Many have heard about the historic gun rights case going to the Supreme Court. Fewer have heard that this is also a major case for businesses and family values. It could lead to anything from court-ordered Obamacare to same-sex marriage. This is the biggest case of the year, and everyone has a stake in it.
On March 2, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in McDonald v. City of Chicago. It is a gun rights case, challenging Chicago's categorical ban on handguns. The ban is essentially identical to the D.C. gun ban that was struck down by the Supreme Court in the 2008 case D.C. v. Heller, in which the court held that an absolute ban in the federal city violates the Second Amendment.
The question in this case is whether the Second Amendment applies to cities and states as it does to the federal government. The Bill of Rights applies only against actions of the federal government. Most of the Bill of Rights has since been applied to the states (or "incorporated," to use the legal term) by the Fourteenth Amendment. The question in McDonald is whether the right to keep and bear arms is incorporated against the states.
"Incorporated" is the word used so often by pro-gun folks, I think to give the impression that they're hip to legal terms. Some of them may be, but they always use this word in a way that sounds like it would decrease federal control in favor of the states and cities. They always use it to say that it increases freedom and rights. But does it?
Here's what Laci says.
I have always held that Heller was tyranny in the guise of the Second Amendment since the DC gun law was locally enacted, yet non-DC citizens used the court system to overturn a law they didn't like. This was true even though the DC law was popular amongst DC residents.
I don't think that the people who hope McDonald will find that the right will be incorporated against the States realise the implication. Instead, they prefer to hear something that matches their view of the world: the Second Amendment is incorporated against the States.
Facially, that is a ridiculous proposition since the Second Amendment was designed to protect state sovereignty (that is State's militias) against Federal power (the US Army). The fact that this irony is not perceived only shows how the Second Amendment has been perverted by special interests.
What's your opinion? Isn't this incorporation business a way of increasing federal control over the states? Are the gun control folks so short-sighted they fail to see the problem with this? Doesn't it do just the opposite of what they always claim they want?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.