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EE_PDF_121316-1007 - 15 US The Supreme Court in a 5—4...

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Unformatted text preview: 15 US. The Supreme Court, in a 5—4 decision. held in Adarand Constructors u. :et'tatfiiadion 200 (1995). that strict ludicial scrutiny would be applied to both federal Ian 5 :vemmenl reQuiring Congress for the first time to make findings “WOW"? a “mp" mg g interest in affirmative action programs. GUN CONTROL Does the Second Amendment give Americans an unqualified right to “bear :rmsf : 2:: amendment provides: ‘A well regulated Militia. being necessary to the securi y 0 State. the right of the people to keep and bear Arms. shall not beinfringed. ‘ I t ' For most of our history. the amendment was dormant as neither the-nationa nor s a e governments regulated gun possession. Wyatt Earp may have posted a. Checlgyixr 9;an before entering” sign when he was a lawman in Dodge City. but local sheriffs int e es i not try to prevent cowboys and ranchers from ‘bearing or carrying gun‘s. Ad f 193“ Congress in the 1930s passed two gun control laws. the National Firearms I ‘od d and the Federal Firearms Act of 1938. Aimed at criminal activity-the laws regula e an taxed ”gangster weapons.‘ A court challenge to the constitutionality of the 1934 aw arose from a criminal proseCution of one lack Miller et al for transporting in interstate commerce a sawed-off shotgun in violation of the statute. The case did not reflect politica opposi ion i n . ‘0 “:33; district court overturned the law on Second Amendment grounds. The (lift: Department with Robert Jackson as Attorney General appealed directly to thefSupremed :3", In United States v Miller. 307 U S. 174 (1939). the Court linked the pre atory an i d. phrases ot the Second Amendment. A well-regulated militia is connectszto 32:4. vidual's right to bear arms Al Capone. for example. c0uld not claim a Se'c‘on eJri'enulated right to bear arms because his gangster activities had nothing to do wit a w eg stale militia . ' | lav" Gun control politics became pervasive in the 1960s. Federal gun cont 0 . . bert responded to the assassinations of President Kennedy. Martin tuther “"3323;ng Kennedy in the 1960s. and in the 1980s. the attempted assassination of Pres t: | in,” States and municipalities followed suit and adopted a wide variety of gun con ro deal with local gun Violence Stump Ausuouem Anucntun . . . - . New YO" The M 0' Rights WK", hm", only federal action. But beginning with 623th m the“ { 1m). ' he sum.” Com, “Mug", incorporated most of the liberties anCl 1“ the Court 0, MM mm” m. mum,“ of the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process au . I ' Q“ m“ comm" whether or not the right to bear arms is a liberty the Founeel?l'l.;':‘.'. . . protects in McDonnald u Chttl’o (2010) and hence whether or not it at r to 'three iudge district courts rule on constitutional issues from which appeals go directly s«creme (curt District of ( rilumbm rt ai '. therefore city. action. If the Court rules that the Second Amendm the states. it must then determine if a contested state law violates “due process.” ent applies as a 'liberty' to (which includes city ordinances) Tm: Futsr Mayors GUN Comm. Case From the beginning of the Republic to 2007. the only Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment was in the 1939 Miller opinion. Finally. the Court docketed the following major Second Amendment case in 2008. The plaintiff challenged the cor-.- stitutionality of a District of Columbia gun control ordinance.’ He was a special police officer whose request to keep a gun at home the District denied. 30 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL. V. HELLER ' we» United States Supreme Court 2008 Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court. We consider whether a District of Col ' crime to carry an unregistered firearm. and the registration of handguns is prohibited. Wholly apart from that prohibition. no person may carry a handgun without a license. but the chief of police may issue licenses for lvyear periork. District of Columbia law also requires residents to keep their lawfully owned firearm. such a registered long guns. “unloaded and dissembled or bossnd by a (ricer lock or aunties device” unless they are located in a place of Mine. or are being sued for lawful recreational activities. “ ’TheDuuictdColunibhddnigltopemuigmduhomemhtmu'hhhemv ' - imnljundkamDCmumiaulmdufltfldmlI-b. IIV ‘0'“ .uw-.---- Respondent Dick Heller is a DC. special police officer authorized to carry a handgun while on duty at the Federal Judicial Center. He applied for a registration certificate for a handgun that he wished to keep at home. but the District refused. He thereafter filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia seeking. on Second Amendment grounds. to enjoin the city from enforcing the bar on the registration of handguns. the licensing requirement insofar as it prohibits the carrying of a firearm in the home without a license. and the triggervlock requirement insofar as it prohibits the use of “functional firearms within the home." [The federal District Court dismissed Heller's complaint. the federal Court of Appeals reversed. holding that the second amendment protects an individual's rights to carry a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense. The District of Columbia appealed to the Supreme Court which granted certiorari.] . . . II We turn first to the meaning of the Second Amendment. A The Second Amendment provides: “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." ln interpreting this text, we are guided by the principle that “ltlhe Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning.” . . . The two sides in this case have set out very different interpretations of the Amendment. Petitioners and today's dissenting Justices believe that it protects only the right to possess and carry a firearm in connection with militia service. . . . Respondent argues that it protects an individual right to possess a firearm uncon nected with service in a militia. and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes. such as self-defense within the home. . . . l The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory cla and its operative clause. The former does not limit the latter grammatically. rather announces a purpose. The Amendment could be rephrased. “Because a we regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State. the right of the people keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” . . . The phrase “keep arms” was not prevalent in the written documents of founding period that we have found. but there are a few examples. all of which fav viewing the right to “keep Arms" as an individual right unconnected with mlll service. William Blackstone. for example. wrote that Catholics convicted of attending service in the Church of England suffered certain penalties. one of w was that they were not permitted to “keep arms in their houses." [Commentarlfl elm I owe nt' Fnalanrl 55 (l769l ( hereinafter Blackstonell . . . At the time of the founding. .u tum. tn ‘feu' {M mt v. k .m. ' From our tevsew of fmrndtng-era mutt es. we (uni lull 'hM 'fm natural mean ing was also the meaning that “bear arms" had in the lath «mun In mam”... instances. “bear arms" was unambtgurusly used in refer In the t mum .4 weapvnn outside ofsn organised militia. . . . We conclude that nothing in our precedents fund-nu nut at 4mm ~t IN original understanding of the Second Amendment It should he munching 'th such a significant matter has been for so long )udKullv unresolved F »e m. at .c M history. the Bill of Rights was not thought applicable tn the ‘tatn. and -hr l’r.h'rsl Government did not significantly regulate the pnseusnn nt tmmm h. Lu ruling citizens. Other prOVISIons of the Bill of Rights have similarlv remained imllumi nated for lengthy periods. . .. Like most rights. the right secured by the Second Amendment is nut unlimited From Blackstone through the 19thocentury cases. commentator. and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any wen-pm whameverinanymamerwhatsoeversndforwhareverpupose. Weturnfinallytothelawatissuehere.Aswehavesasthelaw rutallstunn handgunposseuioninthehomeJtalsorequiresdutsnyhvfsdfimmthehm bedisassembledorbmnidbyauiggerlockatalltinmrendenmuwnbk Asthequontiaueadierinthisopiniondemomuatediemmrdudch defense has been central to the Second Amessfinent right. The hanks-s but amountstoapmlubinonofanenunchssof'm'dhtbovuvhehmdydmbe Amencansocietyfadiathwnrlpurpaeflhepsohibiummedn home.wheredieneedfordefuueofself.famfly.ldmbmm.Unbr anyofthesmndarckofsuurmythatwehaveqsplsedsoww dghts.bammgfiemdsehane‘diematprefundfinumhdsemmnsohep‘nd useforpmtecnonofone'shomemdfamily'wouldflle... Weareawareofdieproblemofhamhnvioleneehthbmnduda Justice 3m. with mm m " ,. , i _. g“ join. dissenting. ‘ .::j...‘E'Tc“-*';§"""" The question pressured by fish ~ _ . t»- protects s “collective right” or '9. ._..~ ' I; _'. * ' ' a. -‘i'."- 1‘... P}!- . x 1"“ “I ...
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