June 8, 2009

NRA Appeals Seventh Circuit Ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court

FAIRFAX, Va. -- The National Rifle Association filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of NRA v. Chicago.

Last week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the Second Amendment does not apply to state and local governments.

"The Seventh Circuit got it wrong. As the Supreme Court said in last year's landmark Heller decision, the Second Amendment is an individual right that 'belongs to all Americans'. Therefore, we are taking our case to the highest court in the land," said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. "The Seventh Circuit claimed it was bound by precedent from previous decisions. However, it should have followed the lead of the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Nordyke v. Alameda County, which found that those cases don't prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

This Seventh Circuit opinion upholds current bans on the possession of handguns in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois.

To read a copy of the NRA's petition to the Supreme Court, click here.

Comments (7)

Look: I understand people don't like this ruling but, believe it or not, this may be very good news. The Supreme Court is asked to review literally thousands- 3 or 4 thousand- cases per year. They typically hear well less than 200; sometimes as few as 100 or so. The overwhelming majority of appeals are not heard. But, there are certain types of cases that they are likely to actually decide; one of the types of cases is where there is a "conflict amongst the circuits". This is where one US Court of Appeals has decided law in one way, and one or more US Courts of appeals has decided the law in a different way. The rationale for this is that you should have one settled law across the country; you shouldn't have to check what area you are in to decide whether something is legal.

Now, why is this helpful? Because the 9th Circuit has decided that the second amendment IS binding on the states; and here the 7th circuit has decided it is NOT binding on the states. Bingo. You've got conflict amongst the circuits and this greatly increases the chance that the Supreme Court will hear one or more of the cases, to fix the problem. And from a gun owners perspective, I'd much rather have the Supreme Court hear this as soon as possible, before we get a lot of people leaving the court. If the Court hears the cases next year (2009-2010 term) then I suspect we will get a ruling binding on the states that the 2nd amendment applies to the states.

The point is, this ruling creates an opportunity to have the Supreme Court hear the case now, instead of 5 years or so down the line, after our president has appointed a bunch of new justices.

Posted by: chilishotgun | July 2, 2009 9:01 AM    Report this comment

Yes, Sharps.....That is precisely the interpretation with which we should be
alarmed. It is this threat that we, as gun
owners, need to sell to the non-gun owning
members of our society, because I fear that
there are many out there who have an attitude of "so what.....I don't own any guns, so who
cares?". That said, we really do need to go on
a recruitment drive to bring not only all of the American gun owners into our fold, but we
need to convince the non-gun owners that their freedoms are also at risk. It is a big task, considering that most gun owners are content to sit idly by, but it is a task that all of us who are actively engaged in the preservation of our Second Amendment rights must take a part.

Posted by: canovack | June 13, 2009 12:19 PM    Report this comment

Would one gather from the Seventh Circuit court that NONE of the amendments really relate to individual rights ,but rather the Fed's discretionary powers? Semper Fi

Posted by: Sharps | June 13, 2009 11:10 AM    Report this comment

When we first heard about the ruling of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, it was shockingly unbelievable. It was ever more so, when we heard that BHO's SCOTUS nominee, Sonia
Sotomayor, shared that same opinion! We are glad that the NRA is picking up the action on this, since it is such an outrageous miscarriage of justice that it must be corrected. Hopefully the SCOTUS will agree to
put this suit on its docket.

Posted by: canovack | June 11, 2009 12:57 PM    Report this comment

So, which other of our rights under the Bill of Rights can be abrogated at the will of state or local government politicians? Freedom of speech, religion? How about the Fourth Amendment -- can the state police or your local police invade your home freely without a warrant or probable cause? Apparently, according to these judges, the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, applies only to federal authorities in federal cases. State and local authorities need take no notice. The Seventh Circuit Appeals Court ruling is absurd on its face! This should be a slam dunk for NRA, but then some other recent rulings by the Supremes (not Heller) -- the takings clause and campaign finance, for example -- give pause. And, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Obama US Justice Dept. file a brief with the Supreme Court in support of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals position.
Doug

Posted by: dbr65 | June 11, 2009 9:12 AM    Report this comment

I wonder if these same liberal judges would apply their same reasoning to the 13th Amendment, meaning the 13th Amendment does not apply to state and local governments? Food for thought.

Posted by: Robert J | June 11, 2009 9:02 AM    Report this comment

At least a handful of lawyers are getting rich.
Banning handguns didn't work for England either.Fighting gun control is like skydiving,If at first you don't succeed,I doubt you'll try again. Hat's off to the NRA for keeping the faith. I'm proud to be a lifetime member! Semper Fi

Posted by: Sharps | June 11, 2009 8:50 AM    Report this comment

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