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Alameda Gun Ban Heads to Mediation, Kozinski Criticizes 'Charade'

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By Robyn Hagan Cain on April 06, 2012 10:09 AM

Should a lawsuit asserting Second Amendment rights be settled in mediation?

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to take action on 13-year-old dispute between Russell and Ann Sallie Nordyke and Alameda County this week. Instead, the court sent the case to mediation, reports the Los Angeles Times.

From 1991 to 1999, the Nordykes promoted a gun show at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. After a 1998 shooting, Alameda adopted a law banning firearms on county property. The Nordykes challenged the Alameda gun ban in court.

The Nordykes have lost two appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2003, the court ruled that the Second Amendment protected the right to own guns to maintain a well-regulated militia, but not the right to display guns at a gun show. In May 2011, the Ninth Circuit upheld the ban again, applying the substantial burden standard to the ordinance.

In their latest appeal, the Nordykes claim that court should use a stricter standard to analyze the constitutionality of a law limiting Second Amendment rights.

Though the court voted 9-2 in favor of mediation, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski criticized the move. "We overstep our authority by forcing the parties to spend time and money engaging in a mediation charade. Our job is to decide the case, and do so promptly. This delay serves no useful purpose; it only makes us look foolish. I want no part of it," Kozinski wrote in his dissent.

While the Nordykes may be equally disappointed in the mediation order, at least the court didn't rule against them this time.

What do you think of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' work-out-your-differences approach to the Alameda gun ban?

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