ACRU

Will DC Appeal Parker Case to the Supreme Court?

I am beginning to think it is quite possible that DC will not appeal the ruling of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in the Parker case. That historic ruling concluded that the Second Amendment really does protect an individual’s right to keep and bear arms and struck down the DC gun control laws as a result.

DC may instead pass a new gun control law that is still quite severe but does not as thoroughly prohibit any right to gun ownership and use in self defense as the old law did. They would argue that this new law meets the requirements of the Parker ruling.

I think that liberals may fear they would lose any appeal to the Supreme Court, resulting in a much more important precedent and historic conservative victory. DC may be hearing from liberals who want to duck this result and instead pass a new bill that may have a greater chance of being upheld.

This strategy is likely to fail in my opinion. First, I think any new bill DC passes will still be too harsh to pass muster. I think a new suit against such a bill would still likely succeed in the DC Circuit, though with a new panel of judges there is always a risk. Moreover, the existing precedent in Parker would give us a foundation to get to the Supreme Court if we lose in the DC Circuit. I think that would result at a minimum in the Supreme Court endorsing the Parker view that the Second Amendment does protect an individual right to keep and bear arms, regardless of whether they uphold a new DC bill. But I doubt the DC liberals would be willing to compromise enough to pass a new bill that would be upheld. So I think any such strategy will not deprive us of the historic victory that has been put in motion by the Parker ruling.