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The Unusual Suspect:

Check out the state and city amicus briefs in the D.C. Circuit Second Amendment case on the individual rights side and the collective rights side.

On the individual rights side: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming — makes sense, since they are all gun country states (not necessarily red states, but many blue states and blue state politicians support gun rights).

On the collective rights side: Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Boston, Chicago, and New York City. Mostly makes sense — all have relatively heavy gun regulations, all either lack a state constitutional right to bear arms (Maryland, New Jersey, New York), have a state right that has been interpreted as collective (Massachusetts), or have a state individual right that is written and has been read very narrowly (Illinois).

Except one: Idaho, a solid gun country state, with an individual right to bear arms in its state constitution, precedent enforcing it, and even precedent applying the Second Amendment as an individual right to the states (though contrary to the Supreme Court's then-relatively-fresh Cruikshank decision, which held that the Second Amendment didn't apply to the states). True, the precedents are old, but Idahoans' support of gun rights seems to remain current, and the Idaho Attorney General who signed on to the brief — Lawrence Wasden — is a Republican with an A- rating from the NRA.

What's the backstory here? Does AG Wasden simply have firm views on the Second Amendment that he wants to prevail as a matter of legal principle? Does he solidly believe in self-government for D.C., and doesn't want to unduly shackle the D.C. voters' representatives? Is there some personal connection between him and the other states' AGs that led him to try to help a buddy? Inquiring minds want to know.

Thanks to reader Fredrik Nyman for prompting me to post this.

UPDATE: The D.C. Circuit docket sheet reports that Idaho withdrew from the brief. Alan Gura, one of Parker's lawyers reports that "Idaho withdrew its support of that brief, stating that it was in error." Matthew Bower reports (though without claiming 100% confidence) that "The directive to withdraw Idaho's support came directly from the AG, whereas the decision to support the Mass. brief in the first place apparently did not. To my understanding that decision was made by a deputy who rather badly overstepped his bounds." Interesting.

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