As the District of Columbia prepares to defend its law banning handgun possession before the U.S. Supreme Court, there is an increasing amount of behind-the-scenes drama in the case.
First, last month – just weeks after the nation’s highest court agreed to consider whether the law violates the Second Amendment – the District’s Attorney General Linda Singer announced her resignation, which will become effective this Friday. Singer had reportedly clashed with Peter Nickles, general counsel of DC Mayor Adrian Fenty.
Now, Nickles has fired veteran Supreme Court advocate Alan B. Morrison, whose name will still appear on the district’s brief (along with Singer’s) which is due to be filed Friday.
Morrison, who talked to the Washington Post and the Legal Times about the situation, said that he was taken by surprise by the decision, adding that he met with Nickels Dec. 21 and was given no indication that the axe was coming.
He said he found out he was fired via an email from Deputy Attorney General Eugene A. Adams.
“I’ve been asked to tell you that Peter has decided that he will not be relying on you to make the . . . argument before the Supreme Court,” Adams wrote in an e-mail to Morrison, which Morrison provided to The Washington Post. “It’s a decision he’s been wrestling with since you met with him last week. He thought it only fair that you be informed sooner rather than later.”
According to the Legal Times’ blog, the BLT, Morrison was not given a reason for his firing, but said “but I assume it is because I was seen as a Linda (Singer) loyalist,” he told the LT. “I wanted to argue the case and thought I could help the District.”