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What Happened with the McDonald Appeal

Uncle linked to a piece by David Codrea where there’s some dispute as to whether NRA’s case was combined with SAF/Gura’s case, and whether saying they are constitutes a misrepresentation of facts by NRA. The Court granted cert to McDonald, which was SAF’s case and which was brought by Alan Gura. NRA was made a party to the case — Respondants in Support of Petitioners — under rule 12 of the Supreme Court Rules. So it would definitely be correct to say NRA was a party to the case, but is it correct to say they were consolidated? I would also note this passage from Alan Gura’s Petitioner’s brief, in the section described as “Parties to the Proceedings”

The three cases were related, but not consolidated, in the District Court. Petitioners and the related case plantiffs appealed the District Court’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which consolidated the appeals.

Emphasis is mine. I would say if the language is good enough to be put before the Court, NRA is free and clear in saying that. NRA has in the past, wrongly in my opinion, played up its role in certain cases and controversies at the expense of other involved parties. But this is not an example of that.

UPDATE: I should probably clarify that saying the cases were combined, rather than that the appeals were combined, is probably incorrect technically. More correct would be the appeals were combined, and NRA made a party (Respondent¬†in Support of Petitioner) to the McDonald case. I’m pretty sure that is a correct statement.

If someone wants to flay Chris Cox, or whoever wrote that article for him on his behalf, they are free to nit pick. But it seems to me a nit pick. I don’t know how familiar Chris Cox is with the distinction between those two things, or whether anyone explained it to him in great legal detail.

3 Responses to “What Happened with the McDonald Appeal”

  1. Matthew Carberry says:

    NRA has a pattern of neglecting to make it clear when they are supporting an effort rather than driving the train. I wish they had a little more humility. It’s not like they won’t still get support from members if they were a little more upfront.

    On a practical basis doing so would retain their “800 pd. gorilla” image while simultaneously making it clear they aren’t the only game in town on gun rights. Which would deflate some of the “minority NRA special interest versus American safety” rhetoric of the other side. Make it clear there’s more to gun rights activism than just the “eeeevil NRA”.

  2. Gene Hoffman says:

    It remains the fact that NRA v. Chicago was not granted Cert. The cases were combined at the 7th Circuit court of appeals but they were not combined at the Supreme Court.

    NRA v. Chicago has a different case number on the Supreme Court docket. Compare: http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/08-1497.htm to the actual McDonald case which was granted cert here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/08-1521.htm

    As such the cases were not combined.

    -Gene

  3. Sebastian says:

    No, it wasn’t. McDonald was granted cert and thus NRA had a right to be a party on the case because of the consolidation on appeal. If they had taken NRA’s case, then NRA would be the Petitioner, and McDonald would have been the Respondents in Support of Petitioner.

    Cox’s language here is not technically correct, but I’m not sure it’s evidence of being deliberately misleading. The correct way to say it would be “McDonald vs. Chicago, which NRA was party to” rather than “the combined cases” but like I said in the update, I wouldn’t expect someone who doesn’t know much about law to get the difference.

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