Monday, January 12, 2009
Adam Winkler, ConLawProf at UCLA, posted an update on Heller on The Huffington Post here and it has been making the rounds amongst law students. Perhaps because I gave a Heller issue on the final exam last semester, a student brought the following to my attention:
To date, the lower federal courts have ruled in over 60 different cases on the constitutionality of a wide variety of gun control laws. There have been suits against laws banning possession of firearms by felons, drug addicts, illegal aliens, and individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors. The courts have ruled on the constitutionality of laws prohibiting particular types of weapons, including sawed-off shotguns and machine guns, and specific weapons attachments. Defendants have challenged laws barring guns in school zones and post offices, and laws outlawing "straw" purchases, the carrying of concealed weapons, possession of an unregistered firearm, and particular types of ammunition. The courts have upheld every one of these laws.
Since Heller, its Gun Control: 60, Individual Right: 0.
Before the Supreme Court's decision, none of the numerous challenges to gun control laws raised in recent months would have had any hope of winning. Now, with a revolutionary ruling recognizing a renewed individual right to keep and bear arms, they still have no hope of winning.
Of course, excellent student examination answers discussed the open questions in Heller, including incorporation against the states. But for the time being, it is hard to argue with results like 60-0.
RR (with thanks to Natasha Bannan, 1L, CUNY School of Law).