Ezell v. Chicago -- major win!
Pdf of today's opinion here. It cuffs the district court, tells it had better issue an injunction against the new Chicago ordinance (and dictates what the injunction should contain), treats standard of review in terms very, very favorable to anyone making a right to arms challenge, rebuffs the City's attempt to moot the case by changing the ordinance, rules broadly on standing to sue, and does a few other things along the way. Standard of review -- early Circuit case applied intermediate standard to prohibition on DV misdemeanant. This ruling does the same, but says that since the people here are entirely law-abiding, it should be a stricter form of intermediate, close to strict scrutiny. City must show that an entire ban on ranges is actually vital to public safety, which it has not come close to showing; all it could produce was speculation about safety. I'm sure it didn't help that the City does have police ranges and also two ranges for private security companies (despite the ordinance saying nothing about allowing private security companies to have ranges).
It responds to Chicago's argument that there are ranges outside city limits with a comparison to the city banning free speech and practice of religion, and arguing that's allowed because you can do both by leaving city limits.
UPDATE: what I meant by rebuffs is that Chicago this morning hastily passed a revision of the shooting range ban, plainly meant to moot the case [I had a link, but it's just been broken]. Perhaps they got word of the opinion that was coming down? In any event, they were pretty obvious. The news story notes, "the city wanted an ordinance in place so appellate judges might be less inclined to intervene with a less restrictive ordinance." It was a television site, NBC Chicago; likely hit the news this morning.
So the Seventh rebuffs the attempt by releasing its opinion, and gets the last laugh. The panel probably recall that the City similarly changed its handgun ban after the Supreme Court ruled, and then used that to argue against an attorneys' fees award.
And here's Josh Blackman's analysis.
Not to mention that it declares the right to keep and bear arms includes a right train and target practice...
Posted by: Terraformer at July 6, 2011 11:20 AM
Wow! Can anyone comment on how this ruling may impact other current litigation?
Posted by: Jeff at July 6, 2011 11:24 AM
Don't kid yourselves, Leftists are relentless. They never quit because they are religious fanatics like John Brown or OBL. They will simply change the law again and go to court again. Unless the legal system really PUNISHES these folks, they will keep their game up AS LONG AS IT TAKES.
Posted by: tim at July 6, 2011 12:01 PM
Funny how the anti's like to throw around "well-regulated" as an excuse to require training, then make the argument the 2nd doesn't protect access to it.
It's almost sad to watch them scramble.
Of course, then I just play "Yakety Sax" in my head and it gets funny again.
Posted by: Matthew Carberry at July 6, 2011 12:02 PM
Extraordinary opinion, with great breadth for us. The concurring opinion attempts to limit that breadth and does so in a haphazard manner that is unconvincing.
Posted by: SPQR at July 6, 2011 01:04 PM
Alan Gura is a rock star.
Posted by: MacD at July 6, 2011 01:05 PM
This is the modern version of Jim Crow-era voting restrictions. Local governments oppose federal law and the Supreme Court by erecting absurd barriers to exercising constitiutional rights, while piously claiming to be in full compliance.
Posted by: Beer Here at July 6, 2011 01:47 PM
Where in the opinion does it smack down the ordinance meant to try to moot the case? I have read that elsewhere, but I haven't been able to find it in the opinion. I'll grant, this is such a strong opinion, it makes Rahm's play look pretty dubious, but I didn't find a specific reference to that in the opinion itself.
Posted by: Sebastian at July 6, 2011 02:35 PM
That's Ol' Snakebite Hardy, breaking the news the mainstream media were afraid to break.
Posted by: Just Another Fan at July 6, 2011 02:47 PM
Yep, Chicago, DC, NYC, SF, will only stop when every last victim disarmer is sitting on death row for treason and countless civil rights violations resulting in death.
Posted by: JR at July 6, 2011 03:25 PM
"Where in the opinion does it smack down the ordinance meant to try to moot the case?"
Bottom of P 48 in the .pdf, where it begins "The plaintiffs asked the district court to enjoin the enforce‐ ment of Chicago Municipal Code § 8‐20‐280—the prohibition" and continues on p 49 "on “[s]hooting galleries, firearm ranges, or any other place where firearms are discharged.” They are entitled to a preliminary injunction to that effect... Similarly, the injunction should prohibit the City from using its zoning code to exclude firing ranges from locating anywhere in the city."
The current way-too-late ordinance would in effect exclude firing ranges from pretty much everywhere in the city.
Posted by: Anonymous at July 6, 2011 03:46 PM
Great win. Sets the stage for many more wins.
Posted by: 475okh at July 6, 2011 04:33 PM
To understand just how bad the district court judge's opinion was, consider what the outcome at the district level would have been had the case involved abortions rather than guns, that is, if the city of Chicago allowed women to get abortions but prohibited the building of abortion clinics within the city limits. Do you think for a moment the district judge would have ruled against the plaintiffs in that case? Not a chance. These days, that's black letter law. Overturning the lower court's erroneous decision in the gun case was a slam-dunk.
Posted by: Mr. Biswas at July 6, 2011 04:52 PM
Well, she absolutely made the district court judge look like a complete moron...
Posted by: Jim at July 7, 2011 01:34 AM
So how soon can USC 1983 charges be brought against the city council?
Posted by: Scott at July 7, 2011 08:35 AM
Heller always was, in part, about abortion. If the court had refused to honor the clearly written, well documented, history of the 2nd, it could never have defended Roe in any challenge.
I have written about a few times; it is my opinion that Roe was the first victory in the current revival of the 2nd.
Posted by: Frank Perdicaro at July 7, 2011 02:06 PM
SAF just filed for an injunction in Illinois District Court against enforcement of the carry ban.
Posted by: Matthew Carberry at July 7, 2011 06:30 PM
The one thing missing is the one thing ALWAYS missing in these cases: Punishment of the tyrants...
Posted by: anon at July 8, 2011 10:16 AM
I am a fan of John Brown. If we had more like him today we would have more freedom and fewer gun laws.
Posted by: Charles Nichols at July 13, 2011 09:33 PM