Second Amendment

“Lineal Descendant” Analysis in Second Amendment Litigation

April 7, 2021

Second Amendment doctrine—perhaps more than any other constitutional right save the Seventh Amendment civil jury—has become intensely preoccupied with genealogy. Ever since Chief Justice John Roberts in District of Columbia v. Heller remarked during oral argument (almost to himself) that, just as there appears to be “lineal descendants” of colonial-era weaponry, there could be “lineal descendants”…

The Supreme Court is Poised to Blow A Giant Hole in Gun Control. Here’s How the Liberal Justices Can Intervene.

October 21, 2019

Lost in the shuffle of a busy October at the Supreme Court—one filled with high profile developments concerning the right to abortion and the treatment of LGBT workers—was a single, ominous sentence buried away on page eleven of the Court’s first orders list of the Term: “The Respondents’ Suggestion of Mootness is denied.”  Despite its opacity, this single sentence is…

Corpus Linguistics and the Second Amendment

August 7, 2018

Big Data rekindles the debate over the original meaning of the Second Amendment The Second Amendment provides: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” In District of Columbia v. Heller, the dissenting Justices contended that…


The Second Amendment and Second-Class Rights

March 5, 2018

Advocates for gun rights feel oppressed. It has been a decade since the Supreme Court found in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects a right to keep and bear arms for personal purposes like self-defense, and in that time Second Amendment champions have gone from euphoric to disgruntled. With some notable…

Actions to Decrease Gun Violence

November 6, 2017

The carnage from the massacre in Texas, which left at least 26 dead, is just the latest of so many instances of gun violence, following tragedies in places like Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Tuscon, and Virginia Tech. They all share one feature in common: a disturbed man with a weapon or an arsenal…