Vice president Dick Cheney, Sen. Mel Martinez and 14 Florida Republicans have added their names to a friend of the court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to find that the District of Columbia's ban on handguns violates the constitution.
Two Florida Democrats - Monticello's Allen Boyd and Palm Beach Gardens' Tim Mahoney - also signed the brief. Indeed, a majority of Congress - 55 senators and 250 House members argue that a city ban on guns infringes on the Second Amendment - and "the rights of law-abiding citizens" to possess firearms.
Those affixing their signatures include Miami Republican Reps. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
A federal appeals court last March overturned the district's ban on handguns, rejecting the city’s argument that the Second Amendment applies only to militias. The high court is scheduled to hear the case on March 18.
Read the brief here. The Washington Post notes today that Cheney added his name to the case in a split with the Bush administration which has asked the court to send the case back to the lower court for further review.
Eighteen members of Congress filed a brief siding with the city; no Floridians were among them. But former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and other former Justice officials argue in support of the ban that the US government held "for more than 60 years that the Second Amendment did not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms for purposes unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia."