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BSF Files Brief in Supreme Court's Second Amendment Case on Behalf of Members of Congress

January 11, 2008

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Washington, D.C. -- Boies, Schiller and Flexner LLP has filed a brief amicus curiae in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of two senior Members of Congress, Representatives Chaka Fattah (D-PA), and John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, joined by more than a dozen of their colleagues, in District of Columbia v. Heller.  In the case, the Court is poised to hear arguments on the meaning of the Second Amendment's right to "keep and bear arms" in a case testing the constitutionality of the District of Columbia's longstanding prohibition on handgun ownership. The Court's decision will have historic implications and national repercussions.

The brief asks the Supreme Court to overturn a decision by United States Court of Appeals which struck down the District of Columbia's ban on handguns based on its belief that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.  The brief asserts the U.S. Court of Appeals' decision is an unwarranted departure from prior Supreme Court decisions.  Additionally, the brief provides an important Congressional perspective about the Second Amendment and appropriate resolution of this case, including discussions of Congress' powers and responsibilities over the militia under Article I of the Constitution, and Congress' activities in the area of firearms regulation.

Scott Gant, counsel of record for the Members of Congress and a partner at the Washington, D.C. office of the firm, says, "It's been nearly 70 years since the Court last directly addressed the substantive nature of any rights conferred by the Second Amendment.  During that time, Congress has enacted numerous laws which required consideration of whether and how the Second Amendment constrains its authority.  Congress also has specific powers and responsibilities over the militia under Article I of the Constitution.  Members of Congress clearly bring an important perspective to this case, and we're hopeful the Court will find the brief helpful in resolving it." 

Oral arguments are expected in March, with a ruling by the end of June.  Click on the links above or below to read the brief.

Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, founded in 1997, has become one of the nation's premier law firms. It has approximately 240 lawyers in offices located in New York, Washington, D.C., California, Florida, New Hampshire and Nevada. Best known for landmark cases such as United States v. Microsoft, Bush v. Gore, and In re Vitamins, the firm represents some of the largest and most sophisticated organizations in the world in their most important matters. Chambers USA, the leading international guide to law firms, has reported on the firm's "‘exceptional' reputation," and called its practice "nationally renowned."  The firm has been described by The Wall Street Journal as a "national litigation powerhouse," by the National Law Journal as "unafraid to venture into controversial" and "high risk" matters. Boies, Schiller & Flexner can be visited on the web at

Related Lawyers: Scott E. Gant, ,

Related Practices: Appellate, Constitutional Law and First Amendment / Mass Media, Litigation

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