FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 23, 2009
Jeff Sadosky/HUTCHISON (202) 224-9767
Patrick Devlin/TESTER (202) 224-2644
Hutchison, Tester File Pro-Second Amendment Brief in McDonald v. City of Chicago Gun Rights Case, Majority of Senators and House Members Join Brief
Bipartisan, Bicameral Amicus Brief Has Most Congressional Signatories in Supreme Court History
WASHINGTON, D.C.- As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to review another landmark gun rights case, McDonald v. City of Chicago, Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Jon Tester (D-MT) today filed a bipartisan, bicameral amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” brief asking the Supreme Court of the United States to hold the Second Amendment applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Representatives Mark Souder (R-IN-3) and Mike Ross (D-AR-4) co-led the brief, which is signed by 58 Senators and 251 Representatives, more members of Congress than any amicus brief in U.S. history.
“We believe the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms applies to all law abiding Americans regardless where they live,” said Senator Hutchison. “With its landmark decision in D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court affirmed an individual’s right to bear arms is a fundamental, Constitutionally guaranteed liberty. The Second Amendment should protect all lawful gun owners, but some lower courts have allowed state infringement on this right. I look forward to the Supreme Court’s consideration of McDonald v. City of Chicago so this extremely important Constitutional question regarding a fundamental, individual right can be settled, once and for all.”
“Working together, we’re making our gun rights in this country stronger,” said Senator Tester, who serves as vice chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. “This isn’t about partisan politics. It’s about the rights all law-abiding Americans have under our Constitution, and those rights are always worth fighting for.”
McDonald v. City of Chicago will examine the issue of whether the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Chicago case parallels the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case, in which the Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The Supreme Court found then that the District violated that right with its ban on possession of handguns not registered more than three decades ago, and its ban on maintaining a loaded, operable firearm for self-defense in the home. However, subsequent cases have attempted to circumvent the applicability of the Heller decision on the states.
In McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Seventh Circuit Court ruled that Heller only applied to federal jurisdiction, like the District of Columbia, and not to states and municipalities. But the Ninth Circuit Court ruled in the case of Nordyke v. King that the Second Amendment applies to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Supreme Court expects to hear arguments on McDonald v. City of Chicago in February 2010, with a decision anticipated in June.
In the lead-up to the U.S. Supreme Court hearing oral arguments on D.C. v. Heller in 2008, Senators Hutchison and Tester and Representatives Souder and Ross authored an amicus brief affirming Congress’ view that individual rights are guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Their brief was signed by Vice President Dick Cheney in his capacity as the President of the Senate and, prior to this amicus brief, had more members of Congress than any other in U.S. history.
FILE: Hutchison, Tester Led Amicus Curiae brief in McDonald v. City of Chicago