BREAKING: Court Overturns DC Gun Ban
by CrazyDrumGuy, Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:32:36 AM EDT
Via The Washington Post, the AP is reporting that the Supreme Court has struck down Washington DC's three decade-old handgun ban.
Details are still rolling in and will be posted here or at my blog as I get them. They're reporting a 5-4 decision (shocker!), and I'm guessing Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy.
Update 1: Just in, the decision was written by Justice Antonin "Fuck You" Scalia. Apparently the Second Amendment trumps everything else. No surprise there.
Update 2: I win! Roberts, Alito, Kennedy, and Thomas joined Scalia on the opinion. But that was too easy.
In District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), the Court nullified two provisions of the city of Washingtons strict 1976 gun control law: a flat ban on possessing a gun in ones home, and a requirement that any gun except one kept at a business must be unloaded and disassembled or have a trigger lock in place. The Court said it was not passing on a part of the law requiring that guns be licensed. It said that issuing a license to a handgun owner, so the weapon can be used at home, would be a sufficient remedy for the Second Amendment violation of denying any access to a handgun. While the declaration of the individual right was clear-cut, as was the decisions nullification of key parts of the Washington, D.C., law, the Court did not lay down a standard for judging the constitutionality of any other federal laws an omission that the dissenters attacked strongly. Even so, the opinion made it clear that, whatever ultimate test emerge, it probably would be a tough one to meet, at least when self-defense is at issue. As Justice Scalia put it, whatever remains for future evaluation about the strength of the right, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.
Update 5: Justice Kennedy's reasoning behind voting to strike down the gun ban: BEARS!
But who knew that a case testing the scope of the Second Amendment's "right to bear arms" would smoke out a secret side of Justice Anthony Kennedy? A side so intensely protective of his right to self-defense that he makesas I countfour separate references to some mythical "remote settler" whoat the time of the framing of the Constitutionwould have needed a gun to "defend himself and his family against hostile Indian tribes and outlaws, wolves and bears, and grizzlies."