The Heller Decision: Reaffirming the Second Amendment Essay

The Heller Decision: Reaffirming the Second Amendment Essay

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The Heller Decision: Reaffirming the Second Amendment

Purpose: This paper aims to provide an analytic review of the background, context, and key decisions behind the Supreme Court’s ruling in the District of Columbia v. Heller case and explore the effects and impacts of their landmark decision and how it pertains to legal interpretations of the Second Amendment.

BLUF
Issue: The Supreme Court of the United States of America agreed to review the Second Amendment violation claims involved in the District of Columbia v. Heller case and determined that not only does the Bill of Rights guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms, but also ruled several laws negatively affecting an individual’s right to self-defense are unconstitutional.
Effects: As a direct result of the Court’s decision, a major gun control bill in the District of Columbia and later the city of Chicago were struck down as unconstitutional. The decision further launched an unprecedented wave of legal challenges to various gun laws on both a federal and state level.
Impact: While the lasting effect of the Heller decision’s legal tidal wave and defeated bans are questionable, the Court’s decision represents a decisive legal precedent declaring the Second Amendment a protector of an individual right of citizens to possess arms for recreational and defensive purposes on both a state and federal level.




Heller Decision Timeline
Lawyers Neily and Levy Build a Test Case - 2000: Clark Neily and Robert Levy, two lawyers with the Institute for Justice, come together to build a test case to establish a precedent ruling on the Second Amendment (First Decision).
Parker v. District of Columbia – 10 Feb 2003: Levy’s team selected six plaintiffs to file suit and challe...


... middle of paper ...


...rt’s rule of law. Citing low court interpretations of gun rights as a collective rather than individual right and arguing the framer’s words were intentionally lacking, Justices Stevens and Breyer felt that the Court had ruled in error. Justice Breyer further argued that the Second Amendment’s granted rights ought to be balanced against the government’s duty to curb crime.





Works Cited

Citations
1. "District of Columbia v. Heller Oral Arguments." District of Columbia v. Heller Oral Arguments. CSPAN. 18 Mar. 2008. Television.
2. District of Columbia v. Heller. Supreme Court. 26 June 2008. Print.
3. McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill. Supreme Court. 28 June 2010. Google Scholar. Google. Web.
4. Bill of Rights (1791) (enacted). Print.
5. Streissguth, Thomas. District of Columbia v. Heller: Landmark Supreme Court Cases. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2011. Print.

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