An argument for the Supreme Court to Review the DC gun ban

Robert Levy in today's LA Times:

Later this month, the Supreme Court will decide whether to review the circuit court's blockbuster opinion in Parker vs. District of Columbia, the first federal appellate opinion to overturn a gun control law on the ground that the 2nd Amendment protects the rights of individuals. If the high court takes the case, oral arguments likely will be held this spring, with a decision expected before June 30. . . . .

The stakes are immense. Very few legal questions stir the passions like gun control. And this round of the courtroom battle will be fought during the heat of the 2008 election. Further, Washington is home to the federal government, making it an appropriate venue to challenge all federal gun laws, no matter where an alleged 2nd Amendment violation might have occurred. Thus, Parker could have an immediate effect not only on D.C. gun regulations but on federal regulations. . . . .

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice article, evoking only one minor grumble from me ;-)

This concept of "incorporation" is not a constitutionally-defined process or standard (ie. you will not find the term "incorporation" nor any instructions for making such determinations, in the constitution).

It is a term used to label an external _approach_ to interpreting the extent to which the states are bound by the constitutional constraints placed upon the federal government.

IMHO, it is also rather trivial to make arguments _for_ "incorporation".

As Levy highlights, incorporation became an issue after the 14th amendment was ratified. Of relevance is Section 1, where it reiterates an existing constitutional clause - the Privileges & Immunities clause.

The constraints placed upon the federal government regarding freedom of speech, religion, press, and (topically) the right to keep & bear arms, can reasonably be held to define _immunities_ from such suppressions - from the perspective of _we the people_.

If the government is forbidden from suppressing my free speech, I am immune from such government suppression.

If the government is forbidden from suppressing (infringing) my right to keep & bear arms, I am immune from such government suppression.

In accordance with the Privileges & Immunities clause (predating the 14th amendment, actually), the several states are similarly constrained in their inability to suppress these constitutionally protected rights.

After all, what good would the constitution be - of what value - if the limitations placed upon the federal government were free to be ignored at whim by the states? [Free speech? Sure! The feds won't censor you...but this other gang of state thugs will shut down your website with impunity!] It would render the constitution meaningless!

The whole _point_ of the P&I clause is to provide solid consistency, and assurance, of uniform respect for the rights of free people!


11/16/2007 12:44 PM  

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