L.A. Times Coverage of Second Amendment Incorporation Decisions:

The Seventh Circuit decision (from Chicago), holding that the Second Amendment doesn't apply to the states, is covered in a nearly-800-word story today. The Ninth Circuit decision (from Northern California) this April, holding that the Second Amendment does apply to the states, wasn't covered at all by the Times at the time. [UPDATE: I realized that my earlier locution here, "wasn't covered at all," was ambiguous; I meant wasn't covered at the time, but in context it could be read as saying that the article about the Seventh Circuit case doesn't mention the Ninth Circuit decision -- it does, about halfway down.]

To be sure, there are possible explanations: Today's story was by the Times' Supreme Court reporter, and this case is more likely than the Ninth Circuit case to go to the Supreme Court, for reasons I described here. The underlying controversy in the Seventh Circuit (a handgun ban) is more likely to interest people than the underlying controversy in the Ninth Circuit (a ban on gun possession on county property). And it's made higher profile by the controversy about Judge Sotomayor's participation in the Second Circuit's no-incorporation decision.

At the same time, the broad legal issue — whether state and local governments are bound by the federal right to bear arms — is the same. The Ninth Circuit decision was the one that created the circuit split, and it did tee things up for the Court to consider the Second Circuit's incorporation case (again, discussed here) — perhaps not perfectly, but still in a way that strikes me as newsworthy. The Ninth Circuit decision is the one that suggests some gun laws may be unconstitutional, which seems to me a pretty newsworthy matter. And the Ninth Circuit case was more local than the Seventh Circuit case.

So it seems to me that both cases would have been newsworthy to the L.A. Times, the Ninth Circuit case at least as much as the Seventh Circuit case. But as I noted shortly after the Ninth Circuit decision, the Ninth Circuit case wasn't covered in the L.A. Times at the time.

Likewise, the Washington Post mentions the Seventh Circuit case (though in a heavily Sotomayor-focused article) and didn't mention the Ninth Circuit case when that came down.