Saturday, November 24, 2007

In case you missed it...

there is a very interesting development in that SCOTUS has agreed to hear District of Columbia v. Heller. This is a case where an individual is suing for his right to "keep and bear arms" in the District, contending the DC's ban on gun ownership is unconstitutional.

The fact that the high court has agreed to hear the case is an indication that they are willing to make a statement on the interpretation of this highly contested amendment--something that hasn't been done for 68 years.

I don't think that a ruling will be clear-cut unless the Justices make it clear that they believe that their decision applies not only the District alone (which is under federal jurisdiction), but also to the states.

The key interpretive question at stake here is: "does the Second Amendment guarantee an individual right to have a gun for private use, or does it only guarantee a collective right to have guns in an organized military force such as a state National Guard unit?"

I am confident it will be a divided decision (unless they limit their answer to federal jurisdiction), but I don't think anyone has a clue as to which way it will fall.

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