WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire — Today, as the deadline approaches for the District of Columbia’s brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of its petition to overturn the recent Parker opinion striking down the District’s handgun ban, the Legal Action Project of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence posted the third installment in its online critique exposing the flaws in the Parker decision. Parker remains the only
Federal Appeals Court decision in American history to strike down a gun law as a violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (If the U.S. Supreme Court accepts the District’s upcoming appeal, the case will be renamed District of Columbia v. Heller.)
The Brady Center critique, “Second Amendment Fantasy: The D.C.
Circuit’s Opinion In The Parker Case,” exposes the Appellate Court’s
opinion as contrary to binding Supreme Court precedent, and rife with
distortions and misconstructions of history and legal authority. An
overview of the critique, and the first three chapters, are posted on
http://www.gunlawsuits.org. Additional chapters will be posted in coming
In March 2007, in a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
D.C. Circuit invalidated the District of Columbia’s handgun law, along with separate provisions of D.C. law requiring that registered firearms be kept unloaded or locked when stored at home.
Departing from the conclusions of nine other federal circuit courts,
Judge Laurence Silberman’s majority opinion in Parker v. District of
Columbia found that the Second Amendment right is not limited to the
possession and use of firearms in connection with service in organized
militias, but rather extends to the personal possession of guns for private purposes like self-defense and hunting. In May, the full D.C. Circuit denied rehearing en banc, with four judges dissenting. In July, the District announced it will seek an appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
The first chapter of the critique, Mangling Miller, charged that the
court defied the binding interpretation of the Second Amendment set out
almost 70 years ago by the Supreme Court in United States v. Miller. The
second chapter, Decision by Eraser, explained that the court was able to
reach its conclusion only by effectively obliterating the first half of the Amendment stating its militia purpose. The third chapter, Militia Madness, exposes the legal and historical errors in the court’s substitution of an “armed populace” for the Framers’ “well regulated Militia.”
Contact: Zach Ragbourn, 202-898-0792