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District of Columbia v Heller

District of Columbia v Heller

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Published by Joe Busher
Supreme Court case
Supreme Court case

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Published by: Joe Busher on Mar 17, 2013
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District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)
128 S.Ct. 2783, 171 L.Ed.2d 637, 76 USLW 4631, 08 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 8060...
© 2013 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.1
128 S.Ct. 2783Supreme Court of the United StatesDISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al., Petitioners, v.Dick Anthony HELLER.No. 07–290. | Argued March 18,2008. | Decided June 26, 2008.
SynopsisBackground:
Special police officer and others brought actionseeking, on Second Amendment grounds, to enjoin Districtof Columbia from enforcing gun-control statutes. The UnitedStates District Court for the District of Columbia, Sullivan,J.,311 F.Supp.2d 103,granted District of Columbia's motionto dismiss, and appeal was taken. The District of ColumbiaCourt of Appeals,Silberman, Senior Circuit Judge,478 F.3d 370,reversed. Certiorari was granted.
Holdings:
The Supreme Court, JusticeScalia, held that: [1]the Second Amendment conferred an individual right tokeep and beararms;[2]statutes banning handgun possession in the home violatedSecond Amendment; and[3]statute containing prohibition against rendering any lawf ul firearm in the home operable for purpose of immediate self-defense violated Second Amendment.Affirmed.JusticeStevensfiled dissenting opinion in which JusticesSouter,Ginsburg, andBreyerjoined. JusticeBreyerfiled dissenting opinion in which JusticesStevens,Souter, andGinsburgjoined. West Headnotes (21)
[1] Constitutional Law
Plain, ordinary, or common meaningThe Constitution was written to be understoodby the voters, and its words and phrases wereused in their normal and ordinary as distinguishedfrom technical meaning; normal meaning mayinclude an idiomatic meaning, but it excludessecret or technical meanings that would not have been known to ordinary citizens in the foundinggeneration.6 Cases that cite this headnote
[2] Constitutional Law
Intrinsic Aids to ConstructionThe requirement that there be a logical connectionbetween a stated purpose in a prefatory clauseand a command in an operative clause in aconstitutional provision may cause a prefatoryclause to resolve an ambiguity in the operativeclause, but apart from that clarifying function, a prefatory clause does not limit or expand thescope of the operative clause.1 Cases that cite this headnote
[3] Constitutional Law
Intrinsic Aids to Construction
Constitutional Law
Making, Interpretation, and Application of Statutes
Statutes
Ancillary Provisions or MaterialWhere the text of a clause indicates that it doesnot have operative effect, such as “whereas”clauses in federal legislation or the Constitution'spreamble, a court has no license to make itdo what it was not designed to do; operativeprovisions should begiven effect as operative provisions, and prologues as prologues.2 Cases that cite this headnote
[4] Weapons
What guns are allowedJust as the First Amendment protects modernforms of communications, and the FourthAmendment applies to modern forms of search,the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, toall instruments that constitute bearable arms, even
 
District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)
128 S.Ct. 2783, 171 L.Ed.2d 637, 76 USLW 4631, 08 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 8060...
© 2013 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.2
those that were not in existence at the time of thefounding.U.S.C.A. Const.Amends. 1,2,4. 4 Cases that cite this headnote
[5] Weapons
DefinitionsAs used in the Second Amendment, “keeparms” means to “have weapons.”U.S.C.A.Const.Amend. 2.16 Cases that cite this headnote
[6] Weapons
DefinitionsThe natural meaning of “bear arms,” as used in theSecond Amendment, means wear, bear, or carryupon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket,for the purpose of being armed and ready foroffensive or defensive action in a case of conflictwith another person.U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 2.4 Cases that cite this headnote
[7] Constitutional Law
History in generalIt is always perilous to derive the meaning of anadopted provision from another provision deletedin the drafting process.2 Cases that cite this headnote
[8] Weapons
Right as individual or collective; militiarequirementThe Second Amendment guarantees theindividual right to possess and carry weapons incase of confrontation.U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 2.108 Cases that cite this headnote
[9] Weapons
Right to bear arms in generalThe Second Amendment, like the First andFourth Amendments, codified a pre-existingright.U.S.C.A. Const.Amends. 1,2,4. 25 Cases that cite this headnote
[10] Weapons
Right as individual or collective; militiarequirementThe Second Amendment conferred an individualright to keep and bear arms.U.S.C.A.Const.Amend. 2.269 Cases that cite this headnote
[11] Constitutional Law
Absolute nature of right
Weapons
Right to bear arms in generalThe individual right to keep and bear armsconferred by the Second Amendment was notunlimited; thus, the Second Amendment does notprotect the right of citizens to carry arms for anysort of confrontation, just as the First Amendmentdoes not protect the right of citizens to speak forany purpose.U.S.C.A. Const.Amends. 1,2. 330 Cases that cite this headnote
[12] Weapons
Definitions“Well-regulated,” as used in the SecondAmendment, implies nothing more than theimposition of proper discipline and training.U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 2.2 Cases that cite this headnote
[13] Weapons
Definitions“Security of a free state,” as used in the SecondAmendment, meant “security of a free polity,” notsecurity of each of the several States.U.S.C.A.Const.Amend. 2.
[14] Statutes
Motives, Opinions, and Statements of Legislators
Statutes
 
District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)
128 S.Ct. 2783, 171 L.Ed.2d 637, 76 USLW 4631, 08 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 8060...
© 2013 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.3
Sponsors or authors“Legislative history” refers to the pre-enactmentstatements of those who drafted or voted for alaw; it is considered persuasive by some, notbecause they reflect the general understanding of the disputed terms, but because the legislatorswho heard or read thosestatements presumablyvoted with that understanding.7 Cases that cite thisheadnote
[15] Constitutional Law
Extrinsic aids to construction in generalThe examination of a variety of legal and othersources to determine the public understandingof a legal text in the period after its enactmentor ratification is a critical tool of constitutionalinterpretation.2 Cases that cite thisheadnote
[16] Weapons
Right to bear arms in generalThe Second Amendment does not prohibit lawsprohibiting the possession of firearms by felonsand the mentally ill, or laws forbidding thecarrying of firearms in sensitive places suchas schools and government buildings, or lawsimposing conditions andqualifications on thecommercial sale of arms.U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 2.439 Cases that cite this headnote
[17] Weapons
What guns are allowedA limitation on the right to keep and carry arms isthat the sorts of weapons protected by the SecondAmendment are those in common use at the time.U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 2.51 Cases that cite this headnote
[18] Constitutional Law
General Rules of Construction
Constitutional Law
Judicial construction
Constitutional Law
Legislative constructionConstitutional rights are enshrined with the scopethey were understood to have when the peopleadopted them, whether or not future legislaturesor future judges think that scope too broad.3 Cases that cite this headnote
[19] Weapons
Violation of right to bear arms
Weapons
Pistols and handgunsDistrict of Columbia statute banning handgunpossession in the home violated SecondAmendment.U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 2;D.C. Official Code, 2001 Ed. § 7-2502.02(a)(4).222 Cases that cite this headnote
[20] Weapons
Violation of right to bear armsDistrict of Columbia statute containingprohibition against rendering any lawful firearmin the home operable for purpose of immediateself-defense violated Second Amendment.U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 2;D.C. Official Code,2001 Ed. § 7-2507.02.234 Cases that cite this headnote
[21] Weapons
Right to bear arms in generalThe enshrinement of constitutional rightsnecessarily takes certain policy choices off thetable, and these include the absolute prohibitionof handguns held and used for self-defense in thehome.U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 2.40 Cases that cite thisheadnote
West CodenotesHeld Unconstitutional
D.C. Official Code, 2001 Ed. § 7-2507.02.

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