Well - this has been a very strong year for the 2nd. From The Examiner.
In the landmark case of McDonald v. Chicago, 08-1521, the Supreme Court has ruled that the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms applies against state and local governments. This lawsuit was brought by Otis McDonald, a Chicago resident who had suffered multiple burglaries and wished to have a handgun for self defense against criminals.Good links, gulp, at the NYT, and pathetic spin at SeeBS.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court today held that an individual right to keep and bear arms was among the fundamental guarantees protected against state and local infringement. This is an expansion of the right to keep and bear arms that the Court recognized as applying against only the Federal Government in the D.C. v. Heller case, in which the Washington, D.C. handgun ban was struck down.
Writing for the Court, Justice Alito stated that “A provision in the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the federal government and the states," Although the 5 justices in the majority differ as to whether it is the Due Process clause or the Privileges or Immunities Clause which causes the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms to apply against state and local governments, they are in agreement that it does in fact apply.
I highly encourage you to read Justice Thomas's concurring opinion here, but let's go to the actual opinion written by Justice Alito. This is just a taste at the goodie that is there.
That, my friends, is from the top rope.
Congress, however, ultimately deemed these legislative remedies insufficient. Southern resistance, Presidential vetoes, and this Court's pre-Civil-War precedent persuaded Congress that a constitutional amendment was necessary to provide full protection for the rights of blacks.[ 24 ] Today, it is generally accepted that the Fourteenth Amendment was understood to provide a constitutional basis for protecting the rights set out in the Civil Rights Act of 1866. See General Building Contractors Assn., Inc. v. Pennsylvania, 458 U. S. 375, 389 (1982); see also Amar, Bill of Rights 187; Calabresi, Two Cheers for Professor Balkin's Originalism, 103 Nw. U. L. Rev. 663, 669-670 (2009).
In debating the Fourteenth Amendment, the 39th Congress referred to the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right deserving of protection. Senator Samuel Pomeroy described three "indispensable" "safeguards of liberty under our form of Government." 39th Cong. Globe 1182. One of these, he said, was the right to keep and bear arms:"Every man . . . should have the right to bear arms for the defense of himself and family and his homestead. And if the cabin door of the freedman is broken open and the intruder enters for purposes as vile as were known to slavery, then should a well-loaded musket be in the hand of the occupant to send the polluted wretch to another world, where his wretchedness will forever remain complete." Ibid.Even those who thought the Fourteenth Amendment unnecessary believed that blacks, as citizens, "have equal right to protection, and to keep and bear arms for selfdefense." Id., at 1073 (Sen. James Nye); see also Foner 258-259.f
One note of caution here though - be happy but also understand that this was 5-4. 4 Justices do not see the Constitution as what it is - a protector of individual liberty.
Know their minds to bolster yours; read the dissenting opinions by Stevens here and the other three; Breyer, Ginsburg, and Sotomajor here.
Rejoice - but keep your powder dry. The Statist does not sleep; neither should you.