In the Second Amendment Foundation Gun Case Fee Dispute, the Appeals Court
Ruled Against Chicago!
When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Chicago's handgun ban last June,
civil rights attorney Alan Gura considered himself a winner in the
landmark case. Judge Milton Shadur of Chicago federal district court, however, did
not see a victory at all. Shadur ruled against Gura's demand for legal
fees. Shadur said Gura, of Alexandria's Gura & Possessky, was not the
prevailing party because Chicago, days after the high court ruling, repealed and
amended the city's gun law. Inducing a defendant to change conduct, the judge
said, pointing to Supreme Court precedent isn't enough to declare victory
and earn a right to pursue legal fees.
Second Amendment Foundation helped Mr. Gura to take the dispute to the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, setting up an appeal that asked the
question: What does it mean to "win" in the Supreme Court? This past week,
the appeals court answered the question.
A unanimous three-judge panel ruled in favor of Gura's legal fee request,
reversing Shadur and sending the dispute back to U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois. The court instructed Shadur to award
reasonable fees. Gura has not publicly identified the amount he is seeking from
Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, sitting with Judges Richard Posner and
William Bauer, said in the five-page ruling that lead plaintiff Otis McDonald
achieved a decision that altered the legal relationship of the parties, he
ruled. "Many a defendant gives up after a district court's final decision
and does not appeal; some other parties settle to avoid the risk of reversal.
If a cessation of hostilities after a district court's decision does not
deprive the victor of prevailing party status, why should conceding defeat
after a decision by the Supreme Court do so?"
Lawyers for Chicago and the Village of Oak Park argued in the appeal that
the Supreme Court ruling addressed a preliminary legal issue that did not
resolve the plaintiffs' claims.
A lawyer for Chicago, Suzanne Loose, assistant corporation counsel, said
in court papers the high court decision in McDonald v. Chicago did not it
self strike down the city's handgun ban. The city, Loose said, voluntarily
amended its ordinance in the absence of any court order to make changes.
The appeals court said after the Supreme Court ruled the Second Amendment
applies to states and municipalities, the defendant's handgun bans could
not be sustained. Easterbrook said Chicago and Oak Park "bowed to the
inevitable" before Shadur could issue a final judgment.
"The district court was right to observe that plaintiffs did not receive a
favorable judgment from it," Easterbrook said. "But they did better: They
won in the Supreme Court, which entered a judgment in their favor."
A spokesperson for the city's Department of Law was not immediately
reached by phone and e-mail. The Second Amendment Foundation was VICTORIOUS!
"Obviously we are very pleased with the decision. It's fairly obvious we
prevailed in this case and the city is liable for that." Gura said he hopes
"the city will come to its senses to resolve this without any additional
Governments, whether federal, state or local, simply cannot evade their
responsibilities to obey the Constitution and adhere to Supreme Court rulings.
Such cavalier behavior, were it allowed to go unchecked, would lead to
anarchy, or the establishment of imperial government that picks and chooses
which laws and court rulings it will obey, and which civil rights it will
That may be "the Chicago Way," but it's not the American Way.
In spite of the judge's ruling, Chicago government remains extremely
HOSTILE to hand gun permits!
Gun prohibitionists cannot have it their way. Our U.S. Constitution, our
U.S. Supreme Court, our American traditions, and our Founding Forefathers
say so. Simply because they arrogantly believe they are above the law does
not make it so.
As a law-abiding, tax-paying, gun-owning citizen, you must help to protect
your Constitutionally-given rights, whether it be right where you live, or
anywhere around the great country. It is absolutely unbelievable what is
happening to gun rights across this great nation of ours,
This is just one of numerous lawsuits that the Second Amendment Foundation
has taken on. EACH lawsuit has a "price-tag" of $60,000 - $80,000!!
The original McDonald v. Chicago case that the Second Amendment Foundation
won 15 months ago was the "gateway" that opened up many of these other
cases---and legal victories!
We are still in court on nearly TWO DOZEN cases related to gun freedoms!
Every owner of a weapon - 80,000,000 of us -should be indebted to the
Second Amendment Foundation, for standing up in various courts of law, to
defend the Second Amendment - the rights to keep and bear arms!
If you've never given before, maybe you might consider helping their cause
which is OUR cause now.
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