Parker case now known as “Heller” as it is appealed to U.S. Supreme Court
UPDATE: Editor's Note - The official name of the case remains Parker vs. District of Columbia. Due to legal technicalities we will not know what the Supreme Court case will
be called until first or second week of November 2007. The anti-gun
side will be referring to it as Heller because they don't like being
in the position of having to attack Parker, an African-American
By Tim Inwood
For months you have read stories about the Parker
case, in which several residents of Washington D.C. were
suing the city over the thirty year ban on the
ownership of handguns. I wanted to update you as to
what is going on at the moment.
In March the city lost
their case to preserve their ban, and a later appeal
for an en banc hearing was refused. In late July,
Mayor Adrian Fenty decided to ignore the advice given
by Sarah Brady and the rest of the anti-gun
establishment and appeal the case to the United States
Supreme Court. The anti-gunners rightly recognize that
if the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with the D.C. Circuit,
then decades of gun bans in various states and cities
will be in jeopardy; thus they pleaded with Fenty to
accept the D.C. Court of Appeals ruling and modify the
D.C. law to a minimum standard to allow some handgun
ownership, but with heavy restrictions. Fenty, vain
fellow that he is, has decided to go for broke. Now
everything is on the line.
Click 'Read More' for the entire commentary.
The case name has now
changed. As pleadings for certiorari move forward, the
case will now be known as District of Columbia vs.
Heller. The reason for this change is that it was
decided that Dick Heller was the only plaintiff who
still had legal standing. Heller is a D.C. police
officer who is licensed to carry a firearm in
Washington D.C. due to his employment at the Thurgood
Marshall Federal Judiciary Building.
The U.S. Supreme Court is not required to hear every
case, and has not taken on a case directly dealing with
the Second Amendment since the 1939 Miller case, so
it is very much up in the air as to what happens next.
If they refuse to hear the case, then the D.C. Appeals
Court ruling stands and the city must change their
law. If it goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, then the
ruling will affect the entire United States and our
right to bear arms.
Frankly, I think if they do
decide to hear the case we can pretty much guess which
justices will fall in which camp. I suspect Justices
Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Chief Justice Roberts will
fall into the “individual right” camp. The
“collectivist right” camp will have Breyer, Ginsburg, Stevens
and very probably Justice Souter. Justice Kennedy has
been the swing vote in this court since Chief Justice
Roberts and Justice Alito came on board. I suspect the
decision will have to tread a fairly moderate line to
get him to agree with the Second Amendment is an
“individual right” camp. Only the Court agreeing to
hear the case and time will bear out my predictions.
Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past
President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen
Association, an Endowment Member of the NRA, Life
Member of OGCA, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms