Redress after Heller


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DT Guy
May 22, 2010, 07:33 AM
I have a question for the legal beagles that haunt this place:

If Heller's been struck down, and Chicago's ban likely willl be as well, could a citizen 'injured' by one of those bans seek redress from the government that passes the unconstitutional law?

For instance: say I'd lived in Chicago, had suffered a home invasion and then had a family member hurt or killed-thankfully hypothetical, I'll add-and was a demonstrated expert with handguns, but did not have one because of the ban.

It seems to my tiny little mind that the person who proposed the unconstitutional law, as well as those who passed it, could be liable (or 'should' be liable, in a common-sense view) for the injury they've inflicted on my by unlawfully stripping me of my rights.

I realize this is simplistic, but I find it hard to believe that a person or body who violates the constitution in a systematic way has no liability for the consequences of their actions.

I would appreciate your thoughts-


Larry

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Art Eatman
May 22, 2010, 08:01 AM
SFAIK, no level of government is liable for the results of actions which were legal at the time they were made. While redress could be argued as morally justified, odds are that courts would deny such a claim.

IANAL, but I've observed the results of many a claim for accountability. History says, mostly, "Tough luck, kid."

Yo Mama
May 22, 2010, 08:25 AM
Art, what if the actions that were "legal" are unconstitutional? Does this allow for legal action if it's proven that Chicago purposely violated 2nd ammendment rights?

TexasRifleman
May 22, 2010, 08:27 AM
Art, what if the actions that were "legal" are unconstitutional? Does this allow for legal action if it's proven that Chicago purposely violated 2nd ammendment rights?

If they passed the laws with a good faith belief they could do so, you'd have to prove that they intentionally wanted to cause home invaders to be able to shoot innocents, and you'd never get that done.

Those who passed even these very restrictive laws had a good faith belief that they were legal and Constitutional because at the time they WERE, so it seems to me it ends there.

natman
May 22, 2010, 09:08 AM
If they passed the laws with a good faith belief they could do so, you'd have to prove that they intentionally wanted to cause home invaders to be able to shoot innocents, and you'd never get that done.

Those who passed even these very restrictive laws had a good faith belief that they were legal and Constitutional because at the time they WERE, so it seems to me it ends there.

The bans were not constitutional when they were passed. Heller didn't make them unconstitutional, it recognized that they were. The constitution has been the same throughout.

At any rate the chance of getting redress is slim.

TexasRifleman
May 22, 2010, 09:18 AM
The bans were not constitutional when they were passed. Heller didn't make them unconstitutional, it recognized that they were.

Well, they were not "known" to be unconstitutional let's put it that way. They were passed in good faith that they were solid.

danez71
May 22, 2010, 10:16 AM
Probably wont win that case.

Similar to:
The military interrogators are not being prosecuted for the tactics that they used.
People that were forced to sit in the back of the bus (loose example).
Women that werent allowed to vote.

The list goes on....

BridgeTooFar
May 22, 2010, 11:15 AM
What most of the folks above have said is correct. Sovereign immunity is a very powerful thing; especially when there was (or at least could have been) a good faith thought that what they were doing was constitutional.

Even if you could get past that (very large) hurdle, you'd still have to prove damages. That's the catch in many cases. Unless you have some sort of quantifiable loss as a result of the now unconstitutional laws, you can win the satisfaction that the government did you wrong, but not win anything in terms of money or other award at the end. Just not being allowed to own a gun would likely not be enough. Now, if you were shot because you couldn't defend yourself, you may have something there, but that's still highly doubtful. You'd still have to show that you tried to purchase a firearm for defensive purposes and were denied (not that you merely knew you'd never be able to and didn't try).

It's just like if someone taps you on the shoulder, technically a battery has occurred. But, if it didn't actually harm you, you have nothing that you could recover because you haven't been damaged in any quantifiable way.

The inability to own a gun for some period of time is very unquantifiable in terms of what that's worth. Additionally, you could have always moved to somewhere that didn't have that type of law.

Yo Mama
May 23, 2010, 10:06 AM
you'd have to prove that they intentionally wanted to cause home invaders to be able to shoot innocents, and you'd never get that done.


I hear you, but I think we have many quotes in writing from the Mayor himself showing that he intentionally disarmed the citizenry....causing home invaders to shoot innocents.

hellervdc
May 24, 2010, 07:57 AM
This is not a fight worth waging.

everallm
May 24, 2010, 10:29 PM
The reality is that the laws in place are presumed wholly lawful and the enforcement equally so.

So long as the enforcement fell within both the spirt and letter of the law then there can be neither grounds or standing for effective "redress".

If, post a positive SC ruling, there is demonstrable failure to follow said rulings then sue to your hearts content......see Heller II.

The best stance if Daley has laws and regulations passed that violate both the spirit and letter of the SC ruling is a federal case of deprivation of civil liberties under color of law.

This takes it to the federal level where influence at the local level is much diminished.

Bookworm
May 25, 2010, 09:38 AM
The only people that would really have a chance for redress are those who were convicted of possessing a handgun in their home, or unlocked, or something of that nature. As Heller decided those DC laws were unconstitutional, they should receive pardons.

They'd prob. have to hire a lawyer or some such to get that stuff pardoned and their names cleared. A lawyer could determine if they were due compensation for any time they were imprisoned, or maybe their fines reimbursed, ect.

But sueing the city or state because you were a victim of a crime? No way would that succeed, because the government isn't obligated to protect you.

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