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Thread: SCOTUS strikes down DC gun ban

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default SCOTUS strikes down DC gun ban

    The Supreme Court today issued a surprisingly narrow five-to-four opinion affirming the rights of Americans to own guns for certain purposes, striking down a Washington, D.C. law that banned handguns. Justices decided on the question of whether the Second Amendment protected individual rights to own a gun or if ownership needed to be tied to a militia.

    The Court had not ruled on the Second Amendment since 1939, and has never, until today, had the opportunity to define the issue in such a broad way. The case, District of Columbia v. Heller, is already being seen as one of the most important decisions the Court has handed down in recent years.

    Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said the Second Amendment clearly guaranteed the individual right. "Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation," he wrote.

    Still, some restrictions are allowed. "We do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose," he continued. "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited."

    Scalia was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy. Justices John Paul Stevens and Steven Breyer authored dissenting opinions, which Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter joined.

    The lawsuit attracted friend of the court briefs from lawmakers and opponents and proponents of gun control, even causing a highly unusual public rift within the Bush Administration. Solicitor General Paul Clement wrote the Court in support of Washington's law, while Vice President Dick Cheney joined dozens of members of Congress in support of the Second Amendment.

    Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting John McCain also signed the amicus brief on behalf of plaintiff Dick Heller, a District resident, and expressed support for the ruling. "Today's ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller makes clear that other municipalities like Chicago that have banned handguns have infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans," McCain said in a statement.

    The GOP nominee couldn't resist the opportunity to take a shot at rival Barack Obama: "Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today's ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right -- sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly."

    Obama's campaign has not yet released a statement on the opinion.

    RealClearPolitics - Politics Nation - SCOTUS Rules For Guns
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    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    Well, I bet D.C. is going to start seeing a lot of crime now.

    Yes, that was extreme sarcasm.

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