March 29, 2007

JENNIFER RUBIN LOOKS AT PARKER V. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, the case in which the D.C. Circuit struck D.C.’s gun ban. She puts it in the context of a bigger picture:

Peter Ferrara of the ACRU takes a more philosophical and historical view of the potential long-range implications of the case. He remarks that if Parker is upheld by the Supreme Court, it will “be a big shot in the arm for conservatives” and will demonstrate that “we have had an impact on the courts and on changing the judiciary.” He notes that the effort to achieve recognition of an individual right of gun ownership has been an undertaking of more than fifty years of research, scholarship, and support for conservative judges. He explains that what was once considered a “radical” position — recognition of an individual right to gun ownership — has now attracted support even from liberal scholars like Laurence Tribe and has been accepted by a prominent federal appeals court. Ferrara says that conservatives should remember that these jurisprudential efforts are “not short term fights.” As for the impact on 2008, he reminds conservatives that “this is no time to be discouraged” with at least two justices who could be potentially replaced by the next president.

These battles are long-term affairs. When I teach Brown v. Board of Education, I always stress to my students the lengthy run-up to that case, in which Charles Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and other NAACP attorneys laid the ground for the ultimate win. As the gay-rights lawyers learned in Bowers v. Hardwick, trying to rush this process tends not to work.