11.29.2007

New Job and a Move After Graduation

A quick update on the job search: I've accepted a job offer from a Public Defender's office in a Western state. I'll be moving out there very shortly after I graduate from law school in May to find a house and study for the bar.

This isn't the plan I had when I started law school, but it's one of the best opportunities available for me to get trial experience and I get to stick it to the Man (or at least his representatives from the State's Attorney's office). It's also very important work in an age of police and prosecutorial abuse.

Wish me luck.

11.20.2007

Supreme Court to hear D.C. Gun Case

The announcement from the Plaintiff/Respondent:

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case of Heller v. District of Columbia, and decide whether the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right to own guns. At issue is a 31-year-old Washington, D.C. law banning handguns and requiring that all shotguns and rifles be kept unloaded and either trigger-locked or disassembled at all times. There is no exception for self-defense.

Alan Gura, lead counsel for the Heller plaintiffs said, “The Bill of Rights does not end at the District of Columbia’s borders, and it includes the right to keep and bear arms. After three decades of failure trying to control firearms in the District, it’s time for law-abiding city residents to be able to defend themselves in their homes. We are confident the Supreme Court will vindicate that right in Washington, D.C., and across the nation.”


Coverage at SCOTUSblog here.

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11.02.2007

ABA Journal article on the D.C. Gun Case

The November issue of the ABA Journal has a feature article about the D.C. Gun Case. This is the first article I've seen that carefully examines the role of the NRA in trying to torpedo the case and obtained comment from all of the lawyers.

After they had assembled a group of six plaintiffs, Levy and Neily filed Parker on Feb. 10, 2003. Also on board by then was Alexandria, Va., litigator Alan Gura. He would do most of the heavy lifting, crafting pleadings and arguments as the case slogged on for four years. But Levy and his lawyers hadn’t heard the last of the NRA.

Seven weeks later, on April 4, the NRA filed Seegars through veteran outside counsel Stephen P. Halbrook of Fairfax, Va. Without even calling the Parker lawyers first, he moved to consolidate Seegars and Parker. Levy and his colleagues were not pleased.

“You just don’t do that to another lawyer,” Neily says. “Honestly, that set the tone for things. It was not well-received.”

Instead of the Second Amend­ment claim the Parker plaintiffs had envisioned, the NRA loaded its case with a Fifth Amendment due process claim, another mixed due process and equal protection argument, a civil rights claim under section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and a theory that the district lacked the authority under its municipal code to enact the ban in the first place.


It's well worth the read if you're interested in the political underpinnings of gun rights in America.

The plaintiffs have a blog with links to all of the filings, if you want to keep up with developments.

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