One of the cases the Supreme Court is likely to consider this term revolves around a Washington D.C. law that bars residents from keeping handguns in their homes. A lower court struck down the ban in March and Washington has appealed to the Supreme Court. If the justices hear the appeal, they could issue the first ruling on whether the Second Amendment right to bear arms protects individuals or only state militias.
Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley comes reluctantly to the conclusion that contrary to the arguments of his fellow liberals the Second Amendment of the Constitution does indeed protect an individual's right to own a firearm. Turley is to be commended for placing principle above personal preference. He writes:
Like many academics, I was happy to blissfully ignore the Second Amendment. It did not fit neatly into my socially liberal agenda. Yet, two related cases could now force liberals into a crisis of conscience. The Supreme Court is expected to accept review of District of Columbia v. Heller and Parker v. District of Columbia, involving constitutional challenges to the gun-control laws in Washington...
Principle is a terrible thing, because it demands not what is convenient but what is right. It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right. It is true that the amendment begins with a reference to militias: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Accordingly, it is argued, this amendment protects the right of the militia to bear arms, not the individual.
Yet, if true, the Second Amendment would be effectively declared a defunct provision. The National Guard is not a true militia in the sense of the Second Amendment and, since the District and others believe governments can ban guns entirely, the Second Amendment would be read out of existence.
There's much more to his argument at the link. One thing about the objection he mentions above concerning the intent of the Framers is that even if their words seemed to limit the right to bear arms to militias, how can liberals justify placing a narrow interpretion on this amendment when they insist on placing the most expansive interpretation on the First Amendment?
Clearly, the Framers had politics and religion in mind when they conferred upon us the right to free speech, but the Supreme Court has subsequently expanded that right to cover things like pornography which there's no reason to believe the Framers wished to include. How can we justify expanding First Amendment rights to pornographers while restricting Second Amendment rights to militiamen who no longer exist?RLC