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Response to D.C.’s Cert Petition Filed

October 4th, 2007 by Clark Neily

We filed our response to D.C.’s cert petition today.  The response explains that while we agree the Supreme Court should review the case, we disagree with many of D.C.’s key assertions.  Supreme Court Rule 15.2 provides that the response brief should address “any perceived misstatement of fact or law in the petition that bears on what issues properly would be before the Court if certiorari were granted.”  Accordingly, our response discusses a number of points we believe D.C. got wrong in its petition, including particularly its attempt to portray this case as only involving a handgun ban, when in fact as we have previously explained (and as the D.C. Circuit specifically found), the challenged laws amount to a total ban on all functional firearms within the home.

Other problems with D.C.’s cert petition include its mistaken characterization of the D.C. Circuit’s Parker decision as being “outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence,” which it plainly is not, and D.C.’s extraordinary claim that its gun ban has been a resounding public policy success, which of course it has not. 

D.C. now has the opportunity to file a reply brief.  We expect the Supreme Court to announce in early November whether it will grant cert.  We also have our conditional cross-petition pending, in which we have asked the Supreme Court to review the D.C. Circuit’s decision that only one of our clients, Rich Heller, has standing to challenge D.C.’s gun ban.  So the remaining plaintiffs are still very much in the case.