Discussion in 'Legal' started by Ieyasu, Aug 5, 2006.
Where exactly? Unlikely I'd go, but knowing improves the odds.
DC Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington DC. Surely we have some board members there, or in Northern Virginia, or in Maryland, or nearby. These arguments are open to the public.
One week and counting . . .
It sure would be nice to have some first person reports from an eyewitness . . .
It certainly would be nice.
Today is the day!
E Barrett Prettyman courthouse
near the Dept of Labor/National Gallery of Art area (right at the merge of Penn. Ave and Constitution).
I am heading over, and will give a report when I get back (provided I get in) . . .
So, I showed up with 5 min to spare after getting through the s-l-o-w screening checkpoint.
I went up to the 5th floor and found the courtroom. I went over to the 5th floor lobby to double check the posted docket sheet and saw three gentlemen pointing at the fine print on the docket sheet showing that the Parker case was "postponed until futher notice." One of these guys may have been Stephen Halbrook, and he told the other two that the DC lawyer was out sick or something. They then left.
I went ahead and sat in the courtroom to see if this was true. The judges came in about 15 min late to the first case, apologized for the delay, and said that it was because they had just found out about the Parker postponement that morning.
After they heard the first case (on whether some truck drivers were either independent contractors or employees), the court adjourned until tomorrow. (Edited to add: Parker was to be the second case heard today.)
One of the Parker plaintiffs was there, as were his lawyers. There were about 10 other people in the gallery besides the lawyers and the PL, about seven of us were there for the Parker case, and all were for the plaintiffs. It seemed like a pretty low turnout, but the DC-side probably told their supporters not to show up; no such luck for the rest of us.
On the way out, someone remarked that oral arguments never get postponed once they are scheduled, much less on the day of the argument. Someone else said that DC only had one appellate lawyer, so that was why the case was postponed.
This whole situation seems really odd, but I am not ready for the tinfoil just yet.
Thanks for going and the update.
Good thing someone managed to go. Insightful.
Let's make sure someone (more?) show for the next attempt.
more info on the delay
According to David Hardy:
We will have to see when it gets rescheduled. Luckily, I work just three blocks from the courthouse. If at all possible, I will make the rescheduled argument.
Appreciate keeping us apprised . . .
My opinion is that this case is the most important thing going in the nation.
New date: December 7, 9:30AM
Note the new location. I will try to figure out where this "annex" is and post directions.
Edited to add:
OK, the "Annex" is the new adjoining part of the courthouse that looks kind of like a barnacle growing on the original building. (LOL)
More info on annex:
Thanks for the updates.
This is a big case.
Any opinions on whether standing is really an issue? A good deal of the briefing was devoted to standing, but the District Court did not rule there was no standing, and I do not think the DC city government appealed that decision (or anything), did they?
Malum, I recall somewhere, maybe around the beginning of this thread that DC City did not respond in time to the "standing" issue.
Of course, my memory could be mistaken...
Reminder:arguments are TOMORROW
9:30AM sharp . . . .
Any inclination on what will happen?
Methinks the challenges to "standing" have gotten to the point where nobody can achieve it without criminal indictment - at which point judges, in gun cases, usually will do anything to convict 'em. This, of course, shows a preposterous notion of the subject, and lawyers would do well to avoid the subject at all costs lest they become the example of reducto ad absurdum.
Put another way: if normal citizens with a well-formed legitimate grievance can't ask a court to evaluate & resolve the issue, our system collapses. The "standing" issue has been used to throw out any and all non-criminal cases regarding RKBA, practically rendering the judicial route pointless. In the "boxes" theory, that only leaves one box left ... and judges would thus be wise to take at least a few cases.
In this particular case, challenging standing seems pretty dumb for the defense. Someone lawfully owns a gun in DC - but can't move it from one room to another while locked, much less actually shoot a violent intruder with it? if the 2nd Amendment means anything at all, the plaintiff has standing, and the defense could/will look moronic trying to argue otherwise.
'course the other reason standing is not an issue is because the defense didn't get their act together in a number of ways, is scrambling to recover from the errors, and has to deal with having completely screwed up in some areas.
What a rush!
Well, I made it over. I have six pages of legal-sized scribble that I will turn into a transcript later today (after my hand recovers).
Snapshot of what happened:
Packed courtroom (~64 people sitting, 2-3 standers)
Only person I recognized was one of the VPC's lawyers
Sara Brady did not attend (strange, since she is a local)
Heard several conversation snippets regarding people's websites, but no details
Three judges heard the appeal, but only two did any questioning.
Plaintiffs/Appellants went first . . .
- hammered by judges on why DC law isn't "reasonable"
- hammered on statement in brief that PL only challenging law as a "ban"
- hammered on statement in brief that PL would not require a ruling of "individual right"(?)
Govt went next . . .
(HOLY COW! I havent' seen "lighting up" like that since the machine gun ranges at Camp LeJeune)
- hammered by judges big-time on standing, with lots of crazy hypotheticals and sarcasm
- hammered by judges big-time on meaning of 2d Amendment, with lots of sarcasm on meanings of "the people", Miller, and "militia.
Since my feeling at the time was that both sides got it pretty good from the judges, I can't say who "won" today. However, there was definitely more sarcastic commentary directed at tht poor government lawyer.
Thank you for attending and reporting to us. I look forward to your more detailed commentary.
I just wanted to let you know it is appreciated.
Thanks for the report K-Romulus. Those of us outside the area really appreciate hearing what goes on at trial.
The third could be taken a couple ways, one, some justices might actually WANT to go that way and want to find out why plaintiffs aren't pushing it (unlikely)
to help justify that all plaintiffs are seeking is essentially the same kind of settled regulation already in place across the country. That there is precedent that an "individual right" interp is not necessary, the current half-decided mishmash will support a less-restrictive gun law in DC without overturning the applecart.
Page 6, Summary of Arguement, Subsection 2a
Wrong, sir! Wrong! Under paragraph three of the opinion rendered by the court, it states quite clearly that, based solely on evidence provided by the state, the opinion was weapons that CANNOT contribute to the common defense MIGHT not have Second Amendment protection - and you can read it for yourself in this photostatic copy - "In the absence of any evidence," et cetera, et cetera..."not within judicial notice," et cetera, et cetera..." we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument." It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You butcherd the opinion. You knowingly and intentionally lied directly to the court, you get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!
Thanks for going.
Don't handguns contribute to the militia?
Separate names with a comma.