Trump nominates Kavanaugh

Sebastian quoting KavanaughIn my judgment, both D.C.’s ban on semi-automatic rifles and its gun registration requirement are unconstitutional under Heller.

In Heller, the Supreme Court held that handguns – the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic – are constitutionally protected because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens. There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi- automatic rifles. Semi-automatic rifles, like semi-automatic handguns, have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses. Moreover, semi- automatic handguns are used in connection with violent crimes far more than semi-automatic rifles are. It follows from Heller’s protection of semi-automatic handguns that semi-automatic rifles are also constitutionally protected and that D.C.’s ban on them is unconstitutional. (By contrast, fully automatic weapons, also known as machine guns, have traditionally been banned and may continue to be banned afterHeller.)1

Aside from the bit of dicta about machine guns, which is probably an unfortunate necessity at this point, that's a fairly solid position. We still don't know who was the weak point on the court preventing 2nd Amendment cases from being heard and decided properly, but if it was Kennedy, his replacement will be a positive change. We can't be certain of forward progress until at least one of the remaining left-wing judges is replaced.

I don't claim to have looked into this set of nominees closely, simply for lack of time and interest. Some think Hardiman or Kethledge would have been better on the 2nd. That may be true. But I think Kavanaugh will be willing to advance the court's jurisprudence in this issue in the right direction, and that's enough.

This entry was published Tue Jul 10 10:50:17 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2018-07-10 10:50:17.0. [Tweet]

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