Monday, June 28, 2010

Freedom Wins a Big One

The MacDonald (pictured here) v. Chicago decision came down from the Supreme Court minutes ago. As expected, the Court overturned Chicago's draconian handgun ban, and did it in the least radical (in terms of underlying legal principles) that they could (as was also expected). They did it by "incorporating" the Second Amendment into the Fourteenth via the "due process" clause of the Fourteenth, thus applying the right to own arms to the states and local governments. Except for Justice Thomas, they did not use the plaintiff's more radical argument that incorporation should come via the "privileges and immunities" clause.

Thomas' line would have overturned the widely hated Slaughterhouse Cases, but courts are reluctant to overturn more stuff than they have to, including stuff that that is reason to think is unjust.

The anti-gun people have already started up.

I've been writing on gun rights for several weeks now, so this is a big deal to me. I'll blog about it after I have read the decision.

Here is a good brief account of what happened. There is a link to the entire 214 pg. opinion on attorney Gura's web site.


Todd said...

Living outside the city of Chicago, I am always reminded (from Wiki):

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
This was written by Ben Franklin, with quotation marks but almost certainly his original thought, sometime shortly before February 17, 1775 as part of his notes for a proposition at the Pennsylvania Assembly, as published in Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin (1818).

Mayor Daley was going to make us all safe by doing this? What a nice guy, I am so glad he is here to help. I would like to be a fly on the wall if Ben Franklin and Daley these two ever met. Better yet, can you imagine any current politician at the constitution convention? Outside of Ron Paul, if they opened their mouths they would be banished.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there is a problem with the method in which SCOTUS used the 14th to get the 2nd to apply to the states. While it is precedent to do so, it is unconstitutional--or at least ought to be given the last sentence of the 14th and the manner in which the amendment was proposed and ratified. The 2nd Amendment is needed just as much as federalism when it comes to keeping tyranny at bay, the 2nd was preserved at the expense of federalism, but such is precedent. I also think this exposes a gap in the conservative philosophy of the Court that wants to preserve gun laws and federalism/state's rights. You can have both, but it can't be done by the Court.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I posted the rambling about the flawed logic of enforcing the BoRights on the states via the 14th without signing my name.--Kyle Scott

Lester Hunt said...

I still haven't sorted out what I think about the fourteenth amendment.

I can tell you one thing, though. If I had my druthers, we'd still have the Articles of Confederation (suitably amended of course).