Yesterday, the District of Columbia–whose arguments Judge Silberman soundly rejected in the D.C. Circuit’s recent opinion in Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370 (D.C. Cir. 2007)–filed its Petition for Writ of Certiorari to SCOTUS. Behold, Parker now has a docket number, 07-290, and a new name, District of Columbia v. Heller. So renamed because only one of the underlying six appellants, Dick Anthony Heller, was found to have “standing” by the D.C. Circuit.
As noted earlier, this case is dramatically important to the Constitutional landscape because: (1) the opinion is so well and persuasively written by Judge Silberman; (2) it unabashedly holds that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to bear arms; and (3) with Parker‘s issuance, the D.C. and Fifth Circuits are now the only circuits in the country to have upheld the individual rights model.
One interesting note is that the D.C. petition raises a single question: “Whether the Second Amendment forbids the District of Columbia from banning private possession of handguns while allowing possession of rifles and shotguns.” So phrased, it seems to open the door for the Justices to carve out some niche disallowing an individual’s right to own a handgun, but affirming the individual right to own a rifle or shotgun. When one reads Judge Silberman’s opinion though, it seems difficult to parse out distinctions in the nature of the right based only upon type of firearm. With Justice Kennedy in the swing seat however, anything is possible.
Thx to SCOTUS Blog