Lawyers, Guns and Money IV

Briefing on the District of Columbia’s request for U.S. Supreme Court review of a lower court decision holding that the District’s handgun law violates the Second Amendment is now complete. D.C. filed its reply brief (pdf, 20 pages) yesterday. Prior SCD entries on the case are available here, here and here.

The District and the residents who filed the lawsuit agree that the Supreme Court should take the case, but differ on what questions the Court should answer. The District wants review limited to its three arguments that:

[F]irst, the right protected by the Second Amendment is limited to weapons possession and use in connection with service in state-regulated militias; second, laws limited to the District do not violate the Amendment; and third, the District’s handgun ban does not infringe the right to keep and bear arms under any view of the Amendment.

The residents want broader review based on their interpretation that District’s statute effectively bans all “functional firearms.” The District spent a substantial portion of its reply brief arguing that the residents’ reading of the statute is overly broad.

Whether to grant review is entirely up to the Court, as is the scope of review. Most constitutional law wonks are predicting that the Court will take the case. The issues the Court wants the parties to address will likely be set out in the order granting certiorari. Stay tuned!

UPDATE:

SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston reports that the Supreme Court will consider this case and a companion case at its November 9, 2007 conference. A decision on the cert petitions could come as early as November 13.

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