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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More on Supreme Court Decision to Hear Chicago Case

Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that they would hear a case dealing with the Chicago handgun ban. The case is McDonald vs. Chicago. The lawsuit was originally filed within hours after the high court's ruling in D.C. vs. Heller that overturned a ban on possessing handguns in the nation's capital.

The court had three cases to choose from on the Second Amendment, one dealing with New York (Maloney v. Rice) and two dealing with Chicago - the McDonald case where Alan Gura, the attorney that successfully argued the Heller case, and the NRA case. According to SCOTUS Blog:

Presumably, the Court will hold onto that case until it decides McDonald; the same is likely for the New York case, Maloney v. Rice (08-1592).
The case has major implications for the legality of restrictive gun laws not only in Chicago, but also in other cities across the United States such as New York. In short, the Supreme court could incorporate the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment to applied to states.

For those not familiar with the meaning of "Incorporation," it is the technical word for making a Constitutional Amendment applicable to the states. When the Bill of Rights was passed, the Founders specifically rejected a proposal to incorporate the Amendments. Instead, the laws were only applicable to the federal government.

But starting in 1897, the high court has undergone a piecemeal process of incorporating various parts of the Bill of Rights. The case in question is asking the justices to extend the federally protected Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to the states. Something has yet to do.

It should be noted that VSSA joined our sister state associations in filing a brief in support of NRA vs. Chicago. While that case is not the one being heard, VSSA will be joining the other state associations in support of McDonald. We will keep you posted on the latest information about VSSA's role in the case.

Hat tip to Sebastian.

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