The Ducks are Lining up in Nordyke

Nordyke v. King is shaping up to be the next big case, I think, and the ducks are getting lined up in a row. Nordyke is the case where Alameda County banned gun shows from its fairgrounds. The Court is considering whether or not this is a violation of the Second Amendment. I’m rather pleased that this may be the next big case, because the win or lose isn’t nearly as important as what the Court is going to say. We could lose on the merits, and still win.

Both many groups have filed briefs in this case (NRA’s can be found here), arguing that the standard for reviewing Second Amendment claims is strict scrutiny. This would seem (to me at least) to be a good context for arguing that. You don’t have criminal prohibitions complicating the matter, like we did in the Skoien case in the 7th Circuit. It’s pretty clear that Alameda County banned gun shows because they don’t like them, rather than because of any legitimate government interest. That’s why this is important.

This case, win or lose, could end up defining the boundaries of the Second Amendment, most certainly for the Ninth Circuit, which includes a number of states, but also for the entire country, as other circuits adopt their reasoning.

7 thoughts on “The Ducks are Lining up in Nordyke”

  1. Yabbut, didn’t McDonald re-assert the Heller note that regulation on the commercial sale of guns is okay? That is the one angle I think they may have trouble on.

  2. McDonald is great it that it referred to 2A as a “fundamental” right several times. Heller never really called it that directly.

  3. Yes, but this is a prohibition on commerce. I suspect they could end up losing, even under strict scrutiny. The important thing is what the Court will say.

  4. Actually, the ordinance in Nordyke was much broader than commerce regulation. It completely prohibited even exhibiting of firearms–but then made an exception for the Scottish-American Games.

  5. That Scottish-American Games loophole may end up being under the ordinance’s waterline. If the fairgrounds are a sensitive are; it shouldn’t matter who is at the fairgrounds, no?

  6. “That Scottish-American Games loophole may end up being under the ordinance’s waterline.”

    No question. They were actually allowed to be firing blank ammo at the Games–but an ammo-less exhibition wasn’t allowed.

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