Monday, June 28, 2010

SCOTUS Smacks Chicago Handgun Ban

I guess it's safe to assume that Elena Kagan isn't happy with the Supreme Court decision on gun rights today.  Another reminder for the future that elections have consequences.

Professor Glenn Reynolds offers his thoughts here.  I find this interesting:

Third, it really is interesting how much emphasis the majority, and Justice Thomas’s concurrence, put on the racist roots of gun control. See this article and this one by Bob Cottrol and Ray Diamond for more background. And isn’t it interesting that this is happening on the same day the Senate’s last Klansman went to his reward?

The Wall Street Journal has an early write-up:

The legal question before the court had much to do with questions of constitutional history. Before the Civil War, courts held that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government. After the Union victory, the Reconstruction amendments were adopted to elevate individual rights over state powers and cement the federal role in enforcing them.

The Supreme Court has subsequently held that many constitutional rights considered fundamental to American principles of liberty override state laws. However, more technical provisions—such as the Fifth Amendment requirement that grand juries approve criminal indictments—apply only to the federal government and don't necessarily bind states.

Monday's ruling elevates the Second Amendment right to bear arms to the status of a fundamental right that states can't abridge.

Also, see Mary Katharine Ham's response at Weekly Standard where she points out that the gun ban in Chicago has not actually led to an abatement of violence there but has instead left the innocent unprotected.

You can read the Court's opinion here (PDF / 214 pages)

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