US Court of Appeals Rules on 2nd Ammendment. AMEN!!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AJ Peacock, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday, the US Circuit Court of appeals released a ruling stating that the 2nd Amendment is an INDIVIDUAL right.

    I just read the entire 75 page ruling.
    The opposing side of the argument was the District of Columbia (Washington DC). In almost every page of the decision, the Court slaps DC up side the head.

    It is well worth the read:
    http://www.nraila.org/media/PDFs/dccourt04_7041a.pdf

    Here is the one paragraph version (enjoy):

    To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment
    protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right
    existed prior to the formation of the new government under the
    Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for
    activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being
    understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the
    depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from
    abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the
    important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the
    citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient
    for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to
    placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right
    facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be
    barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth
    for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second
    Amendment’s civic purpose, however, the activities it protects
    are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s
    enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or
    intermittent enrollment in the militia.


    Out of respect for the lawyers that argued the correct side of this issue, I will abstain from lawyer jokes for one full year.


    Don
     
  2. Geezer

    Geezer Well-Known Member

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    Re: US Court of Appeals on 2nd Ammendment. AMEN!!!

    The mayor of D.C. is promising to "vigorously enforce" the current law, despite this ruling. Looks like this one might be heading for the Supremes.

    D.C. response
     

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    First and foremost all of y'all need to be much nicer to me now that I might be armed and dangerous.

    Secondly, it is being appealed to the full appeals court. It was only a three judge panel that ruled. Irregardless of the ruling of the full appeals court, it will be appealed by one side or the other to the Supreme Court. Whether the Supreme court will actually hear the case is not known, they are real lazy that way. This will all take a couple of years.
     
  4. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    Out of respect for the lawyers that argued the correct side of this issue, I will abstain from lawyer jokes for one full year.

    Don, these lawyers will be out of work in the D.C. area for getting this through!

    BB, with those DC license plates, where do you keep your guns?
     
  5. jeffbird

    jeffbird Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    First and foremost all of y'all need to be much nicer to me now that I might be armed and dangerous.

    Secondly, it is being appealed to the full appeals court. It was only a three judge panel that ruled. Irregardless of the ruling of the full appeals court, it will be appealed by one side or the other to the Supreme Court. Whether the Supreme court will actually hear the case is not known, they are real lazy that way. This will all take a couple of years.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Correct bottom line conclusion, but the process is a bit more logical than it might otherwise appear.

    A case in the federal system starts in a trial level court known as a "district court." Appeals are taken to a federal court of appeals. The federal courts of appeals are divided into 11 regions known as "circuits" plus one for the District of Columbia, i.e. 1st Cir., 2d Cir, 3d Cir, etc. Each circuit has several judges that review appeals - more than 10 active judges typically in each circuit. Each circuit considers 1,000's of appeals each year.

    To keep up with the workload and yet prevent just a single individual from making decisions in an appeal since there are no juries on appeals, all appeals in federal courts of appeals are decided by three judge panels. Decisions on substantial cases or involving significant or unique facts or points of law are published in official "reporters." Once the three judge panel renders a decision, if that panel's decision appears to conflict with another panel's decision within the same circuit or involves a very substantial question of law, then a party may request the full court consisting of all judges in that circuit to reconsider the appeal jointly, which is known as "en banc." En banc decisions are very, very rare typically just a handful per year out of 1,000's of appeals in each circuit.

    Every party has an automatic right of appeal to the courts of appeal. If someone appeals, the courts of appeal must review the case (skipping some fine points here). En banc review is in the discretion of the court, not automatic.

    Next step is to request a review by the Supreme Court. In most instances, the Supreme Court has discretion whether to consider the case. However, this type of issue and the way this opinion was written, the issue is well presented for the Supreme Court to consider. If DC seeks review by the Supreme Court and it declines review, the weight of this published opinion is increased significantly. Another circuit, may rule differently in a future case in another circumstance. If the decisions of two different circuits conflict, then the Supreme Court is more likely to take an issue for review.

    The Supreme Court is not "lazy" so much as very, very cautious and reserved about wading into issues where it is not otherwise necessary. If they think this case was correctly decided and the reasoning sound, they may decline review. The Supreme Court has over 7,000 appeals per year to consider. Of those, they will undertake consideration and publish opinions in 80 or 90 opinions per year.

    As for the issue, the background materials which reveal the reason for this amendment are fairly clear and strong, as well as fairly radical even by today's norms. Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Washington and their friends would probably be on government watch lists today and/or locked up, which is exactly why they wanted power to reside with citizens, not the government.

    The root of the problem in Second Amendment cases is that the amendment itself is very poorly written. Courts are bound to construe a law - as written. Where a law's meaning is ambiguous then the court considering it may look to context for interpretation and application. Every time the talking heads and politicians blabber about activist judges, they just mean they judges did not do want they wanted. In reality, judges of all philosophies are faced with 1,000's of variations of applying laws which is a far more complex problem than is imaginable. Here, you want the judges to consider the historical and contextual materials, they really make the language more logical. Reading the whole amendment as written, not just the last two clauses out of four, is a difficult job without reference to contextual materials.


    Now as for the mayor saying he will continue to enforce the law, the court of appeals will "remand" the case to the district court which will issue an injunction prohibiting enforcement of this particular provision of the DC law. DC may request a "stay" pending final resolution of the stay, which means maintain the status quo until the case is concluded.

    Once an injunction is issued, if the mayor refuses to obey the court's order, he will be enjoying a bologna sandwich in a lovely room with some lonely guys and trying not to drop the soap in the shower....
     
  6. NYLES

    NYLES Well-Known Member

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    Jeffbird,

    That was worth reading! Excellent post! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    3 smiles to ya!