Parker v. DC and certiorari
I've been giving some thought to this. DC will certainly go for rehearing en banc, and if that doesn't change things (probably not), seek Supreme Court review (petition for a writ of certiorari, to use the technical term). Or a rehearing en banc does change the result, and the plaintiff seeks certiorari. What's the result? (It takes four votes to grant the writ and take the case, tho it obviously takes five to win). I think the Court grants cert. My reasons:
1. The strongest reason for granting cert. is that the courts of appeals have split on an important issue of law. The subordinates are squabbling, one law applies in part of the US and other law in other parts, time for the boss to settle the issue. That's far, FAR more important than "the lower court screwed up." With Emerson, we had a circuit split. But now there are two circuits that say it's an individual right, versus nine or so that say it isn't. Hard to write off TWO circuit rulings as a minor aberration, something you can overlook or let percolate for a while.
2. Even with a split limited to the Fifth Circuit, Emerson, Chief Justice Roberts in his confirmation hearing as much as said he'd vote to grant cert.
3. The last time a Second Amendment case came to the Supremes, Silvyera or whatever (I could never spell the name right) it was a very close matter. The Supremes conferenced (voted) and ordered the state to file an opposition, which is pretty rare. That has to mean that even then, before Roberts and Alito, and with only one circuit holding for an individual right, there were enough votes to take and enough fence-sitters to add up to four or more. And that case challenged a state law, so that 14th Amendment incorporation was involved, too.
4. Perhaps most important: the venue rule is that you can sue the federal government where you were harmed, or in DC. The government legally "resides" in DC, and can be sued there even if the case has nothing to do with DC. Parker concerns a DC ordinance, not a federal law. Still, anyone challenging a federal gun law can file in DC, where the Parker ruling applies. (The one limit is that the DC Circuit has a stricter standard than some places as to who can challenge a gun law without having been prosecuted under it). A ruling from the DC Circuit, on something that affects federal law, is a ruling that can hardly be ignored.
So I suppose a scholar would say in six months or a year it's Armageddon. I have a scholarly streak, but as a litigator, I prefer "Odin! Valahalla!"
[Update: somewhere I read that nine circuits had gone for collective right, I haven't really counted. The DC Circuit is one of the few that has never committed one way or the other, which doubtless made a challenge to the DC law attractive -- as did the fact that it's a complete ban on handguns.]