Tuesday, November 20, 2007

SCOTUS to Take on 2nd Ammendment

From Scotusblog

After a hiatus of 68 years, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to rule on the meaning of the Second Amendment — the hotly contested part of the Constitution that guarantees “a right to keep and bear arms.” Not since 1939 has the Court heard a case directly testing the Amendment’s scope — and there is a debate about whether it actually decided anything in that earlier ruling. In a sense, the Court may well be writing on a clean slate if, in the end, it decides the ultimate question: does the Second Amendment guarantee an individual right to have a gun for private use, or does it only guarantee a collective right to have guns in an organized military force such as a state National Guard unit?

The city of Washington’s appeal (District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290) seeking to revive its flat ban on private possession of handguns is expected to be heard in March — slightly more than a year after the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that the Second Amendment right is a personal one, at least to have a gun for self-defense in one’s own home.
I for one am highly curious as to how they will rule. The ruling will in essence set a precedent for states since Dc is sort of a state unto itself. Additionally the law only forbids handguns hence it sidesteps the "keep and bear arms" part of the constitution by allowing citizens to own firearms that are normally used for hunting. Furthermore this ruling will be highly telling about the philosophy of the newer appointees. Given how fine this court has split legal hairs in the past it'll be a highly indicator in regards to newer members views of Constitutional vs states rights.

Frankly I'd prefer they shoot it down. I don't like laws that impinge on the rights of a majority for the actions of a minority. DC could have easily required all handgun owners to have licenses or outlawed all handguns under .38 caliber (the cheap ones) both of which would have prevented this legal showdown.