www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21039929/page/2/By Pete Williams
Updated: 8:29 a.m. ET Oct 1, 2007
During the U.S. Supreme Court's new term beginning Monday, the justices will consider the fundamental issue of who is allowed to vote just in time for 2008's pivotal presidential elections.
The docket also includes a challenge to the Bush administration's war on terror, a question over the constitutionality of lethal injections and a test of a strict gun law, which could lead to a clarification of the Second Amendment.
D.C. gun law challenged
Washington, D.C., has urged that the justices uphold the city's ban on handguns — one of the strictest gun laws in the nation. City officials said the restriction is essential to fighting crime.
"What we ban is a weapon that is uniquely dangerous, that is easily concealed and that is disproportionately used in crime," said Linda Singer, Attorney General for the District of Columbia.
In a surprising ruling, a federal appeals court earlier this year declared the ban a violation of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The law was challenged by a Washington, D.C., resident who claimed the Constitution gives him a right to own a handgun for self-defense.
"I had a house broken into once, and things happen," said Rich Heller, the man who filed the lawsuit. "You want to protect yourself if you need to."
Though the Supreme Court discussed the Second Amendment in a 1939 gun case, the court has never definitively ruled on if the amendment protects an individual's right to own a gun or if it only protects a right of state militias to resist being disarmed by the national government.
ladies and gentlemen... this is it. This is the equivalent of the invasion of normandy... lets hope it goes just as well.