February 24, 2010

DOUG BERMAN ON NEW SECOND AMENDMENT “LAW:”

This Chester ruling by the Fourth Circuit excites me because, as regular readers know, I think the criminal prohibition on gun possession by misdemeanants in § 922(g)(9) is constitutionally questionable in the wake of Heller, and I believe lower courts have been too ready and eager to dismiss Second Amendment attacks on § 922(g)(9).

But… this Chester ruling by the Fourth Circuit annoys me because, apparently in order to try to keep this important ruling below the radar screen, the panel decided to denominate this opinion “unpublished” so that it is “not binding precedent in this circuit.” Because this Chesterruling breaks new ground and provides important guidance on a frequently arising issue, I cannot fathom a valid reason why it should be “unpublished.”

I don’t approve of “unpublished” opinions. If it’s not good enough to be precedent, then the court needed to give it a bit more work. . . .

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