If the Supreme Court upholds the decision, great. If the Supreme Court reverses, the political template for what follows may be Kelo.
I hope the decision holds. But if it doesn’t, I expect that some state legislatures will be forced to strengthen their own explicit protections for the RKBA. Of course it may also be reasonable to expect that other states, and particularly cities, would see a reversal as license to increase restrictions or move from restriction to outright firearms prohibition. However, the laws in some of the more restrictive jurisdictions are currently so stringent that formal prohibition might not be much worse than what they have now, and severe new laws might energize opponents.
I think Steve Chapman is probably right that political trends mean that the DC court’s decision is more likely to cause problems for gun prohibitionists than for the RKBA.
3 thoughts on “The Supreme Court and the DC Appeals Court’s 2nd Amendment Decision”
The SCOTUS will have to reverse not only the DC courts decision, but much of US v Miller as well. Not likely. The Miller decision held that a short barreled shot gun was not “of use to the militia” due to a lack of PRESENTED evidence. Considering that Miller was not represented at this trial at all (as he was presumably dead at the time), the lack of a defense team to present said evidence probably had something to do with it. Not that there was any lack of evidence to support the usefullness, our military used trench sweepers quite a lot, still does. This fact may even get brought up in dictum in the US v DC hearing. At least we can hope it will.
Set the judical considerations aside for a moment. Think workload. If SCOTUS reverses what happens? Their workload increases on this matter. Local, Regional and State bodies will formulate rules vis a vis any reversal. Challenges will be mounted that will wind thru the federal courts. Of the hundreds of challenges, tens of them will end up being pressed to SCOTUS for review.
Ultimately, SCOTUS would have to reverse itself or whittle away at it’s own ruling in needing to clairify the reversal. Essentially the same mess that was generated by the BCRA would ensue here. I would hazard that the Court will consider very carefully the avalanche of work that would fall on the Judicary with such a reversal.
If you really believe that the Court only considers the Constitutional aspects of a case then I have a bridge to sell.
Affirmance of Parker v. District of Columbia will not have a widespread effect on gun laws. The second amendment finally will be given some real meaning consistent with its text, but the second amendment will still apply only to the federal government and not to the states or their political subdivisions. In Parker the court says that the second amendment applied directly to the District of Columbia because it is a Federal District ultimately controlled by Congress (n. 13).
Thus, whether the case is affirmed or reversed, state and regional governments will have no need to re-formulate their rules on the RTKBA. New questions will arise, as they always do in the wake of a Supreme Court decision. But the federal courts have procedures to handle that, including denying certiorari. Speculation on whether caseload will go up or down depending on the outcome won’t be a factor in the Supreme Court’s decision. It would be more reasonable to buy John Mc’s bridge than to buy his argument.
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