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Chicago gun ban heads to Supreme Court.

"Sotomayor said she would recuse herself... only in the Maloney case...."

A lawsuit challenging the City of Chicago's longstanding ban on handguns, McDonald v. City of Chicago, has been accepted for review by the US Supreme Court. The Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association have joined with city residents in a case filed by lead counsel Alan Gura, who argued and won the Heller case against Washington DC.

From their petition: "At issue are Chicago's laws (1) banning the registration of handguns, thus effecting a broad handgun ban; (2) requiring that guns be registered prior to their acquisition by Chicago residents, which is not always feasible; (3) mandating that guns be re-registered on an annual basis, including the payment of what amounts to an annual tax on the exercise of Second Amendment rights; and (4) rendering any gun permanently nonregisterable if its registration lapses."

But didn't Heller establish the Second Amendment articulates an individual right?

Yes, but only against a ban from federal entities. From, a Web site established to chronicle McDonald's progress: "At stake is not just the question of whether the Second Amendment secures the right to arms against state and local governments, but also the extent to which the Supreme Court preserves individual liberty against encroachment by state and local governments."

McDonald will decide if the Fourteenth Amendment applies to the Second Amendment as it has to other rights that have been selectively incorporated by past decisions to include state and local governments.

To date, 34 state attorneys general have weighed in supporting this conviction. Again, per "Texas, leading a group of 33 states, filed one amicus brief urging the Court to hear our case and hold the Second Amendment binds state and local governments. California separately filed an amicus brief urging the same."

Additional supporting briefs have been filed by the Institute for Justice and Cato Institute and Constitutional Law Professors. NRA has joined petitioners in these and the state briefs.

Now comes the wait. Per Alan Gura, "Our opening brief is due November 16. The city's brief is then due December 16. Our reply brief is due January 15. The case is expected to be argued in February, with a decision expected by the end of June, 2010."

What can we expect from the High Court?

Of interest is the newest justice, Sonia Sotomayor. Per, "In Maloney v. Cuomo, Sotomayor signed an opinion of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that said the Second Amendment does not protect individuals from having their right to keep and bear arms restricted by state governments.... As justification for this position, the opinion cited the 1886 Supreme Court case of Presser v. Illinois."

While some are holding out hope she will recuse herself, she's kept the door open to hear McDonald. From CBS News: "Sotomayor said she would recuse herself. only in the Maloney case.. She did not agree, however, to recuse herself if the Supreme Court hears another case involving very similar material from the 7th or 9th circuits."

Which means it's going to be an interesting wait.

Visit David Codrea's online journal The War on Guns at
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Title Annotation:RIGHTS WATCH
Author:Codrea, David
Publication:Guns Magazine
Geographic Code:1U3IL
Date:Feb 1, 2010
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