Gun Case Could Broaden Legal Basis for Wide Range of Rights
Scholars Hope New Take on 14th Amendment Emerges From Chicago Handgun Decision
In announcing on Wednesday that it would review a case that asks whether individuals have a fundamental right to bear arms under the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court did more than just step into a heated debate over gun control. Although McDonald v. City of Chicago is on its face about Chicago’s ban on handguns, legal experts say it also raises a far broader question of Constitutional interpretation that bears on how and whether the Constitution protects a wide range of rights from state infringement. A finding that the Second Amendment protects individuals’ right to own a gun could therefore have the unexpected outcome of also providing more solid ground for recognition of the right to abortion, to sexual privacy, to gay marriage, and to a wide variety of other rights that conservative justices on the court and “originalist” Constitutional scholars have long opposed.
This could be a real zinger for a lot of flatheads.