal cases and federal enclaves.
That's why when the Supreme Court in 2008 struck down Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban, the ruling did not extend beyond that federal enclave.
Backers say the broadest interpretation of the 14th Amendment, which among other things imbues citizenship rights and due process of law, should assure that the Second Amendment is a right in all jurisdictions.
"It will settle this significant issue," Cordray said in a phone interview. He noted that over the last two generations, the high court has incorporated nearly all of the Bill of Rights into the broader fabric of society. But not so the Second Amendment.
"It's a nonpartisan issue," said Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's public affairs director. "This is about freedom, it's about what's in our Bill of Rights, and we think it applies equally to all people regardless of where they live."
The law directors of Cleveland and Columbus, signing another friend-of-the court brief, see it differently. Discussing how the 14th Amendment applies to the Second Amendment is "a very interesting legal issue, but ultimately what we're trying to protect here is our right to decide for ourselves," said Cleveland's Triozzi.
Separately, Cleveland and Cordray are waiting to see if the Ohio Supreme Court will accept a different case concerning the city's right to regulate firearms. The Ohio legislature tried to remove that right in late 2006, with supporters saying the state needed consistency across local borders rather than a smorgasbord of local gun regulations. Cordray defended the legislature's position, as is his job, and asked the Ohio Supreme Court to weigh in after a state appeals court ruled in Cleveland's favor.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling against Chicago's restrictive gun regulations would not mean the end of gun safety laws, said Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. The court has never said that some regulations are not reasonable; the question has always been their sweep.
But it almost certainly would create even more court challenges on Second Amendment grounds, Hoover said. "That would be the down side," she said. "You would see people challenge it for the sake of challenging it."
I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s shoot-out.
The solution to gun violence is more freedom, not less freedom.
The solution to high medical costs is more freedom, not less freedom.
The solution to unemployment is more freedom, not less freedom.
The solution to political corruption is more freedom, not less freedom.
The solution to failing educational systems is more freedom, not less freedom...
I am detecting a pattern, here...
Gee, you believe in freedom. You must be a right wing whacko.
Guilty as charged. Angry, too!
Clinging to my Bible and my guns...
Huh? How does protecting the 2nd amendment prevent cities from dealing with gun crime? They can still arrest people with illegal guns and put people in jail that commit crimes with guns. I don't see how this renders them helpless.
Are you a white male by chance?
I’d love to be there to hear the arguments and the questions posed by the conservative justices.
Oral argument is scheduled to start shortly after 10:00 a.m. EST today. ScotusWiki on McDonald v. Chicago is a reputable resource for the legal details.
With antipathy to people who aren't like me, no doubt...
And you cling to the bible and guns.
When I was in Ohio, I lived in beautiful and snowy Geauga County. That is well known to the usual suspects, to be the “Wild West” of the Buckeye State. It’s quite normal to see signs above the front doors of homes with the text “Protected by Smith & Wesson.” LOL If the weather was better, I’d be back in a NY minute. What an outstanding place to live!
I left my home unlocked for so long (Mayberry-style) that when I moved out of state, I had to pay a locksmith to come and make a key for the new owner. I hadn’t used or even had a housekey for more than ten years.
Geauga County is armed to the teeth, and it’s reflected in the “crime rate.”
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.