More Amicus Briefs In D.C. v. Hellerby Doug Mataconis
There have been several more amicus briefs filed with the Supreme Court in support of the effort to overturn the District of Columbia’s gun ban, but the one that raises the most eyebrows is signed by the Vice-President himself:
Vice President Cheney signed on to a brief filed by a majority of Congress yesterday that urged the Supreme Court to uphold a ruling that the District of Columbia’s handgun ban is unconstitutional, breaking with his own administration’s official position.
Cheney joined 55 senators and 250 House members in asking the court to find that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms and to uphold a lower court’s ruling that the D.C. ban violates that right. That position is at odds with the one put forward by the administration, which angered gun rights advocates when it suggested that the justices return the case to lower courts for further review.
In order to make his dramatic break with the administration, Cheney invoked his rarely used status as part of Congress, joining the brief as “President of the United States Senate, Richard B. Cheney.” It is a position he has used at times to make the point that he is sometimes part of the legislative branch and sometimes part of the executive.
A copy of the brief can be found here.
In addition to what will no doubt come to be called the Cheney brief, the Congress of Racial Equality has filed a pro-Respondent brief that asks the court to look at the racist history of gun control laws, a pertinent argument given the racial makeup of the District of Columbia. That brief can be found here.