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Thursday, October 7, 2021

United States v. Miller

Short Barrelled Shotgun

Tam writes about an upcoming Supreme Court case and mentions United States v. Miller, a case involving a short barrelled shotgun. I've never heard of it, so I go to Wikipedia where I find this charming little story:

In reality, the district court judge was in favor of the gun control law and ruled the law unconstitutional because he knew that Miller, who was a known bank robber and had just testified against the rest of his gang in court, would have to go into hiding as soon as he was released. He knew that Miller would not pay a lawyer to argue the case at the Supreme Court and would simply disappear. Therefore, the government's appeal to the Supreme Court would surely be a victory because Miller and his attorney would not even be present at the argument.

On March 30, 1939, the Supreme Court heard the case. Attorneys for the United States argued four points: 

. . .

Neither the defendants nor their legal counsel appeared at the Supreme Court. A lack of financial support and procedural irregularities prevented counsel from traveling.

Miller was found shot to death in April, before the decision had been rendered.

Where was the NRA? Well, the NRA was founded in 1871, but they didn't really become a political force until the 1960s.

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