13 February 2008

DC v. Heller, the 2nd Amendment case currently before the Supreme Court, presents an interesting legal issue, but (as I've mentioned to some of you in person) just as interesting is the political posturing regarding the case.

The first wrinkle is the fact that the NRA originally tried to sabotage the case to avoid a direct Supreme Court ruling on the scope of the Second Amendment.

The second wrinkle is how governments are lining up on either side of the suit. The federal government is split; while the United States supports the DC gun ban (sort of), Dick Cheney has gone ahead and joined a brief supporting gun owners. Former DOJ officials have filed briefs on both sides. Most interestingly, more states (31, including New Mexico) have lined up on behalf of the gun owners than have on behalf of the District of Columbia (6, counting Puerto Rico). Unlike most of the amicus briefs, I think the state briefs could prove important.

There are also a whole slew of political interest groups who have jumped in, like "Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership." My favorite: the Pink Pistols, a GBLT rights group that wants to prevent firearm ownership from being conditioned upon military service (since gays and lesbians can't serve in the military). It's an interesting argument.

The above-mentioned briefs can be accessed here.

No comments: