As kovie noted in Quick Hits, today the SCOTUS ruled that that Second Amendment "applies equally to the federal government and the states", as Alito wrote in his opinion. The case was around a ban on handguns in Chicago and the suburb of Oak Park, IL, which the Brady Center says is the last two places where such bans exist, following the SCOTUS decision in the Heller decision to strike down DC's ban here. Technically the decision did not strike down the ban, but ordered a federal appeals court to re-examine the decision. But the general consensus I'm hearing appears to be that the laws will be struck down sooner or later.
Post-Heller, the District of Columbia officials rightfully enacted stringent requirements in order to get a handgun, including demonstrating knowledge of firearms use and DC laws, completing a firearms safety course including at least four hours of instruction, fingerprinting, submitting photographs, background check, and others (and speaking as a resident, I'm grateful for these restrictions). All of these are reasonable, and if they go down, DC will probably once again be known as the murder capital of the nation. Not to mention that the NRA-sponsored amendment to the Voting Rights Act that was, which would eliminate other restrictions like a ban on firearms within a certain distance from schools or playgrounds, as well as banning the city from enacting any laws relating to firearms. The amendment was rejected as the basis for a compromise on the back of unanimous opposition from the DC Council and the Mayor, but was considered for a time by Norton and drives home the point on how gun "rights" advocates are hell-bent on eliminating what's left of urban gun control among nearly 600,000 residents (and more when VA and MD residents stream in on weekdays) in the nation's capital.
But hey, as Adam notes at DailyKos, if you're concerned about your safety, Alito and the majority says you can just get your own damn gun:
[P]etitioners and many others who live in high-crime areas dispute the proposition that the Second Amendment right does not protect minorities and those lacking political clout. The plight of Chicagoans living in high-crime areas was recently highlighted when two Illinois legislators representing Chicago districts called on the Governor to deploy the Illinois National Guard to patrol the City's streets. The legislators noted that the number of Chicago homicide victims during the current year equaled the number of American soldiers killed during that same period in Afghanistan and Iraq and that 80% of the Chicago victims were black. Amici supporting incorporation of the right to keep and bear arms contend that the right is especially important for women and members of other groups that may be especially vulnerable to violent crime. If, as petitioners believe, their safety and the safety of other law-abiding members of the community would be enhanced by the possession of handguns in the home for self-defense, then the Second Amendment right protects the rights of minorities and other residents of high-crime areas whose needs are not being met by elected public officials.
Adam has more analysis, including highlights in the dissent.
In somewhat better SCOTUS news today, the court also ruled that a right-wing Christian group can't get legal funding and recognition from a California college if they discriminate on the basis of religion and sexual orientation.
The Supreme Court says a law school can legally deny recognition to a Christian student group that won't let gays join.
The court on Monday turned away an appeal from the Christian Legal Society, which sued to get funding and recognition from the University of California's Hastings College of the Law.
The CLS requires that voting members sign a statement of faith and regards "unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle" as being inconsistent with that faith.
But Hastings said no recognized campus groups may exclude people due to religious belief or sexual orientation.
The court upheld the lower court rulings saying the Christian group's First Amendment rights of association, free speech and free exercise were not violated by the college's decision.
The court also rejected a challenge to San Francisco's universal health care law from business groups upset that businesses are required to cover their workers or chip in towards city coverage. Many businesses have passed this fee along to its consumers. On my last visit to SF, there was a surcharge leveled on consumers as well, as the restaurant I visited (Dosa) noted at the bottom of the menu an additional fee on top of my bill. On the other hand, the program has covered 53,000 individuals and, according to the city, resulted in a 70% drop in emergency room visits at San Francisco General Hospital.