Thursday, January 10, 2008

Quite a bit of good news from the Courts recently

First we had the skepticism of the Supreme Court about the latest challenge to the death penalty:

WASHINGTON — With conservative justices questioning their motives and liberal justices questioning their evidence, opponents of the American manner of capital punishment made little headway Monday in their effort to persuade the Supreme Court that the Constitution requires states to change the way they carry out executions by lethal injection.

source: NY Times

Then we had the Court of Appeals overturn San Fransisco's handgun ban:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California state appeals court on Wednesday struck down a ban on the private ownership of handguns in San Francisco, one of several U.S. cities that have outlawed small firearms.

San Francisco voters passed their ban in 2005, barring all city residents from selling, distributing or manufacturing firearms or ammunition.

Like similar laws in Chicago and Washington, D.C., San Francisco's ban also prohibited residents from possessing handguns unless they are government employees or security guards.


On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal upheld a district court decision, which found that the ordinance was pre-empted by several state laws, one of which prohibits cities from restricting handgun possession in an individual's home, business, or private property.

"These laws of statewide application reflect the legislature's balancing of interests -- on the one side the interest of the general public to be protected from the criminal misuse of firearms, on the other, the interests of law-abiding citizens to be able to purchase and use firearms," the panel wrote in its unanimous decision.

"When it comes to regulating firearms, local governments are well advised to tread lightly."

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said he was disappointed with the ruling and that the city would consider further appeal.

Source: Reuters

and then yesterday we have the Supreme Court skeptical over a challenge to Voter ID laws.

WASHINGTON -- For a second time this week, a liberal challenge to a disputed state law floundered in the Supreme Court because lawyers could not show hard evidence that anyone had been harmed by the statute.


Led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the high court has been increasingly unwilling to strike down state laws or regulations based on broad, hypothetical complaints. Roberts has insisted on real plaintiffs who cite specific problems.

Source: LA Times

None of these are done deals yet but still all-in-all a fairly good week on the courthouse steps.

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