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.
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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