The Ninth Circuit's Second Amendment Ruling in the News -- Or Not:

So I thought that the Ninth Circuit's holding that the Second Amendment binds state and local governments (via the Fourteenth Amendment) was a pretty big deal. It was the first federal court of appeals decision to so hold. If followed, it would invalidate the Chicago handgun ban, plus perhaps some other broad state and local gun restrictions, such as New York City's ban on all gun ownership by 18-to-20-year-olds. And it might well trigger Supreme Court consideration of the issue, since there's now a split between the Second and Ninth Circuits on the issue.

But here's the odd thing: I couldn't find any articles about this in the New York Times, the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune, or the Washington Post. (I searched for second amendment or bear arms or nordyke or gun show.) There was early coverage on CNN and in the San Francisco Chronicle, but nothing else in any newspapers in the NEWS;MAJPAP file on LEXIS. Am I missing some stories that just didn't happen to use the keywords I searched for? Or is the court decision just not worth even a brief mention?

UPDATE: A comment by PubliusFL reminded me to check what newspapers said about earlier decisions in this case.

It turns out that when the California Supreme Court upheld the ordinance against a state preemption challenge, the L.A. Times and the San Jose Mercury News covered this (Apr. 23, 2002). When the Ninth Circuit rejected a Second Amendment challenge on the grounds that the Second Amendment secured only a collective right -- simply following past Ninth Circuit precedent on this score, and echoing the views of most circuit courts -- the L.A. Times and the San Jose Mercury News covered this (Feb. 19, 2003). But this time, when the Ninth Circuit becomes the first circuit court to hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments, no coverage.

Most other major papers (except the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Feb. 19, 2003 and the Chicago Tribune, Apr. 23, 2002) apparently didn't cover those earlier decisions. That's understandable, since at that point the decisions were of mostly local concern, given that they followed the then-dominant view of the Second Amendment (the 2003 decision) or were focused on California preemption law (the 2002 decision). But now the Ninth Circuit breaks new ground, in a decision that might influence litigation throughout the country (since circuit decisions tend to have some persuasive weight even outside the circuit) and that might prod the Supreme Court to consider the issue. I would have thought that this at least would merit some coverage from the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune (especially given the possible effect on the currently pending Chicago handgun ban litigation), the Washington Post, and the like. And certainly it seems to merit coverage from major California papers, such as the L.A. Times and the San Jose Mercury News, especially given that they covered earlier and seemingly less important decisions in the case.