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Supreme Court Review Conference: Important Decisions of the 2007-2008 Term
Sponsored by the Western New England College School of Law
Institute for Legislative and Govenmental Affairs
November 1, 2008
List of Principal Cases
1. District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (decided June 26, 2008) (holding that several District of Columbia Code provisions violated the Second Amendment, including those that prohibited the possession and registration of handguns, and the use of long guns).
(a) Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370 (D.C. Cir. 2007) (construing appellant’s claim as one limited to the right to carry a loaded firearm in his home specifically for the purpose of self-defense).
(b) Parker v. District of Columbia, 311 F.Supp. 2d 103 (D.D.C. 2004) (upholding the District of Columbia Code provisions at issue as compliant with the Second Amendment).
(c) District of Columbia Official Code, 2001 Edition, D.C.Code §§ 7-2501.01(12), 7-2502.01(a), 7-2502.02(a)(4) (2001) (including (1) a ban on the registration of handguns by individuals not affiliated with law enforcement, (2) a ban on the possession of an unregistered handgun, and (3) a requirement that all registered long guns be stored with a trigger lock in place and without ammunition).
2. Heller v. Doe, 509 U.S. 312, 320 (1993) (noting that certain restrictions on constitutional rights are permissible if they meet the rational basis standard).
3. Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority, 469 U.S. 528, 549 (1985) (noting that state constitutional cases are not determinative of federal constitutional decision-making, and conversely, that federal constitutional decision-making is restricted in its application to the states).
4. Lewis v. United States, 445 U.S. 55, 65-66, n. 8 (1980) (reiterating the holding in Miller and noting that legislative restrictions on the use of firearms are not constitutionally problematic, so long as the weapons involved do not bear a reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia).
5. United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) (holding that the regulation of the transfer shotguns in interstate commerce does not violate the Second Amendment in the absence of a showing of a reasonable relationship between the weapons at issue and a well-regulated militia).
6. Ashwander v. TVA, 297 U.S. 288, 348 (1936) (Brandeis, J., concurring) (noting that when possible the Court should construe a statute as not raising a constitutional question).
7. United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716, 731 (1931) (noting that when interpreting the Constitution, the words and phrases ought to be construed by their plain or ordinary meaning as distinguished from technical meaning).
8. Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275, 281-82 (1897) (noting that the rights embodied in the Bill of Rights are not absolute, but contain exceptions and limitations).
9. Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886) (affirming the Cruikshank holding regarding federal infringement on weapons possession, and noting that the complainant was not a member of a militia and therefore was not entitled to the constitutional protection he was seeking).
10. United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876) (noting that the Second Amendment prohibits infringement on the right to keep and bear arms by the federal government).
11. State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann. 489 (LA 1850) (holding that the Second Amendment supported the right of individuals to use weapons to defend themselves and to act in the common defense).
12. Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. 243 (GA1846) (construing the Second Amendment to protect the right of self-defense, and therefore striking down a ban on carrying pistols openly).
13. Aymette v. State, 21 Tenn. 154 (TN 1840) (holding that the prohibition of the wearing of concealed knives or other weapons does not conflict with the state constitution’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms for the common defense for free white citizens, since those weapons are not typically used for the common defense).
|Supreme Court Review Conference 2007-2008 Term |