March 20, 2008

JACK BALKIN ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT:

Although I enjoy making sport of the Justices as much as anyone, the question of whether the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right, including a right to self defense, is not that difficult, at least to me. The framers of the 14th amendment assumed that it was one of the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. And if a right is a privilege or immunity of citizens of the United States, it hard for me to conclude that it does not bind the United States as well as the individual states.

Now, as a unreconstructed liberal (I’ll show you pictures of my bleeding heart), I don’t particularly like this result. But it follows sufficiently strongly from other commitments I have about the Constitution that I must accept it.

But read the whole thing.

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