The Supreme Court's Next Gun Battle

By Linda Greenhouse. January 19th, 2017

One of Justice Antonin Scalia's last official acts before his death last February was to join Justice Clarence Thomas in complaining that the Supreme Court risked "relegating the Second Amendment to a second-class right" when it let stand an Illinois city's ban on owning semiautomatic weapons.

Since then, the court has fallen silent on gun issues, understandably. Justice Scalia was the author of the court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which established a constitutional right to keep a handgun at home for self-defense. The vote was 5 to 4, and although the court's membership has changed since then, with two of the dissenters succeeded by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, there has been every reason to think that any request to extend Heller would find the court at an impasse.

An appeal filed at the court last week could change that. It asks the justices to decide the major question left open by the Heller decision: whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a gun outside the home. If the court decides to hear the case, the argument would take place in the fall -- by which time, presumably, a Trump administration justice will have taken Justice Scalia's place. .......

It often seems, the ''battle'' over interpretation of the Second Amendment will never be over. If the framers had ever considered that having a weapon outside of the home was not justified they would have said so! It has been made plain in the past that self defense is a critical aspect of the 2A, therefore to try and state that carry of a firearm outside of the home is not protected seems all but ludicrous. Maybe a militia member is only allowed to fight from his home!

"You don't have to be Jewish to fight by our side."

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