It seems the supreme court made the difficult decision <sarcasm> to uphold the constitution yesterday </sarcasm> by saying that the 2nd amendment is indeed an individual right held by all citizens and may not be infringed by state and local ordinances. While there was a lot of circular discussion about due process and incorporation, I think the most logical argument was made by Justice Thomas who found that you don’t need to go any further than section 1 of the 14th amendment to find the answer:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.
How simple is that? Justice Thomas went on to say that when the 14th amendment was adopted the common person thought that what they were agreeing to was that all of the ‘privileges and immunities’ granted in the Constitution and the previous 13 amendments could not be abridged by any state (and yes, that extends to cities, counties, etc) so that’s how it needs to be read now. I don’t think he even had to go that far into the originalist waters. The interpretation of that simple statement today by a common man would be exactly the same: states can’t take away rights given by God and enumerated by the Constitution. What about that can’t Daley understand?
So, score one for the good guys. And let this be a reminder that the Kagan hearings are important. Although she won’t change the make-up of the court, the fact that this was a 5-4 decision means that we were just one justice away from shredding the Constitution.