Updated: Thursday, June 26, 2008, 3:55 pm -- Apparently things got a bit testy in America's high court this morning as Justice Anton Scalia, followed by Justice John Paul Stevens, read from their opinions. According to The Blog of Legal Times, Stevens had an "unusually pointed" dissent, and both justices cast aspersions on each other's interpretation of the 2A.
"Do not accept the summary you have just heard," Stevens said at one point. Earlier, Scalia told spectators they had to slog through 154 pages of opinions to really understand the Court's position. And Scalia said it was "particularly wrongheaded" for dissenters to rely on United States v. Miller, the 1939 case that marked the last time the high court ruled on the Second Amendment.Wow! Click here to read details about the exchange from this morning's Supreme Court session.
"When Scalia was reading his own opinion Stevens occasionally shook his head in disbelief. And Stevens jousted back. With emphasis on the word "genuine," Stevens said that "a genuine judicial conservative" would not have inserted the Court into the "political thicket" of the gun rights debate as Scalia had done.
MORE feedback from other sources. Radio and television host Glenn Beck has an interview with Heller attorney Alan Gura, and Bob Levy of the CATO Institute, who supported Dick Heller's case.
The High Court struck down the ban on handguns in DC, but wrote that their ruling doesn't prevent cities and states from enacting "reasonable" regulations -- whatever that means.
Reports from CNN, SCOTUSblog, and major quotes from the full opinion (or this version of the full opinion).
I'm still reading and digesting. My take later. BUT, as expected it is a largely good for us, but somewhat a mixed ruling.
Frankly, it is the reason why many never wanted a case to come before the Supreme Court to begin with. While the 2A says what it says,
Not unexpectedly, the antis are rolling out their usual "silver lining" rhetoric in their spin on the case, which largely did not go their way. Here is the part that has the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) and Violence Policy Center excited:
"The Court took no position on whether the Second Amendment right restricts only federal government powers, or also curbs the power of states to regulate
guns. In a footnote, Scalia said that the issue of "incorporating” the Second into the Fourteenth Amendment, thus applying it to the states, was “a question not presented by this case.” But the footnote said decisions in 1886 and 1894 had reaffirmed that the Amendment “applies only to the Federal Government.” Whether the Court will reopen that issue thus will depend upon future cases."
Of course, when you go to the Brady site, you are still getting pleas to send them money for their DC/Heller Defense Fund. They do a lot of that.
Summing up, scholar Dave Hardy has this to say:
"Reading the opinion (150 pgs with dissents) now. Scalia writes. It's 5-4, the majority signing the one opinion, no concurrences or fragmentation. Individual right not linked to militia service. No need to settle standard of review, since a complete ban on a wide class of arms fails all of them. DC ordered to allow Heller to register his handgun and carry it in his home. Side note that this does not cast doubt upon felon in possession, etc., or bans within narrow sensitive areas such as courts and schools."
Also, read the analysis from Tom Goldstein.
Positive words from two individuals who are in the know. More to come . . .