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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Amicus Brief Trends in Second Amendment Cases at the Supreme Court

Posted by on September 10, 2020

The other day I was reading a fascinating new paper by Center faculty affiliate Kristin Goss and her co-author, Matt Lacombe, Do Courts Change Politics? Heller and the Limits of Policy Feedback Effects. One of the things they said got me thinking about the trendline of amicus briefing in the three Second Amendment cases that […]