The Corner

Fred Hits DoJ for “Overlawyering” Gun Rights Case

Gun rights advocates were understandably dismayed when the Bush Administration Justice Department submitted a brief in District of Columbia v. Heller, the big Second Amendent case to be argued later this term, calling for a remand of the case for reconsideration of D.C.’s gun laws under a less demanding constitutional standard.  Given the Bush Administration’s support for an “individual rights” view of the Second Amendment, many find it incomprehensible that the Administration would not support the D.C. Circuit decision holding D.C.’s draconian gun restrictions unconstitutional.  The DoJ’s brief is also a potentially unwelcome development in the Presidential race, as it could dampen gun owners’ support of GOP candidates.  

I do not know whether any of the other campaigns have taken notice of the DoJ brief, but Fred has.  As reported on RedState, Thompson accused the administration of “overlawyering” the case.  After all, if an individual rights view of the Second Amendment does not proscribe an outright ban on handgun possession, there is not much left of the rights it purportedly protects.

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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