|Docket No.||Op. Below||Argument||Opinion||Vote||Author||Term|
|07-290||D.C. Cir.||Mar 18, 2008||Jun 26, 2008||5-4||Scalia||OT 2007|
Holding: (1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. (2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the amendment or state analogues. The court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. The holding in United States v. Miller that the sorts of weapons protected are those "in common use at the time" finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. (3) The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District of Columbia's total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of "arms" that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition -- in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family and property is most acute -- would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Dick Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the district must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.
Judgment: Affirmed, 5-4, in an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia on June 26, 2008. Justice Stevens filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer joined. Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg joined.
Supporting petitioner or neither party
#SCOTUS announces that it will hold a formal, although "purely ceremonial," investiture ceremony for Justice Amy Coney Barrett next Friday. Attendance at the ceremony is by invitation only, & press coverage will be pooled. Full announcement is here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/publicinfo/press/pressreleases/pr_09-24-21
Need a refresher on "cert before judgment" practice at SCOTUS? We've got you covered.
@steve_vladeck examined the practice (among other types of extraordinary relief) in 2018: https://www.scotusblog.com/2018/12/power-versus-discretion-extraordinary-relief-and-the-supreme-court/
And Kevin Russell wrote a detailed explainer in 2011:
Abortion providers in Texas return to Supreme Court, now asking the justices for immediate review on the merits of their challenge to the state’s six-week abortion ban (cert. before judgment)
The Supreme Court will have a new oral argument procedure when they return to the bench Oct. 4. There will be an opportunity for individual questioning by each justice in order of seniority.
Interesting new procedure for oral arguments when the justices return to in-person arguments next month. Does it increase the chances that we will continue to hear from Justice Thomas, who was an active participant using the taking-turns format? https://twitter.com/GregStohr/status/1440318536723812363
NEW: The Supreme Court just released its December argument calendar. Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the term's big abortion case, will be argued Dec. 1.
#SCOTUS will hear oral argument in Mississippi abortion case challenging Roe v. Wade on Dec. 1. Full December argument calendar is here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_calendars/MonthlyArgumentCalDecember2021.pdf
We noted yesterday that Justice Thomas was speaking at Notre Dame but that there was no livestream. A video of his speech is now posted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kb4bFYdujA
Thomas criticized the media and defended the court's independence. Seems to be a theme among the justices lately.
💥 Breyer continues book tour (including @colbertlateshow two nights ago).
💥 Barrett gave a speech Sunday @uofl.
💥 Thomas is slated to give the 2021 Tocqueville Lecture today @NotreDame (but, like Barrett's speech, there is apparently no livestream).
Incidentally, Gorsuch had been scheduled to give a speech at the University of Wyoming today, but his visit was canceled due to COVID.
Nothing from Kagan or Gorsuch though 😢 https://twitter.com/SCOTUSblog/status/1438530948207874050