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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