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D.C. Gun Ban Crystal Ball Contest Winners

A week before today's Supreme Court decision tossing out Washington's gun ban, some of you still harbored the belief (hope?) that the 32-year-old law would be upheld, some predicted a very narrowly argued opinion getting rid of the ban but otherwise providing little in the way of a path forward on gun issues, and a few got it just right.

Our contest here on the big blog brought just about every possible kind of prediction, but the winners--who should contact me by email with your name and street address so that I can ship you your prizes from the Vast Vault of Values--are:

"Dean J" for this: "5-4, Roberts, explicitly defining the Second Amendment as enumerating the right of the individual, allowing for reasonable restrictions of carrying concealed weapons." The opinion was in fact written by Justice Antonin Scalia rather than the chief, but otherwise Dean J was spot on.

"Proxli2" also came quite close, writing that the majority opinion would be "5-4 deciding that the right to bear arms is NOT restricted to the purpose of a well regulated militia and that the necessity of a well restricted militia is only a single enumerated reason for the right (self-defense will be mentioned as amongst unenumerated reasons for the right), Thomas for the majority.
They will specifically mention in cause for the repeal the parts of the FCRA that make a firearm functionally useless." Proxli2 got the vote and the reasoning right, but again, missed on the author of the opinion, and also misfired by predicting that a separate 6-3 majority would repeal the District's law overall.

"Civilrightist" got the vote right, and the alignment of justices, and wins bonus points for also predicting that Justice John Paul Stevens would write the main dissent and that it would be a well-reasoned one lacking the anger that might be found elsewhere.

Many of the other entries lost because they predicted, reasonably enough, that there would be a plethora of opinions, both concurring and dissenting, as the justices felt compelled to spell out their individual conceptions of the Second Amendment and its roots and evolution. But the majority was happy to let Scalia do all the talking, and the dissenters as well put almost all their eggs in Stevens' basket, with the exception of Justice Stephen Breyer, who advanced the only District-specific argument in any of the opinions.

Thanks to all for playing. The three winners should contact me by email at with name and address and I'll get your prizes out to you as soon as possible.

By Marc Fisher |  June 26, 2008; 4:38 PM ET
Previous: D.C.'s Gun Ban Is History (Updated) | Next: Help D.C.'s Attorney General Find A Home


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I think the overall tally will be 5-4 repeal, but with multiple opinions put out by justices on both sides of the verdict. I'd expect at least three different written opinions, but the majority will come from either Thomas or Scalia, guessing on their dissents of Caron in 1998. Maybe Roberts. It won't be Alito, because his '96 machine gun dissent is too far right for the centrists to join.

Posted by: Leesburger | June 19, 2008 1:46 PM

Hmm... 5-4 decision, 3 written opinions with the majority by Scalia who was mentioned by name as one of 2 likely authors. I'm no further off than any of your winners.

Posted by: Leesburger | June 26, 2008 5:03 PM

Marc, I think you owe Al Gore here a recount.

Posted by: M Street | June 26, 2008 6:23 PM

Leesburger is certainly close enough to be considered one of the winners, and if he will send me his particulars, I will gladly include him in the latest culling from the Vast Vat of Values.

Posted by: Fisher | June 26, 2008 7:34 PM

charleston heston smiled down on the u.s. from heaven today.

Posted by: wayneh | June 26, 2008 9:50 PM

Thanks! I'll email you.

Posted by: Dean J | June 26, 2008 10:56 PM

Thanks, but I really just like to stir up harmless trouble. I picked Thomas not Scalia, and "close" only counts in...

Posted by: Leesburger | June 27, 2008 11:44 AM

Thanks, but I really was joking. I picked Thomas not Scalia so I was close, but "close" only counts...

Posted by: Leesburger | June 27, 2008 11:52 AM

Thanks, but I was mostly joking because I like to stir the pot. I had a 50% chance and guessed wrong. I was close, but "close" only counts in...

Posted by: Leesburger | June 27, 2008 11:59 AM

Thanks, but I was mostly joking because I like to stir the pot. I had a 50% chance and guessed wrong. I was close, but "close" only counts in...

Posted by: Leesburger | June 27, 2008 1:37 PM

Sorry, I broke your blog.

Posted by: Leesburger | June 27, 2008 1:38 PM

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