Latest developments in Parker
I'm back in town, and at the volokh conspiracy, Dave Kopel has a post on developments in Parker. Basically:
The Parker plaintiffs won in the Circuit Court on two grounds. Both the handgun ban, and the ban on having a functional (assembled, not trigger locked) shotgun or rifle in the house, were struck down.
DC asked the Circuit Court to "stay the mandate." When an appellate court issues an opinion, that gives its reasoning. After a period of time (to let the parties file an appeal, or not) it issues a mandate, which is the actual order to the lower court to do things ... strike down the statute, in this case. DC moved for and got a stay order, which held off issuing the mandate until it could file with the Supremes.
BUT DC only appealed the handgun ban to the Supremes.
So the Parker plaintiffs are now asking the Circuit to lift the stay of mandate as to the ban on functional rifles and shotguns. DC hasn't taken that to the Supremes, the time for doing so has run out.
I could see the circuit going either way on the motion. DC will likely argue that if it wins on its first theory in the Supremes (there is no individual right) that the functional gun ban will be constitutional. On the other hand, it didn't appeal that issue, and it is a binding judgment. I don't know if its omission is a tactical move (if they want to argue that the handgun ban is a limited measure, they'd rather not talk about the requirement to deactivate rifles and shotguns, too) or just a slip up by DC. As a tactical move: all the parties are going to be arguing the rifle and shotgun ban anyway, it's not like you can hide it by omitting it. As a slip up: I trust in going before the Supremes people vet their case a bit more carefully than that. I tend to think it's a tactical move, but am unsure.