Friday, July 3, 2009

Volokh Article on the Second Amendment

Lawprof Eugene Volokh has an excellent article posted at his blog, The Volokh Conspiracy. In Implementing the Right To Keep and Bear Arms for Self-Defense: An Analytical Framework and a Research Agenda, Prof. Volokh lays out a framework for thinking about the Second Amendment now that courts can no longer ignore it.

Volokh makes the point that the traditional framework used for judicial scrutiny in other instances may not be appropriate for firearms. We use strict scrutiny for race, intermediate scrutiny for gender, and rational basis for other issues. This may not carry over well to firearm regulations, and Volokh does a good job of parsing out the kinds of constitutional standards that may develop.

Sebastian over at Snowflakes in Hell takes issue with the article's discussion of assault weapon bans. I will just note that the Heller case was a watershed event. We are no longer discussing lightweight "collective rights" arguments that write the Second Amendment out of the Constitution. We are having an honest discussion about the contours of a recognized individual liberty. After the Court gets around to incorporating the Second Amendment against the states we will see an even more rational public discourse on guns.

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