April 22, 2009

Ninth Circuit handed down a very important opinion yesterday on the right to keep and bear arms.

Great ruling form the 9th! Note that the questions presented below are
answered in that despite the 2nd amendment speaking to the individual as a
Constitutional right not movable by any power, the fourteenth Amendment
extended the Bill of Rights to the People so they say. Imagine that being
said of the 10th amendment.

R. George Dunn

Subject: Federal Appeals Court : States and Localities are Bound by the
Second Amendment

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit handed down a very
important opinion yesterday on the right to keep and bear arms.

If you're the type who enjoys reading lengthy federal appellate opinions (or
you're just a masochist,) here's the link:


Even if you're not particularly interested in wading through all the
legalese at the front end, I encourage you to jump to the historical
analysis starting on page 4484 and at least read through that--if for no
other reason to see the Ninth Circuit cite William Blackstone and Samuel
Adams. There's probably enough great stuff in there to make many left-wing
gun haters' heads explode on contact--so please be judicious in forwarding
it. ;-)

OK, so here's why the opinion in Nordyke is important:

1. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (in Heller v. D.C.) that the
Second Amendment protects an INDIVIDUAL RIGHT, which constrains the power of
the FEDERAL government.

2. The Heller opinion (properly) LEFT UNDECIDED, however, the question of
whether STATES and LOCAL GOVERNMENTS are ALSO bound by the Second Amendment
in the same way that the federal government is.

3. Prior cases had held that states and local governments ARE NOT bound by
the Second Amendment. (In legalese: unlike nearly all the other rights set
forth in the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment was not considered to be
"incorporated" by the Fourteenth Amendment.)

4. Thus, under the law as it was understood prior to Nordyke, a claim that
"State X infringed my Second Amendment rights" would have no power, as
"State X" was not understood to have any particular OBLIGATION to respect
Second Amendment rights.

5. The court in Nordyke was presented with an opportunity to revisit the
question of "incorporation" in the wake of Heller and other case law, and
elected to do so as follows:

"[T]he right to keep and bear arms is 'deeply rooted in this Nation's
history and tradition.' Colonial revolutionaries, the Founders, and a host
of commentators and lawmakers living during the first one hundred years of
the Republic all insisted on the fundamental nature of the right. It has
long been regarded as the 'true palladium of liberty.'...We are therefore
persuaded that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
incorporates the Second Amendment and APPLIES IT AGAINST THE STATES AND

Bottom line: yesterday was a very good day for the right to keep and bear
arms, and the plaintiffs and attorneys involved in bringing this case
deserve our sincere gratitude.

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