D.C. Guns

The Supreme Court has granted a writ of certiori in the D.C. handgun ban case, making it the first Second Amendment case SCOTUS has heard since US v. Miller, and only the second case on the amendment ever. Given as there’s a 68-year precedent suggesting that the amendment does not include an individual right, the court would have to throw stare decisis out the window in order to declare the ban unconstitutional. And rightly so; I see no legitimate reason why any civilian should own a gun in the US, not to mention a handgun. I personally would like the amendment repealed altogether, but a ruling clarifying that an individual right to bear arms doesn’t exist seems like a good second-best option. In other words, yes, I do want to take your gun away.
It’ll be very interesting to see whether the justices stick to their political stripes or to their judicial philosophy. I take a pretty utilitarian view of the Constitution, favoring interpretations that lead to defensible policies rather than reading the whole document through a single framework. But most justices at least claim to use the latter approach, with liberals like Breyer openly calling for a living Constitution and conservatives like Scalia claiming the mantle of originalism. In some cases, like Raich, the mode of interpretation wins out, while others, like Bush v. Gore, are baldly political. Given as none of the justices have ever ruled on the Second Amendment on the court, it’ll be interesting to see if Scalia and Thomas adhere to a historically grounded, collective reading of it or if they take an absolutist view, as their political views would suggest.

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