Thursday, July 1, 2010

Supreme Court, Gun Control and the Second Amendment

The Supreme court's recent gun control "second amendment" ruling is gaining a lot of press, and with good reason.  The Supreme Court upheld that state and local governments must protect the Second Amendment rights of Americans.  For those who need a crash course on the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is the right to bear arms.

President Obama has been very vocal about his wishes to tighten gun control.  There's been much discussion over how he might go about doing so, and many estimate that he would do this through banning certain types ammunition.  Obama's agenda would be easier to accomplish if there was some precedent on the books indicating a strong arm on what is protected by the second amendment.

In Chicago, there has been a handgun ban for the last 28 years.  This week the Supreme Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs who sued the city because they believe that they have a right to have a handgun for protection.  The ruling was 5-4 in favor of the plaintiffs, and the Court sent the suit back to a lower court for a final ruling.

The recent event will likely lead to more lawsuits, especially from jurisdictions that ban certain types of weapons.  If the right to bear arms includes hand guns, it will likely include a variety of types of weapons - assault rifles and other guns included.

The ruling also came on the first day of the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings.  It was the last day that Chief Justice Roberts was on the bench.  This is very significant.  If Elena had been on the bench, the final ruling could have easily been 5-4 in favor of the defendant, or the City of Chicago - in which case the road to tighter gun control would have been paved.


  1. "It was the last day that Chief Justice Roberts was on the bench."

    Kagan is replacing Justice Stevens, who is retired. Chief Justice Roberts is not leaving the Supreme Court in the near future.

  2. caught that too. Stevens was part of the 4 vote, so even with out him there and Kagan there it would still be 5-4 in favor of gun rights


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