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Litigating Guns in Schools

Posted by on November 11, 2020

Last Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order in a case it was holding until the U.S. Supreme Court decided New York State Rifle & Pistol. The Michigan case, Wade v. University of Michigan, concerns the constitutionality of the University’s ban on weapons on campus property. In accepting review of the case, the Michigan […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 11/9/20

Posted by on November 9, 2020

According to my review, the Court’s order list today marks the first time Justice Barrett has participated in decisions to grant or deny plenary review in fully briefed cases. (Last week’s order list noted that she did not participate in those decisions, and this week’s order list has no such notation.) No gun cases were […]

Book Event: Policing the Second Amendment with Jennifer Carlson

Posted by on November 4, 2020

  On Tuesday, November 10th from 12:30pm to 1:30pm the Center is hosting a book discussion with Jennifer Carlson, Associate Professor of Sociology and Government & Public Policy at the University of Arizona on her recently published book, Policing the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement, and the Politics of Race. Here’s a description of the […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 11/2/20

Posted by on November 2, 2020

With Justice Barrett sworn in, the Court is operating at full strength once again. But the notation from this morning’s order list confirms that things are not yet fully settled: “Justice Barrett took no part in the consideration or decision of the motions or petitions appearing on this Order List.” There are a few cases […]

Update on Lawsuit Against Michigan Polling Place Restrictions on Open Carry

Posted by on October 30, 2020

As I wrote about earlier this week, there’s been a lot of recent action around Michigan’s new restrictions on carrying firearms into polling places. Although the legal challenge was not framed in Second Amendment terms, the individuals and gun-rights advocacy groups who brought the lawsuit presented the case as a conflict between their right to […]

Litigation Highlight: Lawsuit Over Michigan’s Restrictions on Guns in Polling Places

Posted by on October 28, 2020

On October 16, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued a memo in her capacity as “chief election officer with supervisory control over local election officials in the performance of their duties.” In that memo, Benson “clarif[ied]” that open carrying of firearms at or within 100 feet of a polling place is prohibited. The directive […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 10/26/20

Posted by on October 26, 2020

Barring some major unexpected events, the Supreme Court could well be back up to nine members within the next week. As others have written at length, that could have a monumental impact across myriad areas of law. One of those is the Second Amendment, and a new Justice Barrett will be joining a Court that […]

Scholarship Highlight Interview: Patton on Criminal Justice Reform & Guns

Posted by on October 21, 2020

In the latest installment of our ongoing scholarship Scholarship Highlight Interview Series, I talked with David Patton, Executive Director of the Federal Defenders of New York, about his article Criminal Justice Reform and Guns: The Irresistible Movement Meets the Immovable Object, which was just published in the Emory Law Journal. Here is the abstract from […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 10/19/20

Posted by on October 19, 2020

With a vote on Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court likely to occur the week before the presidential election, the set of gun cases at the Court takes on heightened importance. There are a number that will be fully briefed in the coming months that a majority anxious to expand gun rights may find […]

Litigation Highlight: Doe v. Governor of Pennsylvania

Posted by on October 16, 2020

In a decision earlier this week, Doe v. Governor of Pennsylvania, the Third Circuit rejected a facial due process challenge by two men whose mental health commitments rendered them ineligible to possess firearms. They challenged a Pennsylvania law that forbids anyone who has been “committed to a mental institution for inpatient care and treatment” under […]

Amy Coney Barrett on Guns

Posted by on October 14, 2020

With just a few years on the bench, Judge Barrett has already developed a surprisingly deep record on guns and the Second Amendment. These cases suggest a special solicitude for gun owners and users—and not just for the paradigmatic “law-abiding, responsible” ones. Indeed, in her Second Amendment and criminal law cases, she has several times […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 10/12/20

Posted by on October 12, 2020

Because today’s a Supreme Court holiday, we won’t get the order list from last Friday’s conference until tomorrow at 9:30. When that list comes out we’ll be watching the Rodriguez case, which was relisted from last week’s conference. The rhetoric in the petition papers is heated (the petitioners call the decision below an example of […]

Scholarship Highlight Interview: Goss & Lacombe on Heller & Policy Feedback Effects

Posted by on October 9, 2020

For the most recent scholarship highlight interview, I sat down with Kristin A. Goss (Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University) and Matthew J. Lacombe (Barnard College) to discuss their terrifically fascinating article, Do Courts Change Politics? Heller and the Limits of Policy Feedback Effects, recently published in the Emory Law Journal. Here is the […]

Why Heller Is Such Bad History

Posted by on October 7, 2020

When I began the research for my recent book, Armed Citizens: The Road from Ancient Rome to the Second Amendment, my goal was to understand the origins of American gun laws. I was hardly alone in this, of course; there is an enormous amount of contemporary research on the original goals of the Second Amendment, […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 10/5/20

Posted by on October 5, 2020

The Supreme Court’s new term officially starts today. It released an order list this morning with the petitions it considered at its Long Conference last week. The Court denied cert in Zoie H., a case challenging the ability of a state to temporarily deprive Second Amendment rights after a juvenile adjudication without a jury. Paul […]

The Breadth of Judge Barrett’s “Dangerousness” Principle

Posted by and on October 2, 2020

Judge Amy Coney Barrett opened her dissent in Kanter v. Barr by identifying a historical principle underlying modern gun regulation: “History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns.” She went on to suggest that dangerousness is the Second Amendment’s exclusive limiting principle, such […]

Symposium Keynote Speaker: U.S. Senator Chris Murphy

Posted by on September 30, 2020

We are thrilled to announce that the keynote speaker for our Second Amendment symposium next month with the Northwestern University Law Review will be United States Senator Chris Murphy. Senator Murphy has been actively involved in the ongoing debate over the Second Amendment and the scope of the right to keep and bear arms in […]

Fall 2020 Second Amendment Symposium

Posted by on September 28, 2020

We are incredibly excited to announce that the Center’s 2020 Symposium – The Second Amendment’s Next Chapter – will be hosted by the Northwestern Law Review on Friday, October 9, 2020. We have a stellar line-up of prominent scholars from a diverse set of perspectives and methodologies. Given the recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader […]

Scholarship Highlight: 2019 Center Symposium Articles

Posted by on September 25, 2020

We are very excited that the articles from our 2019 Symposium, Gun Rights and Regulation Outside the Home, have now been published by Law & Contemporary Problems. We’re grateful for all the terrific contributors and to the excellent L&CP student editors. Little did we know that the open issues we identified more than a year […]

ECHR Ruling on the “Right to Life”

Posted by on September 23, 2020

Earlier this month, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Finnish authorities violated the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to take sufficient steps to prevent a school shooting. (h/t Larry Helfer) From the Registrar of Court’s summary of the facts: The perpetrator had been given a gun licence by the local police […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 9/21/20

Posted by on September 21, 2020

Next week, the Supreme Court begins its work of the new Term one member short. Justice Ginsburg’s death leaves the Court with 8 justices as it considers the cert petitions that have accumulated over the summer recess at its Tuesday conference. What happens with that open seat—and when it gets filled—may have an immense impact […]

Heller’s Certitude

Posted by on September 18, 2020

This week, Joseph and I taught the Heller case in our Second Amendment seminar. That case is complex, and the history is deeply contested by Justice Scalia and Justice Stevens. I’ve read a good chunk of the original sources they debate and many more of the historians whose work they invoke to support their respective […]

Scholarship Highlight Interview: Stoever on Firearms and Domestic Violence Fatalities

Posted by on September 16, 2020

For our next interview, I sat down with Jane Stoever to discuss her article, Firearms and Domestic Violence Fatalities: Preventable Deaths, recently published in the Family Law Quarterly. Jane is Clinical Professor of Law at University of California, Irvine School of Law (shout out to UCI, my undergrad alma mater—zot zot), as well as director […]

Heller and Harm-Avoider Constitutionalism

Posted by on September 14, 2020

In a fascinating new article, Harm-Avoider Constitutionalism, forthcoming in the California Law Review, Professor Aaron Tang outlines a new type of constitutional methodology with (implicit) support in legal doctrine: “a rich tradition of cases in which the Supreme Court has resolved difficult constitutional disputes by identifying and ruling against the best harm avoider.” Tang does […]

Ninth Circuit Rejects En Banc Review for Application of Mental Health Prohibitor Over Sharp Dissent

Posted by on September 11, 2020

As we previously highlighted on the blog, a Ninth Circuit panel in March upheld the federal lifetime firearm ban as applied to an individual involuntary committed to a mental institution twenty years prior. In Mai v. United States, the panel split with the Sixth Circuit on the issue, joining a Third Circuit panel rejecting an […]