Thursday, June 26, 2008

DC vs Heller decision

And the winner is: HELLER! with 2 Justices dissenting.
From SCOTUS Blog:

The Court has released the opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), on whether the District’s firearms regulations – which bar the possession of handguns and require shotguns and rifles to be kept disassembled or under trigger lock – violate the Second Amendment. The ruling below, which struck down the provisions in question, is affirmed.

Justice Scalia wrote the opinion. Justice Breyer dissented, joined by Justices Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg. We will provide a link to the decision as soon as it is available.

Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm.

It is striking that the decision is not clouded by ambiguity created by separate opinions. One opinion on each side.

Apologies - there is a second dissenting opinion, but only one majority - no plurality and no concurrences.

More to follow when it's available.

Update: Here is the link to the opinion by Justice Scalia.

Here's some of the opinion:
The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56–64.

Some of this is not so good, but I'm not a lawyer so I will post more when I get it.


Mike W. said...

yeah, I'm pissed they didn't strike down the licensing requirement, particularly since he was required to have one just to carry IN HIS OWN HOME.

That said, they do say later in the opinion that such licensing cannot be done in a "capricious and arbitary manner." That sounds good should we ever get a case to court challenging "may issue" CCW like we have here in DE.

Unknown said...

Right on. We use what we get, which is still a good decision.

I say we adapt and overcome, and let the Brady's do the improvising.