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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

City of Chicago hires Washington DC Solo Lawyer to Argue Second Amendment Case

Chicago's deputy corporation counsel in charge of appeals, Benna Solomon, has a schedule that is crowded with U.S. Supreme Court arguments.  So much so, she recently went beyond the city's law department to hire Washington DC solo appeals specialist James A. Feldman; a rare engagement, she says.

At stake is the oral argument scheduled before the high court on March 2 in the Second Amendment case of McDonald v City of Chicago.  The case, a subject of a prior Lawblogger post, tests a strict Chicago handgun ordinance in the context of the Second Amendment's applicability to the states via the Due Process clause.

The McDonald case has received much attention.  The Supreme Court's decision will be greatly anticipated by both opponents and proponents of the right to bear arms set forth in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The reason Chicago's Ms Solomon opted out of arguing the case herself is because she will be appearing in the Supreme Court the week before, to argue another case on behalf of the city.  She therefore looked to Feldman, who had done previous work with the city, and who's reputation as an experienced oral advocate at the highest level apparently preceded him.

Both Solomon and Feldman clerked at the high court for Supreme Court justices; Solomon with Justice Byron White, Feldman with Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.  Feldman also argued cases before the Court during his long tenure with the United States Solicitor General; the litigator for the United States Government.

Arguing on the other side will be Alan Gura, also of Washington DC, who won the District of Columbia vs Heller case on behalf of gun advocates.  Because it arose in the District, Heller involved federal gun laws and the decision striking down the gun ordinance therefore does not apply to the 50-states.  Gura will be sharing the podium, and his precious oral argument time with former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who will be arguing on behalf of the NRA.

Stay tuned for the decision on this one as it will affect how states can regulate our right to bear arms.

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