From the March 2003 Idaho Observer:

Right to “keep and bear arms” writ filed in U.S. Supreme Court

CORNING, Calif. -- The U.S. Supreme court has received a simple 24-page Petition for Writ of Certiorari from Donald M. Bird regarding the state of California's passage of laws that infringe upon citizen's 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The writ stems from Bird's Nov. 2001 filing of a Writ of Mandamus in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. Bird's action demanded that California Governor Gray Davis and state Attorney Bill Lockyer “obey the oath [of office] and acknowledge the fact of the true wording of the Second Amendment.”

The District Court denied Bird's writ, so he appealed it to the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth refused to rule on the Bird's Writ of Mandamus in March, 2002. U.S. Magistrate Gregory G. Hollows stated, “...neither the Second or the Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants a private right to bear arms.”

Bird's question before the Supreme Court is very simple: “I just want the Court to acknowledge my right as a private citizen to keep and bear arms,” he said.

Cited in support of his case is, of course, the 2nd Amendment which states, in part, “...the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Bird supports his right by citing previous Supreme Court cases that prohibit government officials from violating the Constitution. “No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it.” Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1, 78 S.Ct. 1401 (1958).

Bird has no attorney, has funded the entire case and has conducted all the legal research on his own. “I'm sitting in the big court now. My biggest hope is that they will at least consider my case,” said Bird, who has received encouraging correspondence from the court regarding his writ.

“I'm living proof the courts are listening. We may not receive the answer we want to hear, but they are listening,” Bird commented.

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