Unanimous 7th Circuit Upholds Gun Ban
by Jonathan Singer, Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:14:49 PM EDT
This is interesting:
A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld ordinances barring the ownership of handguns in most cases in Chicago and suburban Oak Park, handing a sharp defeat to the National Rifle Association.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the right to bear arms is not an adequate basis for lawsuits attacking local gun ordinances, the three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
A panel of the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that included Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor reached a similar conclusion about the reach of the Second Amendment in a case from New York over a state law banning the possession of chuka sticks -- a weapon composed of two sticks joined at the ends by a rope or chain.
What's interesting about this decision, which holds that the Second Amendment is not incorporated to the states, isn't that it was a unanimous decision, but rather that the unanimous panel was an entirely conservative one made up of Ronald Reagan appointees Frank Easterbrook (who penned the decision) and Richard Posner, and Gerald Ford appointee William Bauer.
Political conservatives might not like this reasoning, and they have certainly tried to argue that the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is in some way an effort to undermine the Second Amendment because she came to roughly the same conclusion in a similar case. But with one of the most judicially conservative panels in the nation reaching the same verdict as Judge Sotomayor, it's going to be awfully difficult to make stick the charges that she is unreasonably opposed to gun owner rights.