Cheney breaks with Bush on 2nd Amendment

Acting in his role of President of the United States Senate, not as Vice President, Dick Cheney his signed an amicus brief from Congress urging the Supreme Court to strike down Washington, DC's firearms ban as an unconstitutional breach of the Second Amendment. Robert Barnes reports in the Washington Post:

Cheney joined 55 senators and 250 House members in asking the court to find that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess firearms and to uphold a lower court's ruling that the D.C. ban violates that right. That position is at odds with the one put forward by the administration, which angered gun rights advocates when it suggested that the justices return the case to lower courts for further review. [....]

Lawyers said it may be unprecedented for a vice president to take a position in a case before the high court that is at odds with one the Justice Department puts forward as the administration's official position.

At issue is whether the right to bear arms is an individual right, or a collective right applying to militias only.

It is not known if the President and Vice President have spoken about the issue. I would assume that the Justice Department take on the issue essentially reflects the fear that many federal firearms statutes would be invalidated should the Supreme Court declare an absolute individual right to bear arms. The Vice President is taking the principled stand one would expect from a man of his Western background, a hunter and outdoorsman.

This will be a very big Court decision, with probable effects on the election..
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