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D.C. Gun Ban: Your Crystal Ball

The Supreme Court did not rule today on the D.C. gun ban case, so next week is the week. In anticipation of the ruling on the constitutionality of the District's ban on handgun ownership, here's your chance to win a prize from the Vast Vat of Values.

Come ahead with your one-sentence prediction of how the court will rule, along with your guess as to the vote on the ruling, and, if you'd like, the author of the majority opinion.

Include a handle or other identifying detail that will enable me to name you if you are the winner next week. I will announce the winner here on the blog and will then ask that winner to send me contacts so I can get you something from the Vast Vat of Values.

A few of your predictions are on today's Potomac Confidential show, a transcript of which you can find at

Have at it....

By Marc Fisher |  June 19, 2008; 1:25 PM ET
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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

One sentence -- 5-4 repeal Thomas.

Posted by: Leesburger | June 19, 2008 1:48 PM

DC's unconstitutional gun law goes down in flames 6-3; Chief Justice Roberts writing for the majority, Justice Stevens writing for the minority, the ruling allows for "reasonable" restrictions on ownership, possession and concealed carry.

Posted by: 2nd Amendment | June 19, 2008 1:52 PM

Overturned by a 6-3 vote; Thomas for the majority.

They also note the recent amount of shootings and drive-bys and declare the law OBE (Overcome by Events) since nobody follows it anymore anyway.

They then recommend the National Guard troops stay in Afghanistan and Iraq since it is safer there than in DC. Including this recommendation is passed 9-0.

Posted by: DC Voter | June 19, 2008 2:13 PM

The obvious thing to do is wait on the gun issues while we all figure out what to do about the more urgent and dangerous pizza issues.

Priorities, folks, priorities.

Posted by: Kim | June 19, 2008 2:36 PM

5-4 to uphold the law with Stevens writing for the majority.

Posted by: HopefulDCRes | June 19, 2008 2:46 PM

Repeal, 7-2, Scalia, with a dissenting (Stevens) and 2 concurring (Thomas, Roberts) opinions with a narrow focus; bans illegal but "reasonable" restrictions on possession and concealed carry.

They'll try to give enough so that de facto bans aren't enacted under the guise of reasonable restrictions but more importantly will clarify that the right is an individual right. Since the gun banners can't read.

Posted by: Stick | June 19, 2008 2:50 PM

5-4, Roberts, explicitly defining the Second Amendment as enumerating the right of the individual, allowing for reasonable restrictions of carrying concealed weapons.

Posted by: Dean J | June 19, 2008 2:56 PM

My prediction: Some technical problem with the case, gets sent back to the district court.

Posted by: MattF | June 19, 2008 3:05 PM

5-0 overturning the ban. Scalia shoots the four likely dissenters before the opinion is written.

Posted by: 9mm | June 19, 2008 3:07 PM

I know this sounds convoluted but if Roberts and Alito are part of a majority striking down the DC gun law, they will also be willing to strike down Roe-v-Wade. It will prove that they are purist tight constructionists like Scalia and Thomas.

Posted by: D Leaberry | June 19, 2008 3:49 PM

6-3 repealing the FCRA of 1975, Scalia for the majority, Stevens for the minority.

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.

I would also prefer to receive a gift from the Vast VAULT of VALUABLES - the Vast Vat of Values sounds like I'd be winning some moral on a Chinese cracker fortune. I suspect that the winner is only going to get a t-shirt so they'll be presentable at baseball games.

Posted by: proxli2 | June 19, 2008 4:13 PM

6-3 vote; court holds that the Second Amendment does convey an individual right to bear arms, but that right is subject to "reasonable" restrictions. DC case remanded back down for consideration on this basis. Kennedy writes the majority; Stevens the minority; someone in the Roberts/Alito/Thomas/Scalia block writes the dissent, joined by others.

Posted by: blather | June 19, 2008 4:19 PM

5-4 Kennedy. Repeal. That's usually who they send for controvertial opinions.

Posted by: Brandon | June 19, 2008 7:19 PM

Even if a right is given for a reason, it still applies even if the reason is no longer applicable. So even if we were given the right to bear arms so we'd have them for militia duties, the right still exists regardless if militias do.

Posted by: Stick | June 20, 2008 7:39 AM

Supremes take the easy way out since this decision could effect the election and remand it back to the lower court

Posted by: CLifton, VA | June 20, 2008 8:48 AM

I putting together of group of investors to start a chain of gun stores in DC. Anyone interested in investing? Marc.
Supremes overturn it 6-3 and also overturn
restrictions on gun purchases like machine guns, surface to air missiles, claymore mines and anti tank weapons for personal use. And I am finally legal except for the several tons of C4 I possess here in VA. I use it clear land and remove tree stumps.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 8:51 AM

There will be 4 opinions written.

2 justices will say that the right to bear arms is collective and that laws banning people from keeping and bearing any and all weapons are Constitutional

2 justices will say that the right to bear arms is an individual right. However, this right is not important enough to require strict scrutiny. Therefore the handgun ban and operable weapons ban are Constitutional.

3 Justices will say that the right to bear arms is an individual right. These justices will say that the the ban is an unreasonable restriction. However, these justices will say that strict scrutiny is not applicable to the right to keep and bear arms.

2 Justices will say that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right and that strict scrutiny must apply. Therefore , the DC bans are unconstitutional as are most restrictions. These justices would attempt to put the right to keep and bear arms at the same level of restriction as the right to free speech and other rights from the Bill of Rights.

Posted by: Clarksville, MD | June 20, 2008 9:43 AM

9-0 opinion it is an individual right. Collective rights theory thrown out.

5 Upholding DC Court.
1 concurring in result, but agreeing that handguns can be banned from carry outside home or business - DC went too far.
2 would permit handgun bans as reasonable restriction.

Posted by: MPipes | June 20, 2008 10:51 AM

5-4 to overturn the ban. Scalia, Alito, Roberts, Thomas and Kennedy. The liberals opinion written by Stevens since the other lefties would sound too angry, the correct opinion written by the Chief Justice (this is one for the ages)

Posted by: civilrightist | June 20, 2008 11:00 AM

7-2 to overturn the ban on handguns and the restrictions on rifles, with justice Roberts writing the opinion. Ginsburg and Souter dissent.

Posted by: johng1 | June 20, 2008 11:05 AM

8-1 overturning the DC gun ban. Court will determine that the right is an individual right, not a collective right. The ruling will include language that will all government(s) to limit ownership to those that have not proved to have been (felons) or may be a damger to themselves or society (under age or mentally ill).

Ginsberg will be the lone dissenter saying that the gov't has the right to impose additional restrictons on ownership under certain conditions (i.e. high crime, amrtial law, etc.) if it is thought to be for the public good.

Posted by: Alan | June 20, 2008 11:33 AM

Darn typos, I meant to say/write:

8-1 overturning the DC gun ban. Court will determine that the right is an individual right, not a collective right. The ruling will include language that will allow government(s) to limit ownership to those that have proved to have been (felons) or may be a damger to themselves or society (under age or mentally ill).

Ginsberg will be the lone dissenter saying that the gov't has the right to impose additional restrictons on ownership under certain conditions (i.e. high crime, amrtial law, etc.) if it is thought to be for the public good.

Posted by: Alan | June 20, 2008 11:35 AM

The Justices will rule to throw out ALL gun regulations based on the US Army "Manchurian Candidate Study" I have been the 30-year long subject of. Just to prove the point, I was used, like the Columbia, PO, Mall shooters, ect., as a political/media tool to influence anti-gun legislation on Maui and here in Wyoming. If I can be made to do this to dilute the 2nd Amendment, so can Enemy Action.

Posted by: Rick A Hyatt | June 20, 2008 2:33 PM

If guns are illegal in DC then why do the criminals havs guns. The answer is that criminals dont obey the law. Overturn the ban and allow the people to defend themselves.

Posted by: nra4evr | June 21, 2008 12:56 AM

At Thermopylae 1,000,000 Persians lost 20,000; but failed to disarm just 300 Spartans.

90,000,000 lawful abiding gun owners will resist even harder. That I promise you!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2008 12:57 AM

5-4 overturn. There is probably no one alive that doesn't know that the 2nd does GUARANTEE a right; not grant it. So what DC is doing is asking the court to dishonor their oath to uphold the constitution.
I think they will overturn DC's law while finding a way to weasel and leave the 20,000 plus moronic gun laws in place.

Posted by: CC Ryder | June 21, 2008 9:22 AM

Five-vote majority, per Kennedy, finding an individual right, acknowledging that that right is subject to "reasonable" regulation and elaborating a little on that standard (which is neither the strict scrutiny sought by Heller or intermediate scrutiny sought by the government) in vague generalities, and then concluding that whatever reasonable regulation does mean, DC's near-total gun ban was clearly not reasonable. Won't be the clear pronouncement that many have assumed we'll be getting, and the consequences for other gun regulations will probably be left pretty unclear (except maybe the Chicago ban).

A bit harder to call how the dissents will come up, but probably two votes (per Stevens) that this is a "collective right" that applies only in connection with militia service, and then another opinion for the two remaining justices (probably also joined by the collective right dissenters) that even if the Second Amendment provides an individual right subject to reasonable regulation, D.C.'s gun regulations are eminently reasonable in light of the particular facts present here.

Posted by: Scott N. | June 21, 2008 10:18 AM

7-2 total to overturn, Souter writing majority opinion, Ginsberg and Stevens in dissent, Scalia writing concurence, joined by Thomas, urging court to go further. Opinion holds that Second Amendment provides limited individual right to gun ownership and effectively explains away the "right to a well-regulated militia" clause as being unconnected to the individual right to gun ownership, but allows for such regulation of guns as may be necessary, defining an absolute ban on all gun ownership as unconstitutional, but noting that measures such as licensing, gun locks, and bans on certain types of assault weapons reasonable, and leaving the rest a muddle to be determined in future cases. Scalia's concurrence takes the majority to task for instituting a muddled reasonableness test.

Posted by: Ootek1 | June 21, 2008 12:30 PM

7-2, with Souter and Stevens in the dissent.

Posted by: Trey | June 25, 2008 7:45 PM

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