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  • Supreme Court Takes Up Chicago Gun Ban Case Today

    United States Supreme Court

    This morning, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in McDonald v. Chicago, a landmark case addressing whether states can deny the rights of their citizens to keep and bear arms.  This question was left open by the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking yet common sense decision in Heller v. District of Columbia, in which the Court concluded, yes, the Second Amendment does actually protect an individual right to keep and bear arms.  The successful lawyer for Heller, Alan Gura, will be the lead counsel in McDonald as well.

    Inevitably, all eyes will be focused on the Court’s newest justice, Sonia Sotomayor, who received criticism during her confirmation hearings for her previous treatment of the Second Amendment as a judge on the Second Circuit.  In Maloney v. Cuomo, Sotomayor ruled that Second Amendment rights do not apply to the states, and that the Second Amendment does not even implicate a fundamental right—and she reached this decision even after the Supreme Court recognized an individual right to bear arms in Heller.  After a brief hat-tip of recognition to Heller, Sotomayor based her decision on outdated precedent applying a different provision of the Constitution—so outdated in fact that the line of cases did not even recognize that the states were bound to respect the First Amendment, let alone the Second.

    Additionally, prior to the Heller ruling, she had joined an unpublished opinion flatly stating that the right to possess a gun is “clearly not a fundamental right.”  This and her decision in Maloney have led many to worry about her fidelity to the Second Amendment.  During her confirmation hearings, she defended her ruling in Maloney by claiming she was simply following precedent.  However, especially now that she sits on the High Court, she is no longer bound by a decision that virtually everyone concedes is inconsistent with subsequent Supreme Court case law.

    This case will have huge implications on one of the few enumerated rights in our Constitution.  If the Court does not recognize that the individual right to bear arms is incorporated against the states, this would permit states to completely ban gun possession. This possibility only serves to highlight the importance of the Supreme Court in American life.  It is inevitable that there will be at least one or two vacancies giving way to one or two new justices sitting on the Court even yet this year.  These justices are given authority over the protection of our most fundamental rights, including the basic right of self-defense that is enshrined in our Constitution.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    25 Responses to Supreme Court Takes Up Chicago Gun Ban Case Today

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      If federal law stands supreme, then this argument is pretty much settled in my opinion. Union membership guarantees protection of constitutionally recognized individual rights. This and national defense are part of the design our federal system. A personal friend of mine along with our state's attorney general have both presented on this issue as friends of the court.

    2. Don Harper, Lubbock, says:

      How can the right to self-defence not be fundamental?

    3. Helen Sabin Colorado says:

      I hope the Supremes see their way to common sense once again and affirm States Rights. Without that protection, many who use a firearm as self protection will find themselves at the mercy of any anti-gunners around including our current administration – who incidentally are protected by those same firearms.

      Its time that the courts go back to the constitution and base their decisions on that most outstanding and terrific document called the Constitution, rather than "precedent." as some of the decisions that have been made by the courts stop just short of idiotic and "stupid."

      The founding fathers knew the law and they recognized that without the right to self protection, tyrannical governments such as we have today with Obama and company could take over this great country and totally turn it around. We shall see if the Supreme Court with its new inductee does indeed honor and respect the Constitution in this upcoming decision. Let's hope they do!

    4. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      I scoff at these judges who say they are only following precedent when they explain their opinions. That's really a cop out to taking a stand on that document to which all federal officials, especially judges/justices, swear an oath to protect and defend…the Constitution. How about that for precedent! I don't even need a team of lawyers to know what the Second Amendment means whereas I would certainly need them to interpret all of the preceding rulings on the same.

      The 31 GOP senators who voted against her confirmation will either have egg on their face if she rules for McDonald or be vindicated if she rules in favor of Chicago. I guess we'll know by June.

    5. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Does anyone think Sotomayer will vote FOR the rights of gun owners to "keep and bare arms" as quananteed by the second admendment of our Constitution?

      Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court by Obama because she is as radical and left as anyone that has ever passed judgement on the citizens of this nation. She defended and assisted the Communist movement in Puerto Rico. She has ruled against every gun rights case that came before her. She has wirtten several decents on the right to own a firearm. Do you really expect she will have an moment of respect for our Constitution. NOT A CHANCE! When

      we loose our right, thank Obama, and the Republicans that voted for her

      confermation.

    6. Gerald B says:

      I think you are all crazy…the right to own a gun should not be a fundamental right. What about all the crazy idiots in the world…they should have the right to own a gun. The constitution was written at a much different time then today. Much of the violence is caused in the US by guns, why??? because idiot can get one legally or illegally. Driving a car is not a fundamental right…why would owning a gun.

      The constitution was written by people smarter than most of us, and they realized that as times change so should the document, this is one of those items that needs to be looked at.

    7. Tazz says:

      Gerald we pretty much know your the crazy one here!

    8. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      You're projecting Gerald B. Best learn the truth about gun ownership in America. I'm sure you'd be quite embarrassed by your stated ignorance of the constitution's origins and its 2nd Amendment.

    9. Fred, Utah says:

      Gerald, its interesting that you mention driving cars. There are far more people killed by cars than guns. If your idea is to make the world safer, then banning unsafe drivers would be far more effective.

      Our Constitution mostly defines what limits are placed on the government to protect the rights of the citizens. Hopefully, the Supreme Court remembers this when they make their ruling. The purpose of the Supreme Court is not to make law. That is reserved for Congress.

      The US Constitution can be amended as it has in the past. There is a legal procedure to this and its very difficult to accomplish. You can look it up at various wesites that deal with the US Constitution.

    10. dave, dayton says:

      I am reminded of the statement," An armed man is a citizen, and unarmed man is a subject". If you think for one moment that we will continue to enjoy the liberties we currently enjoy, that you will continue to be able to walk freely when and where you want , you are sadly mistaken. There are bad, mean people in this world, get that straight. If you want an idea of what an unarmed society is like, look to England and Austraila (SP), Crime rates up 100 to 300 per cent. Just because you say " get rid of the guns", does not mean the bad guys will give up their guns. It just means they will no longer have to worry about the guy the want to rob being armed. The Supremes ( wasn't that a singing group) hopefully will in fact respect the Constitution as written, and understood by our founding fathers.

    11. Sam, WI says:

      Making it illegal to own a gun will simply keep them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Not to mention the "crime" of owning a gun is pretty small compared to the real crimes that are committed with the use of a gun. Plus, if people can smuggle drugs, money and even other people across the border, what makes you think they won't be able to smuggle guns too?

      The reason for owning a gun for self-defense is that simply drawing a gun will make most criminals back off, not to mention if the criminal has a gun and you don't, you're pretty much out of luck. It doesn't matter if the police have some sort of obligation to protect you (take restraining orders for example), if you get injured or killed by someone, the police cannot be held responsible for failing to protect you.

    12. G says:

      I agree with Gerald. After all of the school shootings and other crimes with guns, our country still insists everyone should be allowed to have them. I'm a Republican who is against gun rights, and all arguments for guns are wrong when you look at the actual data. The data says self defense shootings are low, but all of the criminals are using them constantly. So we are we arming by handing out guns everywhere?

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    14. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      After hearing about the U.S. Supreme Court's looking at due process rather than privileges and immunities, I had to agree that their scope is much broader in protecting an individual's right to keep and bear arms.

    15. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      To G: please share your data source. I'm extremely interested in learning where you're getting such blatantly false information.

    16. Spiritof76, NH says:

      If the States do not have to respect the Bill of Rights which is part and parcel of the US Constitution, then it can not be the supreme law of the land.

      If that was the case, the slavery would have never been abolished. The States could then claim that they do not have to respect the emancipation aspect of the Constitution.

      The real question here is whether the states can exercise certain well defined limitations that they can impose on gun possession in certain areas; clearly not ownership question. States can argue that they can impose restriction in carrying a weapon into their legislative rooms, for example.

      The Second Amendment is clear. Congress or any other governing body (based on the Constitution overriding the statutes of the states) can not infringe upon the citizens right to bear arms.

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    18. Dennis Missouri says:

      it really bothers me when i read comments like Gerald and b posted at last knowledge it was illegal to rob and Pillage private property, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, go into schools and shoot innocent people but there are criminals out there that continue to do just that even though it is against the law and a criminal act, but, that is their choice to protect their families or hope the law is close enough to do it for them as for me i will protect my property to the extent of my second amendment rights ignorance must really be bliss ,best to you and be safe

    19. Bill Dayton, OH says:

      Gerald B, Spoken like a true liberal. First my friend all they will accomplish by denying gun owners their rights is that they will make criminals out of law abiding citizens. Most people I know who own guns are reliable people who fear crime. They will not give ip their weapons easily. If states are allowed to pass their own laws concerning gun rights, honest people will move to those states who allow citizens to keep and bear arms (as our Constitution intended), and the criminals will rob and kill until their is no one/nothing left. Then they will make a terible mistake by going to a state where citizens are allowed to own guns.

    20. Bill Dayton, OH says:

      One other comment for Gerald and anyone who agrees with him. It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    21. charles kennedy says:

      It doesn't take an Einstein to understand the second amendment as our founding fathers wrote it and meant it to be interperted. If you are a law abiding citizen, you havce the constitutional right to own a firearm for hunting, sports or for self protection. The idea fo taking the guns from law abiding people so that only the crriminals remain armed is utterly insane. We hope that the supreme Court Judges are smart enough to interperet the 2nd. amendment as it was intended.

    22. Jim Hauck, NY says:

      Courts have ruled that because law enforcement officers can't be everywhere at once, private citizens have no guarantee, and should have no expectation, of protection.

      Government and criminals enjoy a "monopoly of power", unless the private citizen is prepared to defend himself and his property.

      There are many, both in and out of government, that seek to repeal the Second Amendment and disarm private citizens.

      For these reasons, it is prudent for private citizens to arm themselves and become proficient in self-defense.

      I haven't fired a weapon in 20 years but I am now choosing the ones I will buy.

    23. Don California says:

      Gerald and his friends,

      Let me point out a simple fact. No matter how you feel about whether or not it should or should not be a fundamental right; it still is a fundamental right. There is only one legal way to change that, another constitutional amendment that negates the second amendment. This is what the 21st amendment did to the 18th amendment.

      Don

    24. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Don, the Bill of Rights by constitutional design not open to repeal.

    25. seattle,washington says:

      the thing that the city of chicago has done is a violation of the 14th amendment otis mcdonald has no criminal reports and has followed every single rule that there is to follow so i dont get why they just rejected his renawal that is cruel and is a violation witch says "it forbids states from denying any person" so it is clearly violating the 14th amendment. thats all i have to say

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