Sunday Morning Quotation – UT-Austin Law Prof Sanford Levinson on the 2nd Amendment

Sanford Levinson’s “The Embarrassing Second Amendment” is a classic law review article that almost certainly helped lay a brick in the road to the critical District of Columbia, et al v. Heller (2008) gun rights decision that held (among other things) that:

The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

Way back in 1989, Levinson wrote this interesting sentence in that Yale Law Review article that should make gun control enthusiasts basing their claims on a consequentialist logic take pause:

If one does accept the plausibility of any of the arguments on behalf of a strong reading of the Second Amendment, but, nevertheless, rejects them in the name of social prudence and the present-day consequences produced by finicky adherence to earlier understandings, why do we not apply such consequentialist criteria to each and every part of the Bill of Rights?

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