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SCOTUS to Consider Hearing Chicago Handgun Ban Challenges

5:33 PM, Aug 26, 2009 • By C.J. CIARAMELLA
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SCOTUSblog reports that the Supreme Court will consider hearing two cases challenging Chicago's handgun ban when it meets at its first Conference for the new term on Sept. 29.

At issue is whether the Second Amendment applies to state and local laws or only federal laws. After D.C.'s handgun ban was struck down by the Supreme Court, it seemed that Chicago's days were numbered, yet since D.C. is under federal control, cities and appellate courts wiggled around the ruling by claiming the Second Amendment didn't apply to states. From SCOTUSblog:

Both petitions challenge a Seventh Circuit Court ruling that the Amendment does not restrict gun control laws adopted by state, county or city government, but applies only to federal laws. The cases are National Rifle Association v. Chicago (08-1497) and McDonald v. Chicago (08-1521).

The so-called "incorporation" issue is the most significant sequel issue raised in the wake of the Court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, recognizing for the first time a personal right to have a gun for self-defense, at least in one's home.

Newly appointed justice Sotomayor sat on a similar case back in her circuit court days (Maloney v. Cuomo) and ruled that the Second Amendment did not, in fact, apply to states.

If accepted, the outcome of the cases will be significant, perhaps more so than Heller, for if the Court affirms the lower court's ruling, it could render the Second Amendment impotent.

Hat tip to Reason, which has a good analysis of why the Seventh Circuit Court and Justice Sotomayor are wrong.