From Sentencing Blog:
The Seventh Circuit handed down today another intriguing Second Amendment opinion in which it finds unavailing an as-applied challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), the federal felon-in-possession criminal prohibition. There are lots of interesting aspects of the panel’s ruling in US v. Williams, No. 09-3174 (7th Cir. Aug. 5, 2010) (available here) — including the fact that retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was one of the members of the Seventh Circuit panel (though she was not the author of the unaninous panel opinion).
It seems that the panel here in Williams may be essentially urging that a better candidate in the form of a non-violent felon, take a Second Amendment run at § 922(g)(1).
From the opinion:
And although we recognize that § 922(g)(1) may be subject to an overbreadth challenge at some point because of its disqualification of all felons, including those who are non-violent, that is not the case for Williams. Even if the government may face a difficult burden of proving § 922(g)(1)’s “strong showing” in future cases, it certainly satisfies its burden in this case, where Williams challenges § 922(g)(1) as it was applied to him. See Broadrick v. Oklahoma, 413 U.S. 601, 610 (1973) (“[A] person to whom a statute may constitutionally be applied will not be heard to challenge that statute on the ground that it may conceivably be applied unconstitutionally to others, in other situations not before the Court.”). Williams, as a violent felon, is not the ideal candidate to challenge the constitutionality of § 922(g)(1).
When one considers the 7th Circuit’s En Banc opinion in Skoien–which considered a domestic violence misdemeanor–it seems the 7th Circuit is really open to revisiting the ban on guns for those convicted of non-violent felonies.