This should be interesting...
This should be interesting...
vote your guns...
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Saw a neat T-shirt at Pheasant Fest this past weekend;
"2nd amendment....the original Homeland Security!!"
The Court had had very limited exposure to the issue of the 2nd Amendment since the Constitution was written. For this reason, the case of District of Columbia v. Heller is sort of an introduction for us to see how the Court thinks. Then, the City of Chicago acted contrary to Heller.
I think that the Court now realizes their mistake in Heller was that by not mentioning the rest of the country, people were left with the feeling that Heller applied only to the District. People are people and the Court can't require one political sub-division to honor a right and the others to not do so.
The Court will rule against Chicago in McDonald v. Chicago.
PS: I've got a website that allows you to listen to the verbal arguments and to hear commentary by a couple of court clerks or former clerks. I'll try to find it and post it.
With the adoption of the 14th amendment, some of these rights were interpreted to restrict state activity as well as Federal. However, as Eric noted, the second amendment was never litigated on this basis and decided by the court. Each time a decision is made that brings states under the limitations of the constitution, state rights are affected. Thus, prayer in school would never have been an issue had the court not first decided that the first amendment applied to states in the same manner as it applies to the Federal government.
Long ago, the City of New York limited not the ownership of guns, but the availability of gun powder. It was illegal to possess gun powder in any building in the City because it was viewed as a threat to public safety as a fire hazard. If the second amendment applied to the City, such a restriction would presumably be illegal. At the time, no one viewed this as being anything except a matter of local jurisdiction. In the same manner, towns throughout the country made carrying pistols illegal as efforts were made to bring order and stability to what had been the wild west. Once again, this was considered to be a matter of local jurisdiction.
Today, we have become so oriented to the Federal government and the Constitution that we forget that was not always the case. Personally, I prefer states to be subject to the same bill of rights limits as the Federal government. I think that the noton of rights that vary as you cross state lines is a little anachronistic in the modern age of mobility and global communication. But that is a personal view, and is not consistent with our legal traditions.
I guess I just don't understand how a city, state, county etc can take away ANY rights specifically given to citizens by the federal government and more importantly, the constitution.
The blog I was talking about is at: http://www.scotusblog.com/
For some reason they are discontinuing the live feed of the oral arguments.
Last edited by Eric Johnson; 03-02-2010 at 10:37 AM.