Oral arguments were heard today by the Supreme Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago, IL. At the center of the case is Chicago’s effective ban on handgun ownership. Several other issues are addressed in the petition as well. These include mandatory firearm registration, mandatory reporting of changes to registration status of any firearm, and the rule which renders any firearm whose registration has lapsed no longer eligible for registration.
Lawyers from both side were given the chance to argue their sides before the Justices today, but the overwhelming public opinion is that the Justices will side with the same division as the Heller opinion in a 5 to 4 decision. In Heller, Justices Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito sided in favor of second amendment rights while the remaining Justices dissented. The case is important to both sides as it will have sweeping effects on the ability of states to restrict citizens second amendment rights.
Filed on the same day the Heller decision was decided, this case differs, if only slightly. Washington, D.C. , the center of the Heller case, is of direct federal jurisdiction rather than a city with local and state jurisdictions applying. During arguments today, the divide remained
Link to the case briefs: McDonald v. City of Chicago, IL, Docket No. 08-1521
The coverage is wide, but here are some relevant articles:
By its conclusion, it seemed plain that the court would extend a 2008 decision that first identified an individual right to own guns to strike down Chicago’s gun control law, widely considered the most restrictive in the nation.
New York Times: Supreme Court Still Divided On Guns
The Supreme Court seemed likely to rule for the first time that gun possession is fundamental to American freedom, a move that would give federal judges power to strike down state and local weapons laws for infringing on Second Amendment rights.
The Wall Street Journal: New Ammunition for Gun Rights
To no one’s surprise, the justices gave no sign that they’ve changed their minds in the past two years. Several talked as if the issue when they rule won’t be whether to restrain gun control nationwide but how much room to leave for “reasonable” state and local limits. And that, indeed, is the important question.