Attorney who argued gun rights case in Supreme Court to visit UT
Kathleen M. Amerkhanian
Mar 20, 2008
The attorney who just argued a U.S. Supreme Court case that experts say may finally define what the Second Amendment means for individual gun owners will visit The University of Toledo College of Law Monday, March 24.
Alan Gura, who argued on behalf of gun owners in the groundbreaking case of District of Columbia v. Heller, will speak in the Law Center Auditorium on Main Campus at noon.
District of Columbia v. Heller is the first major Second Amendment case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court since 1939. Gura will discuss the case and describe the experience of arguing before the highest court in the nation.
The case of D.C. v. Heller arose when Dick Anthony Heller, a security officer who carries a gun while on duty, was denied a permit to keep his gun at home because of a D.C. law banning handguns. At issue is whether the Second Amendment guaranteeing a right “to keep and bear arms” pertains to individual gun owners or simply to the idea of having a well-regulated militia. The case has ramifications for gun-control laws all over the country. The D.C. Circuit Court ruled in favor of gun owners and on Tuesday, March 18, Gura argued to the Supreme Court why that decision should be upheld.
Gura’s talk is part of the UT College of Law’s “Day After” Speaker Series. Each year, the college invites a lawyer arguing a major case before the Supreme Court to serve as its featured speaker in the series. Past speakers include attorneys who have argued cases relating to the constitutional validity of the Miranda rules, school vouchers and federal wetland regulation. Attorneys visit UT in the days or week after their oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“This series, unique in the country, allows University of Toledo law students and the community to hear from the advocates in some of the most important constitutional cases facing the nation,” said College of Law Dean Douglas E. Ray. “This case may well determine the future of gun control laws in the country and its importance makes us especially pleased to host this year’s ‘Day After’ speaker.”
Gura is a partner in a firm he founded, Gura & Possessky, focusing primarily on civil and appellate litigation, with an emphasis on intellectual property, constitutional law and civil rights. He began his career as a law clerk to Terrence W. Boyle, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, then went on to serve as deputy attorney general for the state of California. Gura also has worked in private practice with the Washington, D.C., offices of Sidley & Austin, and he served for a year as counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Oversight.
For more information on the free, public talk, contact the Law Communications Office at 419.530.2712.