Justice Scalia’s Death Resets SCOTUS’ Opportunity To Gut Second Amendment

By AWR Hawkins

Justice Antonin Scalia in the Crowd
Justice Antonin Scalia in the Crowd
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -(Ammoland.com)- The Feb. 13 2016 death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia gives progressives on the Supreme Court an opportunity to gut the Second Amendment by reinterpreting it as a “collective” right rather than an individual right.

Scalia’s name became synonymous with the individual right to keep and bear arms after the release of his majority opinion for the decisive SCOTUS decision, District of Columbia v Heller (2008).

In that opinion, Scalia showed how phrases that appear in the Bill of Rights again and again share a common meaning, and that references in one amendment match references in others, whether or not the phrase is explicitly or loosely stated.

For example, the phrase “right of the people,” which explicitly appears in the First and Second Amendments, and is loosely expressed in the Ninth Amendment, shares a context that refers to individual rights in every occurrence.

“All three of these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not ‘collective’ rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body,” Scalia wrote.

In other words, just as the “right of the people” to assemble in the First Amendment is an individual right, so is the “right to keep and bear arms” in the Second Amendment and the rights not enumerated but protected by the Ninth Amendment.

This is very different from the liberal or progressive approach, where the rights protected by the Second Amendment are viewed as collective, and therefore exist only under certain conditions — for example, the right to own guns exists only for those serving in a government-run militia — and can therefore be expanded, narrowed, or barred by government with impunity.

Heller was released June 26, 2008, and struck down Washington D.C.’s gun ban because it unconstitutionally infringed on each individual’s right to own a gun.

But ever since, news outlets like The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press have highlighted their disagreements with the Heller decision and fought to keep the issue alive so a future court can reverse the decision.

The NYT and LA Times have done this by suggesting the individual right to keep and bear arms was created by the judges in 2008. For example, the NYT depended on the opinion of a judge who equated Heller with “judicial activism” and the LA Times editorial board explicitly stated their opinion that the SCOTUS “erred.”

On the other hand, the AP took aim at the right to self-defense. That’s a key right protected by the Second Amendment  and a component that is individual in nature, just like the “right of the people” to keep and bear arms or to assemble, along with the various rights not enumerated but protected by the Ninth Amendment.

With Scalia’s death, the nine-justice SCOTUS is evenly divided our to four on whether the second amendment is a individual or collective right.

Scalia’s replacement will either maintain the work he did to defend these rights as individual, or will declare those individual rights as collective rights, thereby gutting the Second Amendment.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins.

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Dave
Dave
5 years ago

Whom ever is nominated, their name(s) should be placed on the ballot for the population to choose. Not the government. Too much nonsense going on with the government for me to trust anyone they put in.

TEX
TEX
5 years ago

If the Supreme Joke does somehow gut the 2A it won’t make any difference except on the federal level. Individual states will regulate firearms and make and enforce their own firearm laws. States will probably even start seceding eps.in the South. All of this will probably end up being a blessing in disguise. We need to get the Feds out of the firearms business and get rid of the ATF !

ChicagoGuy
ChicagoGuy
5 years ago

Don’t worry, NRA will save us. Attorney Alan Gura toiled away in obscurity for years to get 2nd Amendment cases in front of the Supreme Court. NRA hired Paul Clement to swoop in at the last minute to steal 10 minutes out of Gura’s 30 minute oral argument in McDonald v. Chicago. Richard Pearson of Illinois State Rifle Association was there at the Supreme Court with Otis. Pearson & ISRA did NOTHING for concealed carry for 20 years, but now he thinks it was his idea all along. Extended use of Bryl Cream in his hair seeped into the scalp… Read more »

TRUTH BE TOLD
TRUTH BE TOLD
5 years ago

2nd amendment ha…..Jesus gave us guns rights over 2000 years ago
And he TRUMPS THE GOVERNMEMT ON ALL MATTERS….. EVERYTIME

Clark Kent
Clark Kent
5 years ago

Oaf Keepers? Fuggitaboudit. Might as well join the circus. Besides, that organization probably has more paid government informers than ‘believers’ (a la the KKK in the middle to late ’60’s)

lowell
lowell
5 years ago

What’s the big deal? Everyone in our circles flies the Gadsen flag and wines about joining the NRA, well newsflash, centralized governments always tend toward the accumulation of state power at the expense of the individual, so it was never a matter of “if” the government would start gun confiscation, only when. So my advice, forget the NRA, it’s done all the stalling that it’s going to be able to manage. Instead join Oath Keepers. Buy a plate carrier and plates, a full size plastic wondernine, and something in 5.56 that takes NATO mags. Then start training to use them.… Read more »

Rick
Rick
5 years ago

I can’t know this, but, I’m guessing BHO is “chomping at the bit” right now. It is my fervent wish that with the House and Senate firmly in control of the “Right” that any Prospective Justice put forward by this administration will be stonewalled until after next January.