Supreme Court Leans Toward Incorporation of Second Amendment
11:50 AM, Mar 3, 2010 • By C.J. CIARAMELLA
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in McDonald v. Chicago -- the case challenging Chicago's handgun ban. Judging from the transcripts, it looks like a majority of justices favor applying the Second Amendment to the states. SCOTUSblog has an extended analysis of the day's proceedings:
The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed poised to require state and local governments to obey the Second Amendment guarantee of a personal right to a gun, but with perhaps considerable authority to regulate that right. The dominant sentiment on the Court was to extend the Second Amendment beyond the federal level, based on the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of “due process,” since doing so through another part of the 14th Amendment would raise too many questions about what other rights might emerge.
The Court seemed to be hesitant to revive the Privileges or Immunities clause of the 14th Amendment, but it was much more receptive of using the Due Process clause to incorporate the Second Amendment.
Assuming that there is general agreement on incorporation, the major debate for the justices becomes exactly how much that right entails. The liberal wing of the Court signaled that it was for limiting the Second Amendment to the so called "homeowner's right" to self-defense. However former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement made a forceful argument for a broader scope, saying the Court should avoid creating a mere "shadow" of the right.
You can read the whole transcript of the oral arguments here.