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February 8, 2008

Members of Congress file brief in Heller case

by Jason Pye

Here is some good news concerning District of Columbia v. Heller. US Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Jon Tester (D-MT) are filing a brief with signatures of 250 House members and 55 Senators, urging that the DC gun law be overturned by the Supreme Court:

“All of the congressional legislative history is assuming that the Second Amendment, which is in the Bill of Rights, is an individual right and for a city or state to thwart this by taking a person’s right in their home to have a loaded gun, just seemed to be a perfect opportunity for the Supreme Court to affirm this individual right that Congress has acknowledged throughout its history,” Hutchison said.

Tester said the writers of the Constitution did not intend for laws to be applied to some people and not others or to be applied some times and not others.

“We cannot restrict the right to bear arms just like we can’t restrict the right to practice religion or the right of a free and independent press,” Tester said.

The Bush Administration has filed a brief on behalf of the District of Columbia. However, the administration says that it supports the individual rights view of the Second Amendment.

Heller could settle the question as to whether the Second Amendment is an individual right (which is my belief) or a collective right. To learn more about the case, visit DC Gun Case or read this article by Robert Levy. You can also listen this event podcast from the Cato Institute that explains some of the details of the case and why the challenge to the ban was presented.

Oral arguments for Heller begin on March 18th.

H/T: Of Arms and the Law

[UPDATE] Here is the brief signed by Vice-President Dick Cheney, 55 members of the Senate and 250 members of the House.

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3 Comments

  1. what is the crux of the -collective right- argument? if deemed a collective right, does that mean a citizen’s gun ownership is only guaranteed if serving in the proper US military, or a legally formed militia and not guaranteed ownership of a personal firearm?

    Comment by oilnwater — February 8, 2008 @ 9:17 am
  2. [...] Jason noted earlier today, there was also an amicus brief filed by members of Congress in addition to several other amicus briefs in support of Heller’s [...]

    Pingback by The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Respondents File Brief In D.C. v. Heller — February 8, 2008 @ 11:01 am
  3. Grrrrrrr…..it really chafes me when people that signed the Patriot Act start quoting the constitution as if it were the definitive answer, then turn around and say the constitution should be interpreted favorably when they want to pass laws with power not granted to them. Stop using the interstate commerce clause to allow you to pass any number of retarded laws and maybe then you have a leg to stand on when you argue a strict constructionist view for other sections of it. I fucking hate cherry picking.

    Comment by Greg — February 9, 2008 @ 6:34 am

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