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July 10, 2008

Helpful(?) Heller head-scratching

Over at Convictions, a bunch of smart folks are asking effective and provocative questions about the Heller ruling and its aftermath.  Jack Balkin explores "Heller and The Constitutional Right of Self-Defense" with these important questions and observations:

Does the right of self-defense secure a right to use weapons other than firearms for self-defense in the home? After all, isn't the point of the right of self-defense to defend oneself, and if other instrumentalities are equally useful for that purpose, why should their possession and use not be equally protected?...

By now you get the basic idea: The right nominally protected in Heller is the right to use guns in self-defense in the home. What is not clear is how important the terms "guns" and "home" are to the this right.

Doug Kmeic responds with "What the Heller? Is Only the Supreme Court's Liberty Enhanced?".  His insights include this important and notable political spin:

[I]s the manifold uncertainty raised by the [Heller] opinion (and its consequent unsettling of state and local law and disregard of federalism that we conservative types used to care about) going to be challenged (condemned) by John McCain as an invitation to legislate from the bench?  Critiqued by Barack Obama?  Or, as is more likely not to be talked about by either since McCain's complaints about judicial activism are as meaninglessly one-sided as most everyone else's, and Obama is just happy to not have the NRA energized in his direction - and who could blame him?

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July 10, 2008 at 08:58 AM | Permalink


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