Thursday, June 26, 2008

Heller and the Home

I just skimmed through the Supreme Court's decision in D.C. v. Heller.  I was struck by how narrow the opinion is, and how much it is focused on self defense in the home.  We talk a lot about homes here on Propertyprof.  It seems to me that Heller falls within the long tradition of cases that privilege homes as compared to other types of property.

Ben Barros

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I was in a friendly debate about the opinion with a self-proclaimed 'gun-defending' lefty. It was an interesting contrast: he felt Scalia's opinion was hyper-analytical and 'nitpicky' on the facts. He also felt Stevens' dissent was legitimately concerned with incorporation...a matter Scalia somewhat brushed off.

I on the other hand thought Scalia's analysis was right on. Regardless, the one thing I hadn't previously known was just how preposterous the in-home elements of the gun ban really were. It required the gun to be essentially useless for immediate self-defense. Perhaps that aspect played a part in Scalia's attack.

I thought the opinion was long overdue. What struck me most was Scalia's reiteration of the Amendment's codifying the inherent right of self-defense, and not conferring any new right; and further linking that right exclusive of this 200 year old 'militia' bugaboo.

Posted by: Sam Gompers | Jun 30, 2008 5:40:21 AM

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