The current news cycle is replete with coverage of US Supreme Court oral argument in the handgun ban case, McDonald v. Chicago. The appeal arises from a Seventh Circuit opinion from June 2009.
Gun enthusiasts and opponents will likely find the actual pleadings and legal arguments less than exciting since the debate circles around whether the Privileges and Immunities (P&I) Clause of the U.S. Constitution applies, wholesale or selectively, to the Bill of Rights (P&I is the “comity” clause which says states cannot discriminate against citizens of other states when it comes to civil rights).
The 7th Circuit declined to apply the P&I clause since prior SCOTUS cases dating back to the late 1800′s (!) indicate otherwise, although the reason in those cases has since been “undermined.”
There’s more in the 7th Circuit decision about constitutional debates, stare decisis vs. whether cases can be “bypassed as fossils,” and other academic legal wranglings which likely will not stir the interest that the public gun debate, uh, musters.
For those interested in the pleadings (including over 30 amici briefs from groups as varied as Jews for the Preservation of Firearms and the Safari Club), visit the ChicagoGunCase.com website.
If you are interested in scouring the 2008 D.C. gun case, District of Columbia v. Heller, for clues (it cites the 1800 cases in a footnote) or you are interested in seeing the procedural history of the Chicago case in the context of other post-Heller cases, Wikipedia has some fairly good coverage.
The prevailing media opinion is that the SCOTUS will apply the Second Amendment to the states and municipalities but may leave in place the right to regulate. I’m guessing that the Court will save this opinion for the end of their term, since they often like to drop “big” decisions and then hightail it out of D.C. for the summer.