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11 Consistent with this selective approach, the District Court placed unwarranted reliance on the Supreme Court?s dismissal of a direct appeal in Burton v. Sills, 394 U.S. 812 (1969), a Second Amendment decision in the New Jersey Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is not obligated to hear any case outside its original jurisdiction; its refusal to do so is no comment on the opinion?s merits.

12 The District Court adopted two portions of the now-vacated opinion in Seegars v. Ashcroft, 297 F. Supp. 2d 201 (D.D.C. 2004): one citing various cases purportedly rejecting an individual right to arms under state constitutional provisions, but see supra, p. 13 n.5; and another listed conflicting modern circuit court opinions and concluded that ?this debate, which has resulted in a circuit split, is a prime subject for review by the Supreme Court.? Seegars, 297 F. Supp. 2d at 228. Plaintiffs agree with the latter observation.

13 Cases read Miller as being limited to its facts: ?we do not feel that the Supreme Court in [Miller] was attempting to formulate a general rule applicable to all cases. The rule which it laid down was adequate to dispose of the case before it and that we think was as far as the Supreme Court intended to go.? Cases, 131 F.2d at 922. Yet the First Circuit refused to offer its own guide for interpreting the Second Amendment. ?[I]t seems to us impossible to formulate any general test by which to determine the limits imposed by the Second Amendment but that each case under it, like cases under the due process clause, must be decided on its own facts and the line between what is and what is not a valid federal restriction pricked out by decided cases falling on one side or the other of the line.? Id.

14 Quilici held the Illinois Constitution permitted a municipality to ban handguns provided it did not ban all firearms. The Court did not reach the Second Amendment argument, as it held the Second Amendment was not incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment as applicable to the states. Quilici, 695 F.2d at 270. Quilici?s subsequent collective rights discussion is plainly dicta.
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This entry was published 2007-03-10 11:37:53.0 by matthew@triggerfinger.org and last updated 2007-03-10 11:37:53.0. [Tweet]

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