U.S. Supreme Court to hear another landmark gun rights case
DELAWARE, OH - The United States Supreme Court has accepted a second historic gun rights case. The ruling on this case could affect the laws of every state and city in the nation.
McDonald v. City of Chicago focuses on "incorporation" of the Second Amendment. This means the court will be answering the question:
Does the Second Amendment restrict state and city action, or just action by the federal government?
Currently, the Second Amendment restricts only federal action.
This incorporation case is a follow-up to District of Columbia v. Heller. The Heller decision, issued on June 27, 2008, found that there is a fundamental, individual right to own firearms and a fundamental, individual right to self defense under the Second Amendment. The decision did not address the issue of incorporation.
This is the exact wording of the court's recent order:
Whether the Second Amendment is incorporated into the Due Process Clause or the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment so as to be applicable to the States, thereby invalidating ordinances prohibiting possession of handguns in the home.
The wording of the Court's order indicates that the Court is interested in revisiting the privileges and immunity clause of the 14th amendment. If the Second Amendment is incorporated into the Due Process Clause or the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment so that it applies to the States, it would invalidate laws prohibiting possession of handguns in the home.
The argument could be presented like this: Given that the right to attend worship, the right to jury trial, the right to counsel, the right against self-incrimination, and all the other rights in the U.S. Constitution apply inside Chicago, why should the rights affirmed by the Second Amendment stop at the city limits?
Under normal scheduling, the timing of this order means the case will likely be set for argument in January 2010, and a decision will be released by June 2010.
The Supreme Court considered a number of different cases during the September 29, 2009 conference, including two other gun-rights cases. It is possible that the McDonald case will be the only gun rights case to be heard.
"We are delighted that the court has agreed to take this important case," said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "Rights affirmed by our Constitution should apply equally to everyone, no matter where they live."
Buckeye Firearms Foundation, an Ohio-based 501(C)(3) foundation dedicated to defending firearm rights, participated in the original Heller case by filing an amicus brief in support of Mr. Heller. On September 12, 2009, Buckeye Firearms Foundation attorney Ken Hanson was a presenter in a panel discussion at Northwestern Law School in Chicago, discussing the prospects for incorporation and the Chicago cases in general.
Buckeye Firearms Foundation plans on participating in the McDonald case by filing an amicus brief, and has secured the support of the United States Concealed Carry Association as a co-party.
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