December 16, 2008
Is anyone teaching a post-Heller seminar on the Second Amendment?
As regular readers know well, I find the debate and litigation surrounding the Second Amendment after Heller to be fascinating (and also incomplete and stunted in various ways). For this reason and others, I have been lately toying with the notion of developing a upper-level law school seminar on the law, policy and practice of the Second Amendment after Heller.
Before getting serious about a potential new teaching project, however, I thought it might be useful to inquire whether anyone else has been working on such a seminar or course. (I have heard varying reports about the Second Amendment becoming a more prominent topic in constitutional law classes in various law school, but I have not heard about a class or seminar devoted just to the Second Amendment after Heller.)
In addition to seeking information about whether anyone is now teaching or developing a post-Heller Second Amendment course, I would also welcome general comments from practitioners and others about whether they think such a course would be a valuable addition to a law school curriculum.
Cross posted at Law School Innovation.
December 16, 2008 at 03:36 PM | Permalink
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Doug, my associate Amanda Zimmer and I are currently writing a brief for a Heller based challenge to a conviction for Possession of Firearm by a Felon when the firearms were antique shotguns in a locked gun cabinet in the def's bedroom.
I would be glad to send you some real world examples of how the Felon in Possession law is being "creatively" used by prosecutors to get lengthy sentences.
As far as a course, my suggestion would be that the Felon in Possession be part of a larger topic course related to what is the nature, in the era of structured sentencing grids which automatically enhance punishment due to prior record, of a prior conviction. In my mind, this is the most intellectually challenging arena of sentencing law, as it implicates issues such as "what is a crime?" Apprendi, double jeopardy, prejudice outweighing probative value at trial ,etc. etc. I can send you many examples of cases that look like MC Escher line drawings because the circular use of prior convictions result in mindboggling increases in sentences. If you are interested let me know and I'll send you a couple that you could post and I believe your readers would shake their heads in disbelief.
Posted by: | Dec 16, 2008 5:04:40 PM