For Immediate Release Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Senators urged to question Sotomayor on her Second Amendment views
WASHINGTON – America’s third largest party Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to hear an appeal challenging handgun bans in Chicago and the Illinois village of Oak Park, and to rule such gun bans violate the Second Amendment. A U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday that it could not hear challenges to the anti-gun ordinances filed by both the National Rifle Association and attorney Alan Gura after the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that a handgun ban in the District of Columbia was unconstitutional.
In a 3-0 decision, the panel ruled it was bound by past rulings claiming the Second Amendment does not necessarily apply to states, and only the Supreme Court could overturn the handgun bans. That precedent has since been put into question by its 2008 decision in Heller v. District of Columbia ruling handgun bans were unconstitutional in that federal district. Gura was lead attorney in the Heller case and filed a similar suit in Illinois.
‘The court simply ruled it cannot overturn precedent, not that gun control is a mythical right held by government as anti-gun radicals now claim. Libertarians urge the Supreme Court to hear this case and uphold the clear language of the Second Amendment by overturning gun bans in states and municipalities as it did in the District of Columbia,’ said Donny Ferguson, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director.
The panel heard a combined appeal from the NRA and Gura challenging a Dec. 4, 2008 decision by the Seventh Circuit to throw out their three lawsuits against the cities of Chicago and Oak Park challenging the constitutionality of their anti-gun ordinances. The three suits, McDonald v. City of Chicago, National Rifle Association of America v. City of Chicago and National Rifle Association v. Village of Oak Park were consolidated by the court for the appeal.
‘The intent of the Second Amendment is clear. Allowing citizens to keep and bear arms is critical to the defense of an entire nation, and therefore cannot be infringed. We urge the Supreme Court to make the Second Amendment one of those constitutional guarantees of freedom that comes without asterisks or disclaimers,’ said Ferguson.
Ferguson also urged members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to have Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor clarify her position on gun rights, as she will likely hear the Illinois case should she be confirmed.
‘Considering the fact Sonia Sotomayor will likely hear this case should she be confirmed to the Supreme Court, senators have an obligation to ask her if she agrees with the plain text of the Second Amendment that it confers individual rights, and whether she believes states are bound by it,’ said Ferguson.
‘I would hope they would refuse to confirm a judge who thinks the Second Amendment somehow gives government rights, or that states are free to ignore it,’ said Ferguson. ‘The Libertarian Party has already announced its opposition to Sotomayor and her history of ruling against individual and property rights in favor of her personal agenda of identity politics and more powerful government.’
For more information on this issue, or to arrange an interview with the Libertarian Party, please call Director of Communications Donny Ferguson at 703-200-3669 or 202-333-0008, x. 225, or email Donny.Ferguson@lp.org .
The Libertarian Party is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting http://www.LP.org . The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.
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