David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court is anticipated to finally decide whether the Second Amendment is an individual or a collective right. This article is not about the textual and historical arguments on the basis of which the Court is likely to make its decision. My topic is more fundamental. Assuming that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, what purpose does it serve? What are the possible reasons that private arms possession is sufficiently valuable to deserve constitutional protection? Because it was insufficiently sensitive to the variety of justifications available, the majority in Parker v. District of Columbia (the D.C. Circuit case appealed in Heller) failed to identify the purposes of the Second Amendment. The passing comments it made were compatible with a large number of very different justifications. Second Amendment advocates have also been surprisingly muddled on the issue. This confusion has gone unnoticed because no one has, until now, offered a philosophically rigorous account of the justifications available and the important distinctions between them. Clarity about the value of private arms possession is essential for determining the scope of the Second Amendment under an individual right interpretation - a project that lower courts will be forced to undertake if Parker is affirmed. Courts commonly interpret the scope of a constitutional right in light of the interests the right protects. For this reason, they need a clear conception of why individuals have an interest in private arms possession. I offer this article as a first, but crucial, step toward answering this question.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Eric Easton, Two Wrongs Mock a Right: Debunking the Cohen Maledicta That Bar First Amendment Protection for Newsgathering.
Barry McDonald, Government Regulation or Other 'Abridgements' of Scientific Research: The Proper Scope of Judicial Review Under the First Amendment.
Charles T. Kotuby Jr, Private International Law Before the United States Supreme Court: Recent Terms in Review.
Dolores A. Donovan, Informers Revisited: Government Surveillance of Domestic Political Organizations and the Fourth and First Amendments.
Steven G. Calabresi & Sarah E. Agudo, Individual Rights Under State Constitutions When the Fourteenth Amendment Was Ratified in 1868: What Rights Are Deeply Rooted in American History and Tradition?
Patrick M. Garry, Candice Spurlin, Jennifer Keating & Derek Nelsen, Tribal Incorporation of First Amendment Norms: A Case Study of the Indian Tribes of South Dakota.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads14 ( #120,449 of 1,101,880 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #41,658 of 1,101,880 )
How can I increase my downloads?