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4/27/2005

5-3 Supreme Court Ruling that Foreign conviction does not deny the right to own a gun

"The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the government may not deny a U.S. citizen gun ownership because of a criminal conviction abroad . . . ."


There is an interesting breakdown of opinions on the court. Breyer wrote the majority opinion (with the normal liberals supporting him) and Thomas dissented joined by Scalia and Kennedy. In other words, the liberals allowed the American citizen to get his gun back because they said that we shouldn't depend upon decisions in foreign courts since they are not based on the same standards as ours. Thomas based his decision solely on the law, and references the fact that the original law was quite broad. I have to say after looking at it, that may be despite my policy preferences in favor of Breyer (and on policy grounds I think that his arguments are sound), Thomas seems to have gotten it right on the law. Here is one case where judicial activism came to a conservative decision, but it was accomplished by liberal judges whom I assume have decisions further down the road in mind with the precedents that they wanted to create.

Thanks to Sonya for mentioning this and making similar points.

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