ACRU Parker Cross-Petition Argument
October 15, 2007
The American Civil Rights Union filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court on Friday, October 12 in the case of Parker v. District of Columbia urging the Court to grant the requested writ of certiorari on behalf of 5 of the original 6 plaintiffs seeking to strike down the District’s gun control laws as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals had found that these 5 plaintiffs did not have standing in the case and dismissed them from the suit.
However, in regard to the remaining plaintiff, Dick Anthony Heller, the D.C. Circuit found that the Second Amendment did protect a right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms, and that the District’s ban on handguns and their effective use in self-defense did violate the Amendment. The Court did, therefore, strike down the District’s gun control laws regarding handguns as unconstitutional. The District has the strictest and harshest gun control laws in the nation, yet its notorious high crime rate and high murder rate persists.
The District has now asked the Supreme Court to hear its appeal from that decision. On October 5, the American Civil Rights Union filed an amicus curiae brief on that matter also urging the Court to hear the appeal, but to affirm the D.C. Circuit’s decision on the Second Amendment in striking down the District’s oppressive gun control laws.
The 5 original plaintiffs in the case who were dismissed for lack of standing have also asked the Supreme Court to hear their appeal seeking reinstatement. In its brief on their behalf filed on October 12, the ACRU argued that the Supreme Court should take the appeal and reverse the D.C. Circuit on this standing issue, reinstating the 5 original plaintiffs. ACRU General Counsel Peter Ferrara wrote the brief, stating,
“The courts cannot treat the Second Amendment as a politically incorrect, disfavored stepchild of the Bill of Rights. Fidelity to the Constitution requires the courts to give it the same zealous protection as every other right stated in our founding document. But the ruling on standing in this case does not reflect equal access to the courts for Second Amendment rights as for other rights.”