Legal Question
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Thread: Legal Question

  1. #1
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    Legal Question

    I am just a regular law-abiding citizen of the US. There are laws in place and I follow all of them...except maybe the occational speed limit. It seems to me that the supreme court has ruled very clearly on the Heller case...so clearly, in fact, that they only considered the facts of the case that was brought before them. If someone has a law degree or at least considerably more knowlege than I....could you answer a question?

    The ruling says that the 2A is an individual right. It further says that the DC ban was unconstitutional and that the "disassembled or trigger lock" rule was also a no-no.

    Question:

    Aren't the "Law Makers" in DC guilty of some type of contempt? Couldn't the SCOTUS pick up the phone and threaten them with some type of....something? Couldn't each and every citizen of DC sue them for violating what has just been confirmed as their Constitutional right?
    "Chance Favors the Prepared Mind"

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  3. #2
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    You're right that the city clearly is in contempt for requiring trigger locks and/or disassembly when the court said that it was unconstitutional. However, the court is part of the judicial branch, and as such, it cannot enforce any laws. It can issue orders that, under the law, must be followed, but it does not have any enforcement mechanisms. Enforcing court orders is up to the executive branch, both of the federal government, and of the municipality to which the ruling applies.

  4. #3
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    OK....So it's up to the executive branch?

    So Dubyah needs to enforce the ruling or we are just relegated to MANY more years of waiting for lower court cases to reach the Supreme Court so they can make another ruling that really doesn't have to be followed?

    I am confused and frustrated for the people of DC....as well as for the rest of us.
    "Chance Favors the Prepared Mind"

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  5. #4
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    Well, not Dubya himself. One of the many executive branches out there would probably be the ones actually enforcing it (ie., BATFE, justice department, FBI, etc).

  6. #5
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    Oh..ok

    Quote Originally Posted by tattedupboy View Post
    Well, not Dubya himself. One of the many executive branches out there would probably be the ones actually enforcing it (ie., BATFE, justice department, FBI, etc).
    Gotcha. Well, what are the odds that a Federal agency is going to raid the DC Mayors office with warrants and handcuffs? Seems as if this is going to be a long fight. Or at least until the election....one way or the other.
    "Chance Favors the Prepared Mind"

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  7. #6
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    You're right. I certainly wouldn't bet the farm on that. Just like it took 32 years to get DC's obviously unconstitutional handgun ban off the books, it may very well take that long or longer to get this newest set of restrictions set aside.

  8. #7
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    Thirty.....two.....years

    Quote Originally Posted by tattedupboy View Post
    You're right. I certainly wouldn't bet the farm on that. Just like it took 32 years to get DC's obviously unconstitutional handgun ban off the books, it may very well take that long or longer to get this newest set of restrictions set aside.
    I certainly hope not. Hopefully the public will begin to see the writing on the wall and will not allow our country to be taken away from us.
    "Chance Favors the Prepared Mind"

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  9. #8
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    The District was not in violation or contempt prior to the ruling because the US Supreme Court had not definitively ruled that the 2nd Amendment protected an individual right to bear arms. Only what DC does after the ruling could be interpreted legally as unconstitutional.

    Government entities, such as Washington, D.C., are generally protected from civil litigation under a legal doctrine known as sovereign immunity. This is a throwback to the days of Royal British rule, when it was accepted that the King could do no wrong. This still carries on today. However, it has been somewhat weakened by the use of Congressional hearings and Civil Rights litigation. But don't hold your breath.

    The only way to enforce the Supreme Court's ruling in Heller against the District of Columbia would be to bring another lawsuit in Federal District Court, and seek a writ of mandamus (order compelling public officials to carry out an act). Again, don't hold your breath; even if a court grants it, there is still a question of enforcement. Courts do not have the power to enforce their orders outside of the courtroom. The Federal District court in Louisiana has held the mayor and chief of police of New Orleans in contempt for violating federal court orders. Neither one has been arrested or even removed from office.

    In order for any of the residents of DC to sue the city, they must have legal standing to sue; they must have been denied purchase, possession, or registration unconstitutionally. This is how Heller was able to file his suit. Prior to that, the lead Plaintiff was Parker, but Parker could not prove being denied, and therefore did not have standing to sue.

    This will not be the last time that we hear of the Heller decision; there is still much to come, and many more questions need answering.

  10. #9
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    Thaks

    Thanks for the responses.
    "Chance Favors the Prepared Mind"

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