Bang! - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics

Did you hear that? It’s the DC Circuit Court opinion in Parker v. District of Columbia that just rang out like a shot — and it may rip its way clear through the presidential election. A divided three-judge panel just held that Washington, D.C.’s draconian gun ban is unconstitutional; Howard Bashman has details and lots of links. Eugene Volokh says that, even if the Circuit Court agrees to rehear the case en banc, the decision will probably survive, and if it does the case will go to the Supreme Court — the lower courts’ disagreement over whether the Second Amendment confers an individual right is due to be settled. Volokh looks at the timetable:

Say that the D.C. Circuit decides not to rehear the case en banc; that probably means the en banc petition will be denied within several months. Assume that it’s denied by late June – the petition for certiorari will be due in late September, the Supreme Court will consider it in the next month or two (unless it decides to call for the views of the Solicitor General, but I doubt this will be necessary). That means the case will likely be heard in early 2008, and decide by June 2008.

What will the extra prominence of the issue do to the primaries?


Naturally, if one of the Justices retires this year or next, the effect on the Presidential race would be still greater, I suspect. And if the case is delayed (say, by en banc activity, by a call for the views of the Solicitor General, or the like) so that it’s heard in Fall 2008 and expected to be decided in Spring 2009, I take it the effect on the election would be bigger still.

Every presidential candidate is going to have to answer questions about what they think of this case. This could put Democrats who dream of conquering the West in a tough spot.

For Giuliani, this could be either a hazard or an opportunity; it depends how he plays it.

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