The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today in Ezell v. Chicago. Attorney Alan Gura appealed to the Seventh Circuit when U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Kendall denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction against Chicago’s ban on shooting ranges.
The three judge panel included Circuit Court Judges Michael S. Kanne, Ilana D. Rovner, and Diane S. Sykes. Judge Kanne is from Indiana and was appointed to the Court of Appeals by President Reagan. Judge Rovner is from Chicago and was appointed to the Court of Appeals by President George H. W. Bush. Finally, Judge Sykes was appointed to the Court of Appeals By President George W. Bush. Judge Sykes had previously served as a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.
In the argument, each side was given 20 minutes to argue their case. Alan Gura represented the plaintiffs and James A. Feldman was the attorney for the City of Chicago. After listening to the oral arguments, it seems that Judges Kanne and Sykes favored Ezell and Judge Rovner favored Chicago. I am assuming that the older sounding female judge is Judge Rovner and the younger one is Judge Sykes.
There were a number of good quotes that came out of the argument.
“The city has at once required range training for licensure and at the same time, banned them. How is that Constitutional?” Judge Sykes
“you’re not planning or regulating, you’re banning” Judge Sykes
“Is the City taking any steps towards REGULATING ranges?” Judge Rovner to which Mr. Feldman answered “no.”
After Mr. Feldman went on about stray bullets and fights at gun ranges, Judge Kanne asked “Have you ever been to a firing range?” – answer – No
“Well by the looks of your briefs it looks like nobody who wrote the briefs had either” Judge Kanne
“How can you claim that the live-fire range training is so critical to licensing and yet claim it’s not fundamental, it’s not within the scope of the right. Those are mutually contradictory positions… ” Judge Sykes
“Mr Gura, what would you like your preliminary injunction to say?” Judge Sykes
The oral arguments are embedded below.