Bench Memos

Second Amendment Round-Up

Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in D.C. v. Heller, the much anticipated Second Amendment case.  Heller involves an appeal of a D.C. Circuit decision striking down the District of Columbia’s handgun ban on the grounds that it violated the Second Amendment.  Key to the D.C. Circuit’s holding was that the Amendment protects an individual right to keep and possess firearms.

Randy Barnett provided a preview of the case in the WSJ here.  SCOTUSBlog provided instant analysis of the decision here and rounded up more here.  More from Orin Kerr here

The prevailing wisdom is that a majority of the Justices seemed inclined to embrace the individual rights view of the Second Amendment.  If so, the key question will be whether the Court specifies the level of scrutiny that should be applied to gun regulations and, if so, whether it upholds the D.C. Circuit’s application of strict scrutiny.  We’ll know for sure some time this summer.

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler is the Johan Verhiej Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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