Cheney breaks with administration, sides with lawmakers on gun case

Vice President Dick Cheney does not always agree with the administration.

Cheney demonstrated that point last week, when he signed onto an amicus brief along with more than 300 Washington lawmakers urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the District of Columbia’s handgun ban violates the Second Amendment.

The brief, filed Friday on behalf of a solid majority of Congress in the pending Supreme Court case D.C. v. Heller, asks the Court to uphold the decision of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit striking down the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns as unconstitutional.

Cheney, who signed the brief in his legislative capacity as “President of the United States Senate,” joined the lawmakers because he “strongly believes that the Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear firearms,” his spokesman Tony Fratto told the Washington Post.

Solicitor General Paul Clement filed a brief on behalf of the Bush administration urging the high court to remand the case back to the lower court for clarification, calling the ruling overly-broad and expressing concern that it could be read to block federal gun-control measures.

Cheney is a hunter, and a few years back he raised some eyebrows over a Louisiana hunting trip with Justice Antonin Scalia.

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