Early returns from SCOTUSBlog are looking positive...
Based just on the questioning, which can prove inaccurate, the Court is divided along ideological lines in Heller,
with Justice Kennedy taking a strong view that the "operative clause"
of the Second Amendment protects an individual right unconnected with
militia service that guarantees the right to hunt and engage in
self-defense. If the oral argument line up were to hold when the Court
votes, the Court will recognize an individual right to bear arms that
will not be seriously constrained by military service of any kind.
There was a seemingly broad consensus that the right would not extend
to machine guns, plastic guns that could evade metal detectors, and the
like. There was relatively little disccusion of the trigger lock
provision. Justice Breyer seemingly sought to pick up a fifth vote for
a narrower reading of the Second Amendment by attempting to tie the
question of the reasonableness of the regulation to whether the
challenged statute left individuals with the ability to possess weapons
that could be used in milita service. But at argument, at least, none
of the Court's more conservative members expressed much interest in
that approach, and Justice Kennedy's view that the operative clause is
not directed at militia service would seem not to point in that
A decision along ideological lines would not be a surprise, and would go favorably for us if Kennedy plays along as he seems to be. Not much discussion of the standard of review.
This entry was published Tue Mar 18 10:46:37 CDT 2008 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2008-03-18 10:46:37.0.