“We’re not trying to take your guns away, just have reasonable limits. It’s a compromise.”
And some people want reasonable limits on abortion, like waiting periods, gestational time limits, ultrasound, etc. It’s a reasonable response to an activist court decision, and reasonable restrictions on a right, for public benefit. Don’t come whining about your right to murder babies, and I won’t come to you whining about my right to shoot school kids.
And no one is saying you can’t ride the bus. You just have to sit where people think is reasonable. No one is saying women can’t work. They just have to get paid what is reasonable for the work they do, allowing for the fact they’re going to leave the workplace and raise a family. It’s a compromise.
Erin Miller, at SCOTUSblog, live blogged the announcement:
Alito announces McDonald v. Chicago: reversed and remanded
Monday June 28, 2010 10:04 Erin
Gun rights prevail
Monday June 28, 2010 10:04 Tom
The opinion concludes that the 14th Amendment does incorporate the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller to keep and bear arms in self defense
Monday June 28, 2010 10:05 Erin
Monday June 28, 2010 10:05 Tom
Stevens dissents for himself. Breyer dissents, joined by Ginsburg and Sotomayor.
Monday June 28, 2010 10:05 Erin
The majority seems divided, presumably on the precise standard
Monday June 28, 2010 10:05 Tom
The majority Justices do not support all parts of the Alito opinion, but all five agree that the 2d Amendment applies to state and local government.
Monday June 28, 2010 10:06 Erin
Alito, in the part of the opinion joined by three Justices, concludes that the 2d Amendment is incorporated through the Due Process Clause.
Monday June 28, 2010 10:06 Erin
Thomas thinks the Amendment is incorporated, but not under Due Process. He appears to base incorporation on Privileges or Immunities.
Evidently, the Court actually did rule that the 14th Amendment’s Incorporation of the Bill of Rights makes applicable the Second Amendment to the states, limiting the right of states and municipalities to restrict the right of Americans to keep and bear arms.
Mr. Obama noted that as Solicitor General her “passion for the law” had led her make this year’s landmark campaign finance case, Citizens United v. FEC, her first argument before the Supreme Court.
“Despite long odds of success, with most legal analysts believing the government was unlikely to prevail in this case,” Mr. Obama said, Elena Kagan took it on bravely. “I think it says a great deal about her commitment to protect our fundamental rights,” he continued, “because in a democracy, powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens.”
Elena Kagan said as a U.S. Supreme Court law clerk in 1987 that she was “not sympathetic” toward a man who contended that his constitutional rights were violated when he was convicted for carrying an unlicensed pistol. ...
The man’s “sole contention is that the District of Columbia’s firearms statutes violate his constitutional right to ‘keep and bear arms,’” Kagan wrote. “I’m not sympathetic.”
But her recently unearthed college thesis shows that she once thought a lot more highly of socialism.
In our own times, a coherent socialist movement is nowhere to be found in the United States. Americans are more likely to speak of a golden past than of a golden future, of capitalism’s glories than of socialism’s greatness.
Why, in a society by no means perfect, has a radical party never attained the status of a major political force? Why, in particular, did the socialist movement never become an alternative to the nation’s established parties? Through its own internal feuding, then, the SP [Socialist Party] exhausted itself…
The story is a sad a but also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialism’s decline, still wish to change America. ... In unity lies their only hope.”
Reading the tea leaves is not very hard, since Justice Anthony Kennedy these days casts the deciding vote.
[D]uring Tuesday’s arguments, the justices who formed the majority in the D.C. case said they had already decided that gun rights deserved national protection.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said the individual right to bear arms is a “fundamental” right, like the other protections in the Bill of Rights. “If it’s not fundamental, then Heller is wrong,” he said, referring to the D.C. ruling, which he joined. Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr. echoed the same theme.
At one point, Justice John Paul Stevens proposed a narrow ruling in favor of gun rights. Two years ago, he dissented and said the 2nd Amendment was designed to protect a state’s power to have a “well regulated militia.”
Now, however, Stevens said the court could rule that residents had a right to a gun at home, but not a right “to parade around the street with a gun.”
A lawyer representing the National Rifle Assn. scoffed at the idea and opposed a “watered-down version” of the 2nd Amendment.
Scalia also questioned the idea. In his opinion two years ago, he described the right to bear arms as a right to “carry” a weapon in cases of “confrontation.” Such a right would not be easily limited to having a gun at home.
The justices will meet behind closed doors to vote this week on the case of McDonald vs. Chicago. It may be late June before they issue a written ruling.
Eugene Volokh discusses U.S. v. Arzberger a case in which a defendant charged with possession of child pornography when released on bail would previously have automatically lost his right to possess firearms simply by virtue of being accused of a federal crime.
The federal magistrate found that, D.C. v. Heller having recognized the existence of a Constitutionally-protected individual right, Due Process comes into play, and it becomes necessary for the Government to establish the existence of a public danger of such a defendant engaging in violent actions using firearms before his Right to Keep and Bear Arms may be infringed.
The US Constitution has begun returning from exile.
USA Today, on October 27th, gleefully added Dan Cooper, founder and president of Cooper Firearms of Montana, manufacturers of high end hunting rifles to the roll of defectors to the Obamaswami.
Dan Cooper, a proud member of the National Rifle Association, has backed Republicans for most of his life. He’s the chief executive of Cooper Arms, a small Montana company that makes hunting rifles.
Cooper said he voted for George W. Bush in 2000, having voted in past elections for every Republican presidential nominee back to Richard Nixon. In October 1992, he presented a specially made rifle to the first President. Bush during a Billings campaign event.
This year, Cooper has given $3,300 to the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama. That’s on top of the $1,000 check he wrote to Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2004, after he was dazzled by Obama’s speech at that year’s Democratic National Convention.
Cooper changed sides, he said, “probably because of the war. And also because the Republican Party has moved so far right in recent years.”
He also likes Obama’s message about “the retooling of America, which involves the building of middle-class jobs and helping American small business be competitive with those overseas.”
Mr. Cooper is entitled to his own political opinions, of course. But believing that Barack Obama is anything other that a firm enemy of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and a reliable ally of opponents of the field sports both in the form of environmental extremists and lunatic fringe advocates of Animal Rights is pathetically naive. And lending his name to this particular politician’s campaign was bound to be less than well received by Mr. Cooper’s fellow shooters and sportsmen.
So USA Today, three days later, was obliged to report
Montana gunsmith Dan Cooper has been ousted as chief executive of the rifle company that bears his name after pressure from gun owners who are angry that he is supporting Democrat Barack Obama. ...
The USA TODAY article sparked outrage from some gun owners and bloggers, including an open letter on a blog called Firearms and Freedom, urging people to boycott the company’s products. Many gun enthusiasts believe Obama will try to restrict their right to bear arms, although he has said he respects the Second Amendment.
In a portion of the interview that was not included in Tuesday’s story, Cooper said, “I don’t believe that what’s being said about Obama and his policies about guns are accurate. I have had a conversation with the senator … he is a stanch supporter of the right to hunt and the right to bear arms.”
The company posted a statement Wednesday night on its website that said:
“The employees, shareholders and board of directors of Cooper Firearms of Montana do not share the personal political views of Dan Cooper. Although we all believe everyone has a right to vote and donate as they see fit, it has become apparent that the fallout may affect more than just Mr. Cooper. It may also affect the employees and the shareholders of Cooper Firearms. The board of directors has asked Mr. Cooper to resign as President.”
This is sad and unfortunate, but I think the employees, stockholders, and the board of Cooper Firearms were right. Gun ownership and the right to hunt are seriously threatened by the democrat party and its radical supporters. Sportsmen and shooters are a minority attacked and under siege. If we do not stand together to defend our rights, if we do not vigorously oppose leftwing candidates like Barack Obama, we will find ourselves in the position of citizens of Great Britain very shortly.
Hat tip to Xavier.
Virginia Senator Jim Webb wouldn’t sign on as Barack Obama’s running mate, but he’s willing to overlook the obvious major differences between Obama’s ultra-liberal positions and his own in order to endorse, and assure us that he trusts, Obama. He trusts Obama even to defend the Second Amendment, he says.
Our family tradition of hunting and shooting are a way of life to me, and no government will ever take that away. I am an NRA member and I know that my friend Barack Obama will protect our second amendment rights. So don’t be misled about Barack Obama…I trust him to protect our right to keep and bear arms.
On what possible basis, Senator Webb? Barack Obama has the most leftwing voting record of any senator. Obama scores to the left of socialist Bernie Saunders. His gun control record is impeccable. He’s a 100% supporter of Gun Control.
And Obama isn’t only endorsed by you, he’s endorsed by the Brady Campaign.
Senators Barack Obama and Joseph Biden know that we make it too easy for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons in this country. They know that our weak gun laws have too many loopholes, which lead to over 30,000 deaths and 70,000 injuries from guns every year.
“Senators Obama and Biden know that we can reduce those deaths and injuries from guns by strengthening our Brady background check system, getting military-style assault weapons off our streets, and giving law enforcement more tools to stop the trafficking of illegal guns.
But the National Rifle Association, to which both Senator Webb and I belong, says Obama would be “the most anti-gun president in American history.” The NRA notes:
Obama voted to ban hundreds of rifles and shotguns commonly used for hunting and sport shooting
(Illinois Senate, SB 1195, 3/13/03)
Obama endorsed a ban on all handguns
(Independent Voters of Illinois/Independent Precinct Organization general candidate questionnaire, 9/9/96, Politico, 03/31/08)
Obama voted to allow the prosecution of people who use a firearm for self-defense in their homes
(Illinois Senate, S.B. 2165, vote 20, 3/25/04)
Obama supported increasing taxes on firearms and ammunition by 500 percent
(Chicago Defender, 12/13/99)
Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting
(United States Senate, S. 397, vote 217, 7/29/05)
Obama opposes Right-to-Carry laws
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 4/2/08, Chicago Tribune, 9/15/04)
Jim Webb’s word to gun owners and Virginians clearly is not worth very much. He really has become a democrat. Shame on Webb.
Former State Representative (54th District Texas, R) Dr. Suzanna Gratia-Hupp testifies before a Senate Committee including Chuck Schumer to her own tragic experience with the consequences of gun control restrictions on law-abiding citizens carrying concealed weapons, and concludes by identifying the most important basis for the Constitutional right of citizens to keep and bear arms.
WUSA9.com reports that the District of Columbia is insolently evading compliance with the Supreme Court decision affirming an individual right to bear arms based on the Second Amendment by playing games with definitions.
Dick Heller is the man who brought the lawsuit against the District’s 32-year-old ban on handguns. He was among the first in line Thursday morning to apply for a handgun permit. But when he tried to register his semi-automatic weapon, he says he was rejected. He says his gun has seven bullet clip. Heller says the City Council legislation allows weapons with fewer than eleven bullets in the clip. A spokesman for the DC Police says the gun was a bottom-loading weapon, and according to their interpretation, all bottom-loading guns are outlawed because they are grouped with machine guns.
Apparently, Dick Heller has started filing petition signatures to get on the ballot to run for Eleanor Holmes Norton’s seat in the House of Representatives on the Libertarian Party ticket.
Heller, Duggan reports, was at the doors at 6:30 this morning. He did not bring his weapon with him as D.C. regulations require, however. He did raise his frustrations with the District’s continued ban on semiautomatic weapons. It’s that issue that city officials and gun rights advocates both say is likely to land the city back in court at some point.
But we’re burying the real news here. It seems that Heller may not have brought his gun with him to register, but he was armed with a load of candidate petitions, Duggan said.
Seems that Heller is planning to run for the House seat currently held by Eleanor Holmes Norton. Heller is seeking signatures to be on the ballot as a libertarian candidate.
A man identifiying himself as J. Bradley Jansen, who said he was Heller’s campaign manager, said Heller must get 3,000 signatures and has until the end of August to collect them.
——————————————————— Dick Heller registering his H&R revolver
Heller came back on Friday and registered a Harrington & Richardson Longhorn nine-shot .22 revolver. WaPo
DC residents can theoretically, therefore, still arm themselves with the top-loading Mauser C-96 Broomhandle semiautomatic pistol, the same gun Winston Churchill used on the dervishes at the battle of Omdurman in 1898.
The one in this 1:06 video is chambered in 9mm Parabellum. The original 7.63 Mauser cartridge is much hotter.
Randy Barnett, in today’s Wall Street Journal, relishes the results of Heller, and praises Justice Scalia’s work. I love his editorial’s title, which constitutes all by itself an absolutely devastating rejoinder to the jurisprudence of people like Justices Stevens and Breyer.
Justice Scalia’s opinion is the finest example of what is now called “original public meaning” jurisprudence ever adopted by the Supreme Court. This approach stands in sharp contrast to Justice John Paul Stevens’s dissenting opinion that largely focused on “original intent” – the method that many historians employ to explain away the text of the Second Amendment by placing its words in what they call a “larger context.” Although original-intent jurisprudence was discredited years ago among constitutional law professors, that has not stopped nonoriginalists from using “original intent” – or the original principles “underlying” the text – to negate its original public meaning.
Of course, the originalism of both Justices Scalia’s and Stevens’s opinions are in stark contrast with Justice Breyer’s dissenting opinion, in which he advocates balancing an enumerated constitutional right against what some consider a pressing need to prohibit its exercise. Guess which wins out in the balancing? As Justice Scalia notes, this is not how we normally protect individual rights, and was certainly not how Justice Breyer protected the individual right of habeas corpus in the military tribunals case decided just two weeks ago.
So what larger lessons does Heller teach? First, the differing methods of interpretation employed by the majority and the dissent demonstrate why appointments to the Supreme Court are so important. In the future, we should be vetting Supreme Court nominees to see if they understand how Justice Scalia reasoned in Heller and if they are committed to doing the same.
We should also seek to get a majority of the Supreme Court to reconsider its previous decisions or “precedents” that are inconsistent with the original public meaning of the text. This shows why elections matter – especially presidential elections – and why we should vet our politicians to see if they appreciate how the Constitution ought to be interpreted.
Good legal scholarship was absolutely crucial to this outcome. No justice is capable of producing the historical research and analysis upon which Justice Scalia relied. Brilliant as it was in its execution, his opinion rested on the work of many scholars of the Second Amendment, as I am sure he would be the first to acknowledge.
Ilya Somin, at Volokh Conspiracy, advises Gun rights supporters not to rejoice too soon.
For many years, gun rights advocates have fought to persuade the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. That battle has now been won in Heller. Indeed, all nine justices (including the four dissenters) seem to agree that there is some individual right to bear arms that goes beyond a “collective right” protection for state militias.
However, the experience of the struggle for judicial protection of constitutional property rights suggests that recognition of the mere existence of a right isn’t enough. If the scope of the right is defined narrowly by courts, recognition won’t mean much in practice.
On first glance, I would say that the Court’s ruling primarily represents a strong rebuke to intellectually farcical sophistry and the kinds of whimsical and creative legal analysis which divorce themselves from the Constitution’s historical background, the expressed views and intentions of the framers, commentaries on the Constitution, and the entirety of history before 1932.
Justice Scalia writes at length, and with ill-concealed contempt, for efforts to eliminate the individual right to keep and bear arms by facile manipulation of the prefatory “well-regulated militia” clause, happily following the jurisprudential practice of recent decades of including a thorough and comprehensive survey of the relevant history.
And he concludes:
There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both the text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms.
But, no sooner does Justice Scalia arrive at his bold conclusion than he begins retreating from its implications and striving actively to limit its practical consequences.
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. ...
Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.
We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”
It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of smallarms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.
In the end, the ruling merely affirms the existence of the individual right to keep and bears arms, and strikes down the District of Columbia’s ban on handgun possession in the home and its requirement that lawful firearms kept in a home be inoperable. It specifically declines to address licensing requirements (which Heller failed to challenge). Insofar as the Court affirms a right of self defense, it has done so only with respect to one’s home.
The moderation of Scalia’s opinion is likely to make its power as a decision stronger rather than weaker though, and District of Columbia v. Heller signals a major reversal in the direction of Constitutional Law at the Supreme Court level.