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About Joseph Blocher

Faculty Co-Director and Lanty L. Smith ’67 Professor Law. Blocher researches federal and state constitutional law, the First and Second Amendments, legal history, and property. His current scholarship addresses issues of gun rights and regulation, free speech, sovereignty, and refugee law. He has published dozens of articles on those topics and co-authored Free Speech Beyond Words (NYU Press, 2017) and The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Written by Joseph Blocher

Unexpected Choices in Teaching Firearms Law

Posted by on July 12, 2019

I’ve been thinking and writing about the Second Amendment for a decade, but this past year was the first time I’ve ever actually taught a course on firearms law—a seminar called “Second Amendment: History, Theory, and Practice.” The first three weeks covered some basic history and empirics, and an overview of the opinions in District […]

Scholarship Highlight: Gouzoules on “The Diverging Right(s) to Bear Arms”

Posted by on June 28, 2019

Alexander Gouzoules has posted on SSRN an interesting new piece, “The Diverging Right(s) to Bear Arms: Private Armament and the Second and Fourteenth Amendments in Historical Context,” which was just published in the Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Review. It is well worth a read for anyone interested in historical understandings of the […]

The Second Amendment and the Law of Nuisance

Posted by on June 24, 2019

WUNC’s Adhiti Bandlamudi has a terrific new article called “On The Edge of Suburbia: Where Noise Pollution and Gun Rights Collide,” which is part of the broader Guns & America series. (Darrell Miller and I were interviewed and are quoted in the story, but you should read it anyway.)

How Does Heller Fit Into a Con Law Syllabus?

Posted by on June 20, 2019

Jake Charles’ post yesterday noted that a great many foundational cases in the constitutional curriculum—Lopez, Printz, Curtiss-Wright, and Cruikshank, to name a few—involve gun laws. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they’re best understood as firearms law cases, or that the subject matter of the laws had much to do with the constitutional holdings (though […]

How Many People Were Ever Prosecuted Under the Laws Challenged in Heller, McDonald, and NYSRPA?

Posted by on June 5, 2019

In Heller, McDonald, and now potentially in NYSRPA, the Supreme Court established Second Amendment principles that have been the basis for more than 1,000 Second Amendment challenges in the past ten years. Notably, each of the Supreme Court’s cases involved an outlier law—DC and Chicago were the only notable US cities with handgun bans, and […]

The Growth of Second Amendment Scholarship

Posted by on May 31, 2019

Second Amendment scholarship has changed dramatically in its substance, style, diversity, and depth. Many elements of that transformation are hard to quantify, but others—including the sheer increase in volume—are more susceptible to rough-and-ready empirical snapshots.