Meningsverskil - Geskiedenis

Meningsverskil - Geskiedenis



We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


Wisconsin v. Yoder

Wisconsin v. Jonas Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972), is die geval waarin die Hooggeregshof van die Verenigde State bevind het dat kinders van Amish nie onder die 8ste klas onder verpligte onderwys geplaas kon word nie. Die ouers se fundamentele reg op godsdiensvryheid was vasbeslote om die staat se belang by die opvoeding van hul kinders te weeg. Die saak word dikwels genoem as 'n basis vir ouers se reg om hul kinders op te voed buite tradisionele private of openbare skole. [1] [2]


Stevens, J., Dissenting: The Legacy of Heller

Tydens sy 34 jaar in die hooggeregshof het regter John Paul Stevens deelgeneem aan duisende besluite wat byna elke aspek van die Amerikaanse reg aangespreek het. Maar hy het geen twyfel gehad watter een van die besluite die ergste was nie: District of Columbia v. Heller. 1 Hy het breedvoerig van die mening verskil, en noem dit "ongetwyfeld die duidelikste verkeerde besluit. . . aangekondig tydens my ampstermyn op die bank, ”2 en het dit tot sy dood in Julie vanjaar bly kritiseer. Ander, nader aan die justisie, het geskryf en sal skryf oor sy merkwaardige ampstermyn op die bank. Maar ons wil fokus op sy opinies en kommentaar van die tweede wysiging, wat volgens ons insig bied, nie net oor die reg om wapens te hou en te dra nie, maar meer algemeen oor die wyle regter se benadering tot reg en oordeel.

"'N Goed gereguleerde militie": Die wet voor Heller

In Heller het die Hooggeregshof vir die eerste keer beslis dat die Tweede Wysiging 'n persoonlike reg waarborg om vuurwapens te bewaar en te dra vir doeleindes wat nie met 'n georganiseerde burgermag verband hou nie. Daardie besitting in 2008 was die hoogtepunt van dekades se poging deur advokate vir geweerregte om die interpretasie van die tweede wysiging van persoonlike doeleindes van 'n 'bedrog' - in die woorde van (toe afgetrede) hoofregter Warren Burger - in die landreg te omskep. 3

Die Tweede Wysiging, wat lui: ''n Goed gereguleerde Militie, wat nodig is vir die veiligheid van 'n vrystaat, die reg van die mense om wapens te hou en te dra, word nie aangetas nie', is 'n taalkundige gemors. Nie eers die plasing van die kommas is seker nie. 5 Wat egter seker is, is dat die oorgrote meerderheid regters dit 200 jaar lank geïnterpreteer het om slegs die wapens, mense en aktiwiteite te beskerm wat verband hou met 'n georganiseerde burgermag.

Gedurende daardie tyd het die Hooggeregshof slegs een keer die betekenis van die Tweede Wysiging direk aangespreek, en dit het gekom in 'n vreemde beslissing wat die vervolging van 'n gangster, Jack Miller, betref vir die vervoer van 'n haelgeweer met 'n kort loop in stryd met die National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). Die NFA was die reaksie van die kongres op die vuurwapengeweld van die 1920's en 30's wat die land beleër het-insluitend Stevens se eie huis in Chicago. Dit het haelgewere en ander wapens, soos die Thompson-masjiengeweer, wat gewild geraak het onder bobbejane en bootleggers, streng gereguleer. In Verenigde State v. Miller, 6 het die hof beslis dat omdat 'n haelgeweer met 'n kort loop nie geskik was vir gebruik in 'n burgermag nie, die besit daarvan nie deur die tweede wysiging beskerm is nie, en Miller se beskuldiging wettig was.

Die NFA, wat nog steeds van krag is, was die eerste federale poging om vuurwapens aansienlik te reguleer, en dit het sukses behaal (byvoorbeeld, ten volle outomatiese wapens word deesdae selde deur misdadigers gebruik). Die NFA was egter net uniek omdat dit 'n landwye wet was. Staats- en plaaslike regerings het wapens sedert die stigtingsera gereguleer, met wette wat die omvang van permitvereistes tot verbod op spesifieke klasse wapens tot verbod op die besit van bepaalde klasse mense beperk het. 'N Soektog in die Repository of Historical Gun Laws, 'n gratis aanlynhulpbron wat aangebied word deur die Centre for Firearms Law at Duke, 7 toon dat meer as 1000 staats- en federale wette uitgevaardig is toe Justice Stevens in 1920 gebore is.

Ondanks al hierdie regulasies het die Tweede Wysiging nie 'n belangrike rol gespeel in die vuurwapenbeleid nie, omdat dit nie algemeen beskou word as privaat gebruik van wapens nie. Dit het beslis nie 'n prominente rol gespeel in litigasie nie, omdat min regulasies direk met staatsmilisies inmeng. Inderdaad, vir meer as twee eeue het geen federale saak 'n wet op grond van die Tweede Wysiging aangeval nie.

Alhoewel die wysiging tot 2008 wettig onaktief gebly het, het dit polities gegalvaniseer. Aan die begin van die 1960's het advokate vir geweerregte probeer om die 27 woorde van die wysiging te gebruik om 'n reg om te bewaar en wapens te dra vir privaat doeleindes soos selfverdediging. Hulle het bondgenote gevind in voorspraakorganisasies soos die National Rifle Association en in sekere (en soms onverwagte) dele van die akademie. Maar hulle het nooit die regte voertuig gehad om die saak na die hooggeregshof te bring nie.

"Oorspronklike openbare betekenis Originalisme": Heller, McDonald en Stevens in Dissent

Uiteindelik het Dick Heller, 'n spesiale beampte van die Federale Geregtelike Sentrum, van alle plekke na vore getree as 'n onwaarskynlike kampioen. Heller wou 'n vuurwapen in sy huis hou vir selfverdediging, maar die regulasies van die District of Columbia het dit in die praktyk onmoontlik gemaak. Nadat hy in die verhoorhof verloor het en in die appèlhof geslaag het, het die Hooggeregshof certiorari toegestaan. Die inligtingsessie was omvangryk. Selfs visepresident Dick Cheney het hom aangesluit by 'n amicus -brief wat Heller ondersteun.

Terselfdertyd het advokate vir geweerregte hul visie van die Tweede Wysiging vir dinkskrums, denkleiers en die publiek bevorder, en 'oorspronklike publieke betekenis -originalisme' het na vore getree as 'n prominente interpretatiewe teorie onder akademici en die regbank. Hierdie soort originalisme verwerp beide 'die lewende grondwet' (die idee dat die Grondwet as 'n ontwikkelende dokument gelees moet word) en 'oorspronklike bedoeling' (die idee dat dit gelees moet word in ooreenstemming met die voornemens van die opstellers by die Philadelphia -konvensie ). In plaas daarvan beweer die oorspronklike publieke betekenis -originalisme dat dit in historiese feite gewortel is: Die woorde beteken vandag wat 'n spreker Engels in die bekragtigende generasie toe sou verstaan ​​het.

Regter Antonin Scalia, die mees sigbare advokaat vir hierdie interpretatiewe metode, skryf vir die meerderheid van vyf geregtighede in Heller. In ooreenstemming met sy metodologiese verpligtinge, het hy 'n deeglik oorspronklike opinie opgestel, sterk afhanklik van wetenskap en historiese bronne. Volgens Scalia is die sentrale vraag in Heller was eenvoudig en eenvoudig gesê: Hoe is die woorde van die tweede wysiging tipies in 1791 verstaan?

Scalia was van mening dat die twee gedeeltes van die tweede wysiging van mekaar verskil. Die 'operatiewe' gedeelte was die deel oor die reg om wapens te hou en te dra, en die 'prefatoriese' gedeelte handel oor die milisie. Toegang tot die 'prefatoriese' gedeelte was slegs nodig as die 'operatiewe' afdeling dubbelsinnig was. Maar die operasionele gedeelte was duidelik vir die meerderheid: die reg was om vuurwapens te hou en te dra vir persoonlike doeleindes wat nie met die georganiseerde milisie verband hou nie. Ter ondersteuning noem Justice Scalia getuienis uit die Engelse Regsverklaring, Blackstone's Commentaries, en verskeie 19de-eeuse sake en materiaal wat die bekragtigende geslag agteruit gedateer het. Hy het ontslaan Miller as "'n onbetwiste en feitlik onredelike saak." 8

Justice Stevens was anders, en het dit op die grasveld van Justice Scalia gedoen. 9 Hy kyk na dieselfde historiese rekord, dieselfde taalkundige feite, en kom tot die teenoorgestelde gevolgtrekking: 'n Engelssprekende Engels wat die woorde van die tweede wysiging in 1791 gelees het, sou dit verstaan ​​het as 'n militêre betekenis. Hoewel Justice Scalia op 'n paar teenoorgestelde voorbeelde gewys het, het justisie Stevens sy eie woorde vir hom aangehaal: 'Dit lyk nie asof die hof die onderskeid begryp tussen hoe 'n woord kan gebruik word en hoe dit gewoonlik is gebruik." 10 Die meeste taalkundiges en historici was dit eens met Stevens se interpretasie, en beklemtoon dat die uitdrukking "beerwapens" in 1791 meestal in kollektiewe, militêre sin gebruik word.

Wat veral opmerklik is oor Stevens se onenigheid in Heller is sy goeie trou. Hy was nie 'n oorspronklike nie, maar hy het originaliste op hul voorwaardes toegespreek met behulp van hul gereedskap. Hy kon verby die meerderheidsmening geskryf het en 'n ontwikkelende grondwetlike standaard toepas om die saak op te los. Maar hy was oortuig van die betroubaarheid van sy argument en die ontvanklikheid van sy mederegters. Stevens was blykbaar so oortuig van die meriete van sy mening dat hy gedink het dat hy die aarts-oorspronklike regter Clarence Thomas kon oorreed om daarby aan te sluit. 11

Hy het nie, en Heller is nou die wet. Twee jaar later, in McDonald v. Stad Chicago 12 - 'n saak rakende geweerregulasies in die geliefde tuisstad van Stevens - moes die hof besluit of Heller se reg teen die staat en plaaslike regerings geïnkorporeer moet word. Regter Stevens was weer eens anders - hierdie keer nie net oor die grondwetlikheid van wapenregulering nie, maar ook oor hoe die inlywingsleer verstaan ​​moet word. En weereens neem Justice Scalia die ander kant en skryf 'n ooreenstemmende opinie spesifiek om die benadering van Justice Stevens aan te spreek.

In altwee Heller en McDonald, Justice Stevens het kragtige meningsverskille gegrond op die geskiedenis. Hierdie opinies word dikwels in die konstitusionele regsboeke uitgeneem, en met reg. Maar dit sou 'n fout wees om Stevens se opinies te lees as niks anders as 'n historiese mano-a-mano met Justice Scalia nie. Wat wet en teorie van die tweede wysiging betref, is dit veel meer as dit. Met kenmerkende duidelikheid, die eerste drie sinne van sy mening in Heller 'n dekades oue valse tweedeling opgelos:

Die vraag in hierdie saak is nie of die tweede wysiging 'n "kollektiewe reg" of "individuele reg" beskerm nie. Dit beskerm beslis 'n reg wat deur individue afgedwing kan word. Maar 'n gevolgtrekking dat die Tweede Wysiging 'n individuele reg beskerm, vertel ons niks oor die omvang van die reg nie. 13

Dit is diep korrek, en omseil behendig 'n onbehulpsame debat waarin die tweede wysigingsbeurs dekades lank gedompel is.

Net so in McDonald, die Justisie het die misverstand vernietig dat die wapendebat bloot gaan oor grondwetlike regte aan die een kant van die vergelyking en regulatoriese prioriteite aan die ander kant. Te dikwels lei die raam tot die gevolgtrekking dat slegs geweer eienaars grondwetlik relevante belange het. Maar soos Justice Stevens opgemerk het, “Jou belangstelling in die aanhou en dra van 'n sekere vuurwapen kan afneem my belangstelling om veilig te wees teenoor gewapende geweld. ” 14 Die moeilike vrae in die vuurwapenwet gaan al hoe meer oor botsende regte.

'N' Self-toegediende wond ': Stevens besin oor Heller

John Paul Stevens het 'n baie lang lewe geleef, en onder die bekende verhale wat hy vertel het, was hy as 'n 12-jarige wat in Chicago grootgeword het, gesien hoe Babe Ruth in 1932 sy skoot "teen die Cubs" noem. Stevens het 'n soortgelyke vaardigheid om te weet waar die staatsreg sou val tydens sy lang ampstermyn op die bank. Sy onenigheid oor die grondwetlikheid van wette teen sodomie in Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) is 17 jaar later bevestig deur Lawrence v. Texas (2003).

Terwyl dit gebeur, was die laaste onenigheid wat hy ooit op die laaste beslissingsdag van sy ampstermyn uitgereik het McDonald. Dit is moontlik dat die beslissing eendag sal daal namate die regter Stevens die regterkant van wapens hou en wapens dra, en die Hooggeregshof sy besluit sal heroorweeg in Heller. Hy was nie die enigste een wat soveel wou hê nie. Baie geleerdes, kommentators, advokate en selfs sommige van sy mederegters het gevra dat dit heroorweeg moet word. 15

Ons twyfel of dit sal gebeur. Soos ons in ons onlangse boek geskryf het, Die positiewe tweede wysiging: regte, regulering en die toekoms van Heller (2018), die basiese besit van Heller -dat die Tweede Wysiging die reg om wapens vir sekere privaat doeleindes, insluitend selfverdediging te beskerm, beskerm en wettig en polities veilig lyk.

Maar ons stem saam met justisie Stevens dat die tweede wysiging, wat goed verstaan ​​word, nie 'n wettige belemmering is vir die soort redelike wapenregulasies wat die hoofstroom vorm van die Amerikaanse wapendebat nie - dinge soos uitgebreide agtergrondkontroles, verbod op onredelik kragtige wapens en perke in besit van veral gevaarlike persone. In ooreenstemming met Heller se vermaning (weergalm in McDonald) dat die geweerregte nie absoluut is nie, bly die aantal en persentasie suksesvolle regsuitdagings wat beweer dat die tweede wysiging oortree word redelik laag. Die lae sukseskoers maak selfs meer sin as 'n mens in ag neem dat streng geweerregulasies skaars is, wat slegs die redelikste en gewildste regulasies in die gesig staar. Dit is nie 'n teikenryke omgewing vir litigators oor wapenregte nie.

Dit alles kan natuurlik verander. Selfs terwyl ons dit skryf, moet die hooggeregshof mondelinge argumente hoor New York State Rifle and Pistol Association teen die stad New York, 'n potensieel belangrike tweede wysigingsgeval. Sommige stemme, beide binne en buite die hof, het 'n heeltemal nuwe struktuur gevra vir die beoordeling van eise van die tweede wysiging - een wat streng ondersoek ingestel het of wapenwette wat slegs gebaseer is op 'n rigiede toets van teks, geskiedenis en tradisie, sou evalueer. (Ons het 'n amicus -brief ingedien ter ondersteuning van geen van die partye nie, met die argument dat die hof nie so 'n ingrypende wetswysiging moet instel nie.)

Maar ten minste vir nou, selfs daarna Heller, die belangrikste struikelblokke vir verdere wapenregulering in die Verenigde State is polities, nie grondwetlik nie. Die relevante debatte is in wetgewers, nie in howe nie. En, vir sover die Tweede Wysiging steeds ingeroep word op voorstelle wat dit nie ondersteun nie, kan die verduideliking van die wet die gesprek help verbeter.

Miskien het die regter dit erken. Hy het immers sy kommentaar na aftrede oor die tweede wysiging in die gewilde pers gepubliseer en dit aan die publiek gerig, nie aan regs elite nie. In werklikheid, Heller het iets vir Stevens besorg geraak. Dit was die mening wat hom in die nag gehou het, 16 die een waaroor hy steeds met mense wou praat.

Eers kom sy boek Ses wysigings: hoe en waarom ons die grondwet moet verander (2014), waarin hy voorgestel het om die Tweede Wysiging te wysig: "'n Goed gereguleerde Militie, wat noodsaaklik is vir die veiligheid van 'n vrystaat, is die reg van die mense om wapens te hou en te dra wanneer hulle in die Militia dien. geskend. ” 17 Toe, in die nasleep van die skietery in Parkland, waar 17 mense op Valentynsdag 2018 deur 'n student wat onlangs geskors is, dood is, het Stevens openlik gevra dat die tweede wysiging in 'n New York Times op-ed. Heller, het hy gesê, “het die N.R.A. met 'n propaganda -wapen met groot mag. Dit sou eenvoudig wees om die besluit om te keer deur middel van 'n grondwetlike wysiging om van die tweede wysiging ontslae te raak, meer sou doen om die N.R.A. se vermoë om wetgewende debat te stuit en konstruktiewe wapenbeheerwetgewing te stuit, te verswak as enige ander beskikbare opsie. " 18

Teen die einde van sy lewe, namate die tempo van massa -skietery toeneem - in skole, kerke, konsertarena's en klubs - en toe dit duidelik word dat die politieke takke nie in staat was om die geweld aan te spreek nie, het Stevens se opgewondenheid toegeneem, net soos sy sekerheid dat Heller was verkeerd. 'Hierdie massa -skietvoorvalle is eie aan Amerika en is eie aan 'n land met die tweede wysiging,' het hy in een van sy laaste onderhoude betreur. 19 “Ek dink dus dat die interpretasie van die tweede wysiging om die individuele reg op vuurwapens te beskerm eintlik net absurd is, en dit is ook vreeslik belangrik. Dit gebeur oor en oor en oor en oor. Ek dink ek moes meer kragtig gewees het om die punt in my te maak Heller meningsverskil. ” 20 Sy outobiografie, wat net weke voor sy dood gepubliseer is, bel Heller "Die ergste self-toegediende wond in die geskiedenis van die hof." 21

Ander stem saam. Behalwe dat hulle kommer uitspreek oor die sosiale koste, het regsgeleerdes, taalkundiges en historici ernstige twyfel laat ontstaan Heller se basiese perseel. Onlangs het taalkundige navorsing met behulp van groot databasisse van 18de-eeuse materiaal en “big data” -tegnieke wat in 2008 nie beskikbaar was nie, geneig om Justice Stevens te bevestig. Taalkundiges soos Dennis Baron 22 en Neal Goldfarb 23 en historici soos Alison LaCroix 24 het na die materiaal gekyk en tot 'n soortgelyke gevolgtrekking gekom: Die uitdrukking "beerwapens" is in 1791 oorweldigend gebruik in 'n kollektiewe, militêre sin, net soos Justice Stevens geskryf het.

Wat ook al die historiese of taalgebreke daarvan is, Heller bly die wet van die land. Ons het die Positiewe tweede wysiging met die aanname in die kern van die boek. En, ten minste vir die afsienbare toekoms, Heller gaan nêrens heen nie. Maar, soos ons in die boek aanvoer, dit is nie noodwendig slegte nuus vir die oorgrote meerderheid Amerikaners wat glo dat wapenregte en wapenregulering saam kan bestaan ​​nie-geskiedenis en grondwet is aan hul kant. Ons hoop was en is dat 'n behoorlike begrip van die Tweede Wysiging die retoriek kan versterk en die wapendebat kan professionaliseer. Ons bly optimisties.

Gegroei deur die optimisme en aangemoedig deur vriende en kollegas, het ons 'n afskrif van die boek aan Justice Stevens gestuur, in die hoop op 'n dankie-briefie. Wat ons in plaas daarvan teruggekry het, was 'n paar van die dinge wat seker al te bekend was vir diegene wat die wyle geregtigheid besoek het:

Dankie vir die kopie van u deurdagte boek wat ek met belangstelling en bewondering gelees het. Ek is nogal verbaas oor die rede waarom u u standpunte as 'positief' beskryf en erken dat ek u verduideliking van redes waarom die NRA nie hoef te vrees nie, beskou Heller verduidelik ook waarom die tweede wysiging nie nodig is om geweervervaardigers teen willekeurige regulering te beskerm nie. Na my mening is die hoofdoel van die wysiging om die aantrekkingskrag van NRA -argumente teen bykomende regulasies te verbeter. Geen ander beskaafde land het so 'n wysiging of 'n vergelykbare aantal geweerverwante tragedies nie. Ek is oortuig dat die land beter daaraan toe sou wees as die tweede wysiging herroep word. 26

Die brief van die justisie, wat met kenmerkende krag en takt geskryf is, maak dit duidelik dat ons hom nie kon oortuig van ons 'positiewe' visie vir die tweede wysiging nie. Maar, miskien belangriker, beskou ons dit as 'n bewys van sy onverminderde optimisme dat mense redelik en oortuigbaar is, en dat die gesondste argumente uiteindelik die dag sal dra. Daaroor stem ons volkome saam.


Meningsverskil - Geskiedenis

Daar was twee uiteenlopende menings in die Heller saak, geskryf deur Stevens en Breyer. Stevens het die stryd aangeneem dat die 2de wysiging nie die bedoeling was om die reg van individue om wapens te hou en te dra, te beskerm nie. Hy voer vurig aan dat die geskiedenis dui op 'n militia-georiënteerde mag, eerder as 'n reg.

Dit vlieg natuurlik te midde van ontelbare bronne, waarvan verskeie deur Scalia verlig word.

As ons al hierdie tekstuele elemente bymekaar sit, vind ons dat dit die individuele reg waarborg om wapens te besit en te dra in geval van konfrontasie. Hierdie betekenis word sterk bevestig deur die historiese agtergrond van die tweede wysiging. Ons streef daarna, want dit is altyd algemeen bekend dat die Tweede Wysiging, soos die Eerste en Vierde Amendement, 'n bestaande reg gekodifiseer het. Die teks van die tweede wysiging erken implisiet die pre-bestaan ​​van die reg en verklaar slegs dat dit “nie inbreuk gemaak sal word nie”. Soos ons gesê het in die Verenigde State v. Cruikshank, 92 VS 542, 553 (1876), "[t] his is nie 'n reg wat deur die Grondwet verleen word nie. Dit is ook op geen enkele manier afhanklik van die instrument vir sy bestaan ​​nie. DC vs Heller, meerderheidsopinie, p. 19

Scalia se bewering dat die 2de wysiging die pre-bestaan ​​van die reg om wapens te hou en te dra, blyk te wees 'n voorkomende aanval op Stevens se argument:

Met al hierdie bronne waarop gebruik gemaak kan word, is dit opvallend belangrik dat Madison se eerste konsep geen melding gemaak het van nie -militêre gebruik of besit van wapens. Stevens verskil, p. 25

Madison het nie -nie -militêre gebruik van wapens genoem omdat dit oorbodig sou gewees het. Die reg van die mense om wapens te hou en te dra, mag nie inbreuk gemaak word nie, en dit beteken wat dit sê, en hy sou verwag het dat dit duidelik sou wees.

Maar die reg wat die hof aankondig, is nie deur die Framers in die tweede wysiging "vasgelê" nie, dit is die produk van die huidige wetsveranderende besluit. (…) Die aankondiging van die hof oor 'n nuwe grondwetlike reg om vuurwapens vir privaat doeleindes te besit en te gebruik, ontstel die begrip, maar laat vir toekomstige gevalle die formidabele taak om die omvang van toelaatbare regulasies te definieer. (…) Gegewe die veronderstelling dat die meeste burgers wetsgehoorsaam is, en die realiteit dat die behoefte om jouself te verdedig skielik op talle plekke buite die huis kan ontstaan, is ek bevrees dat die beleidskeuse van die distrik net die eerste is 'n onbekende aantal domino's wat van die tafel geslaan moet word. Stevens, p. 45-46

Weereens, hy mis die punt. Die Heller Die besluit maak geen nuwe wette nie, en die tweede wysiging het nie uit die lug geskep nie. Die reg op selfverdediging was heilig vir Blackstone, heilig vir die stigters, en dit het lank voor 1791 bestaan. Die tweede wysiging waarborg eenvoudig dat genoemde reg beskerm word en Heller besluit is nodig om die omvang daarvan te verduidelik, ten minste gedeeltelik.

Wat die beleidskeuse van die distrik betref en die eerste van vele vuurwapenregulasies wat omgeslaan is, is dit 'n belangrike punt. Hierdie wette is van nature onregverdig, en almal met 'n gesonde respek vir burgerregte moet hul afskaffing soek.

Dan is daar die gebreke Miller uitspraak. Dit is die enigste presedent wat die hof kan regverdig om 'n op milisie gebaseerde interpretasie van die 2de wysiging te regverdig, en toe Justice Kennedy tydens mondelinge argumente stel dat Miller 'n gebrek mag hê, kon ek amper hoor hoe die lug uit die kamer.

Miller was 'n slegte saak, aangehoor deur 'n polities gemotiveerde hof, waarin die respondente nie teenwoordig was nie. Die versoekers het blatante vals inligting gelewer, en daar is geen moeite gedoen om dit duidelik te maak nie. Stevens probeer dit egter verdedig:

Miskien as erkenning vir die swakheid van sy poging om Miller te onderskei, voer die Hof alternatief aan dat Miller verdiskonteer moet word vanweë sy beslissende geskiedenis. Dit is waar dat die appellant in Miller nie 'n brief ingedien of 'n verskyning gemaak het nie (…) Maar, soos ons besluit in Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, waarin slegs een kant verskyn en argumente voorgehou het, toon afwesigheid van teenkanting alleen is nie 'n grondslag om te weier om 'n beslissing van hierdie hof te gee nie. Stevens, p. 43

Alhoewel dit tegnies waar is, struikel hy hier:

Natuurlik, as bewys kan word dat nuwe getuienis of argumente werklik nie aan 'n vroeëre hof beskikbaar was nie, moet die feit spesiale aandag geniet, aangesien ons oorweeg of ons 'n vorige saak wil oorheers. Maar die hof maak nie hierdie bewering nie, want dit kan nie. Ibid

Die vervolging in Miller het nooit genoem nie, alhoewel hulle sekerlik daarvan bewus was dat die betrokke wapen ('n haelgeweer met 'n kort loop) in die vroeë 20ste eeu in werklikheid gereeld deur die weermag gebruik is. Daar is gevind dat Winchester 1897 -haelgewere effektief was in die loopgrawe van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, en dit was nie ongewoon dat soldate die vate afgesaag het om hul doeltreffendheid naby te verhoog nie.

Die haelgeweer met 'n kort loop is 'n wapen van 'n militiese klas en daarom onder die voorwaardes wat deur Miller, belasting en regulering daarvan is ongrondwetlik. Aangesien die status van die wapen die steunpunt van Miller, moet die saak en die daaropvolgende uitspraak weggegooi word.

Dankie almal …Ek sal die hele week hier wees.

Nou, na Breyer. Hy is 'n aangestelde Clinton en 'n groot aanhanger van die “lewende Grondwet. ”

Die ongelukkige gevolge wat vandag se besluit waarskynlik sal veroorsaak, is baie belangriker. Nie die minste hiervan is, soos ek gesê het, die feit dat die besluit dreig om die grondwetlikheid van wapenwette in die Verenigde State in twyfel te trek. Ek kan geen goeie regsgrondslag vind om die howe op so 'n formidabele en potensieel gevaarlike missie te begin nie. Na my mening is daar eenvoudig geen onaantasbare grondwetlike reg wat deur die tweede wysiging gewaarborg word om gelaaide handwapens in die huis in misdaadgeteisterde gebiede te hou nie. Breyer, p. 44

Let op sy toon en artikulasie. Aangesien die meerderheid vasgestel het dat handwapens “Arms, ” beskerm word deur die 2de wysiging, het hy vertrek om vir die status quo te argumenteer. Natuurlik, Heller “ dreig om die grondwetlikheid van wapenwette in die Verenigde State in twyfel te trek. ” Dit is die punt dat hierdie wette onregverdig en ongrondwetlik is.

Hy is 'n regter van die Hooggeregshof van die Verenigde State. Dit is sy plig om ongrondwetlike wette te skrap, nie te beskerm nie.

Uiteindelik val sy enigste argument in die “ -denke van die kinders ” -kategorie:

Die rede waarom daar nie 'n duidelik beter, minder beperkende alternatief vir die wapenverbod van die distrik is nie, is dat die doel van die verbod is om die aantal pistole in die distrik aansienlik te verminder, byvoorbeeld deur 'n wetstoepassingsbeampte onmiddellik te laat aanneem dat enige die handwapen wat hy sien, is 'n onwettige vuurwapen. En daar is geen aanneemlike manier om die doel te bereik nie, behalwe om die gewere te verbied. Breyer, p. 34

Dit is nie die taak van die hof om die waarskynlikheid of nut van 'n wet te bepaal nie. Dit is hul taak om dit te weeg teen die gees van die Grondwet en die bedoeling van die outeurs daarvan. As die wet in stryd is, moet dit omvergewerp word, ongeag die uitwerking daarvan.

Alhoewel ek teleurgesteld is in die verpolitiseerde reaksies van die andersdenkende regters, vind ek steeds groot verligting in die finale beslissing.

Ten slotte wil ek daarop wys dat die taal van Scalia elke argument teen moderne wapens van enige aard afslag:


Regter Kavanaugh en die tweede wysiging

Geen genomineerde aan die Amerikaanse hooggeregshof het so 'n gedetailleerde rekord oor die tweede wysiging gehad soos Brett Kavanaugh nie. Sy uiteenlopende mening van 2011 in die saak, bekend as Heller II was in ooreenstemming met sy jarelange nakoming van teks, geskiedenis, tradisie en presedent van die Hooggeregshof.

Agtergrond: In 2008 het die Amerikaanse Hooggeregshof bevestig dat die Tweede Wysiging 'n individuele reg is en nie net tot militante beperk is nie. Die hof het die teks van die tweede wysiging en die geskiedenis van die regs van vroeg Engeland deur middel van heropbou deeglik ondersoek. Die hof het twee DC-verordeninge om die tweede wysiging te oortree: 'n verbod op vuurwapen en 'n verbod op die gebruik van vuurwapens in die huis vir selfverdediging. Die distrik het ook verbied om wapens sonder 'n permit te dra, selfs haelgeweer uit die slaapkamer na die kelder om skoon te maak. Drapermitte is nooit uitgereik nie. Die hof het DC beveel om Dick Heller 'n drapermit uit te reik.

Na die uitspraak van die Hooggeregshof het die DC -raad baie beperkende wapenbeheer ingestel. 'N Nuwe regsgeding het ontstaan, onder wie die eisers die heer Heller was. In die 2011 -saak, bekend as Heller II, het 'n 2-1 paneel van die DC Circuit 'n paar van die nuwe DC-verordeninge goedgekeur en ander aan die distrikshof oorgeplaas. Regter Kavanaugh het 'n uiteenlopende mening gelewer. Later, in 2015's Heller III, nog 'n 2-1 DC-kringpaneel (regter Kavanaugh nie ingesluit nie) handhaaf nog 'n paar DC-wette en hou ander ongrondwetlik. (Hier is my ontleding van Heller III.)

Die 2011 Heller II meerderheidsopinie het 'n breë invloed in die laer federale howe gehad. (Vir meer inligting: Kopel & Greenlee, Die Federale Kringe se Tweede Wysigingsleerstellings, St. Louis University Law Journal (2017)). Regter Kavanaugh het 'n ander benadering aangebied.

'Teks, geskiedenis en tradisie' metodologie vir gevalle van tweede wysiging

Regter Kavanaugh neem kennis van die omstredenheid oor wapenbeheer en het artikels aangehaal deur regters Richard Posner en J. Harvie Wilkinson, III, wat die kritiek op die Heller besluit. (Hier is 'n kritiek op die kritiek van regter Wilkinson.) "As 'n laer hof is dit egter nie ons rol om te heroorweeg nie Heller of om dit in 'n spesifieke rigting te buig. Ons enigste taak is om getrou aansoek te doen Heller en die benadering wat dit uiteengesit het vir die ontleding van geweerverbod en regulasies. "

Die nuwe DC-wet verbied baie semi-outomatiese gewere. Die verbod word erken as die wydste in die Verenigde State. Regter Kavanaugh het dit verduidelik Heller voorkom 'n verbod op semi-outomatiese handwapens, en dieselfde redenasie geld vir soortgelyke gewere:

In Heller, het die Hooggeregshof beslis dat handwapens-waarvan die oorgrote meerderheid tans semi-outomaties is-grondwetlik beskerm word omdat dit tradisioneel nie verbied is nie en algemeen gebruik word deur wetsgehoorsame burgers. Daar is geen betekenisvolle of oortuigende grondwetlike onderskeid tussen semi-outomatiese handwapens en semi-outomatiese gewere nie. Half-outomatiese gewere, soos semi-outomatiese handwapens, is tradisioneel nie verbied nie en word algemeen gebruik deur wetsgehoorsame burgers vir selfverdediging in die huis, jag en ander wettige gebruike. Boonop word semi-outomatiese handwapens gebruik in verband met geweldsmisdade, veel meer as wat semi-outomatiese gewere is. Dit volg uit Van Heller beskerming van semi-outomatiese vuurwapens dat semi-outomatiese gewere ook grondwetlik beskerm word en dat DC se verbod daarop ongrondwetlik is. (Daarteenoor is vol outomatiese wapens, ook bekend as masjiengewere, tradisioneel verbied en kan dit steeds verbied word nadat Heller.)

Die nuwe DC -wapenregistrasiewette was ook ongewoon:

DC se registrasievereiste, wat aansienlik strenger is as enige ander federale of staatswapenwet in die Verenigde State, is eweneens ongrondwetlik. Heller en later McDonald [v. Chicago, 2010] het gesê dat regulasies oor die verkoop, besit of gebruik van wapens toelaatbaar is as dit binne die klas van tradisionele, "jarelange" geweerregulasies in die Verenigde State is. In die Verenigde State was dit tradisioneel nie nodig om wapens wat wettig besit is te registreer nie-anders as die lisensie van wapeneienaars of verpligte rekordhouding van geweerverkopers-en is vandag nog steeds baie ongewoon.

Onder die geskiedenis-en tradisie-gebaseerde toets van Heller is die registrasievereiste van DC dus ongrondwetlik.

Regter Kavanaugh het dit verduidelik Heller het baie geweerbeheer goedgekeur:

Inderdaad, Heller het die status quo van wapenregulering in die Verenigde State grootliks behou. Heller vasgestel dat tradisionele en algemene wapenwette in die Verenigde State grondwetlik toelaatbaar bly. Die Hooggeregshof het eenvoudig teruggestoot teen 'n uitstaande plaaslike wet - DC se geweerverbod - wat veel verder gegaan het as die tradisionele wapenregulering. Soos Heller beklemtoon: '' Min wetgewing in die geskiedenis van ons volk het naby die ernstige beperking van die 'wet' gekom. 554 VS op 629.

…D.C. appeared to push the envelope again, with its new ban on semi-automatic rifles and its broad gun registration requirement. D.C.'s public safety motivation in enacting these laws is worthy of great respect. But the means D.C. has chosen are again constitutionally problematic. The D.C. gun provisions at issue here, like the ban at issue in Heller, are outliers that are not traditional or common in the United States. As with D.C.'s handgun ban, therefore, holding these D.C. laws unconstitutional would not lead to nationwide tumult. Rather, such a holding would maintain the balance historically and traditionally struck in the United States between public safety and the individual right to keep arms—a history and tradition that Heller affirmed and adopted as determining the scope of the Second Amendment right.

In Judge Kavanaugh's view, "gun bans and regulations" should "be analyzed based on the Second Amendment's text, history, and tradition (as well as by appropriate analogues thereto when dealing with modern weapons and new circumstances…" He did not think judges should "re-calibrate the scope of the Second Amendment right based on judicial assessment of whether the law advances a sufficiently compelling or important government interest to override the individual right." In his view, Heller had been clear that Second Amendment cases should be decided "based on text, history, and tradition, not by a balancing test such as strict or intermediate scrutiny."

Judge Kavanaugh's dissent detailed how the Heller opinion relied on "text, history, and tradition." So too was McDonald v. Chicago, he argued. (McDonald, decided in 2010, held that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments, thanks to the Fourteenth Amendment.) He noted that this approach was compatible with gun control:

Indeed, governments appear to have more flexibility and power to impose gun regulations under a test based on text, history, and tradition than they would under strict scrutiny. After all, history and tradition show that a variety of gun regulations have co-existed with the Second Amendment right and are consistent with that right, as the Court said in Heller. By contrast, if courts applied strict scrutiny, then presumably very few gun regulations would be upheld.

The text/history/tradition standard is "much less subjective because "it depends upon a body of evidence susceptible of reasoned analysis rather than a variety of vague ethico-political First Principles whose combined conclusion can be found to point in any direction the judges favor." (Quoting Justice Scalia's concurrence in McDonald). Although historical inquiry may involve difficult questions, "the range of potential answers will be far more focused under an approach based on text, history, and tradition than under an interest-balancing test such as intermediate scrutiny."

What about "when legislatures seek to address new weapons that have not traditionally existed or to impose new gun regulations because of conditions that have not traditionally existed"? Then, "in such cases, the proper interpretive approach is to reason by analogy from history and tradition."

Not everything that is traditional is necessarily constitutional, Judge Kavanaugh wrote in a footnote. "[P]post-ratification adoption or acceptance of laws that are inconsistent with the original meaning of the constitutional text obviously cannot overcome or alter that text." For example, "The practice of separate but equal was inconsistent with and repugnant to the text and original meaning of the Equal Protection Clause. See Brown v. Bd. of Education, 347 U.S. 483 873 (1954) Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303 (1880)."

Why the semi-automatic ban failed heightened scrutiny

If an interest balancing test were to be used, it should be strict scrutiny:

A ban on a class of arms is not an "incidental" regulation. It is equivalent to a ban on a category of speech. Such restrictions on core enumerated constitutional protections are nie subjected to mere intermediate scrutiny review. The majority opinion here is in uncharted territory in suggesting that intermediate scrutiny can apply to an outright ban on possession of a class of weapons that have not traditionally been banned.

The vast majority of handguns today are semi-automatic. In Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that D.C.'s law banning handguns, including semi-automatic handguns, was unconstitutional. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 628–29 (2008). This case concerns semi-automatic rifles. As with handguns, a significant percentage of rifles are semi-automatic….

[I]t would strain logic and common sense to conclude that the Second Amendment protects semi-automatic handguns but does not protect semi-automatic rifles….

[T]he Second Amendment as construed in Heller protects weapons that have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens. Semi-automatic rifles have not traditionally been banned and are in common use today, and are thus protected under Heller.

As Justice Kavanaugh explained, semi-automatic rifles date back to the Winchesters and Remingtons of 1903-06. Meanwhile, "The first semi-automatic shotgun, designed by John Browning and manufactured by Remington, hit the market in 1905 and was a runaway commercial success….Many of the early semi-automatic rifles were available with pistol grips. These semi-automatic rifles were designed and marketed primarily for use as hunting rifles, with a small ancillary market among law enforcement officers." (citing John Henwood, The Forgotten Winchesters.) "Semi-automatic rifles remain in common use today, as even the majority opinion here acknowledges."

Although a few states and municipalities ban some categories of semi-automatic rifles, most of the country does not, and even the bans that exist are significantly narrower than D.C.'s. What the Supreme Court said in Heller as to D.C.'s handgun ban thus applies just as well to D.C.'s new semi-automatic rifle ban: "Few laws in the history of our Nation have come close to the severe restriction of the District's" law. 554 U.S. at 629.

in its 1994 decision in Krammetjies, the Supreme Court already stated that semi-automatic weapons "traditionally have been widely accepted as lawful possessions." 511 U.S. at 612. Indeed, the precise weapon at issue in Krammetjies was the AR-15. The AR-15 is the quintessential semi-automatic rifle that D.C. seeks to ban here. Yet as the Supreme Court noted in Krammetjies, the AR-15 is in common use by law-abiding citizens and has traditionally been lawful to possess.

The D.C. law also banned magazines over 10 rounds. The majority upheld the ban, but Judge Kavanaugh would have remanded for fact-finding:

In order to apply Heller's test to this prohibition, we must know whether magazines with more than 10 rounds have traditionally been banned and are not in common use. The parties here did not brief that question in much detail. Evidence presented to the District Court on the history and prevalence of magazines of more than 10 rounds would be helpful to the proper disposition of that issue under the Heller toets. Therefore, I would remand to the District Court for analysis of that issue.

In balancing interests, the panel majority had weighed the interests wrongly:

The majority opinion next contends that semi-automatic handguns are good enough to meet people's needs for self-defense and that they shouldn't need semi-automatic rifles. But that's a bit like saying books can be banned because people can always read newspapers. That is not a persuasive or legitimate way to analyze a law that directly infringes an enumerated constitutional right. Inderdaad, Heller itself specifically rejected this mode of reasoning: "It is no answer to say, as petitioners do, that it is permissible to ban the possession of handguns so long as the possession of other firearms (i.e., long guns) is allowed." 554 U.S. at 629.

So "D.C.'s at-least-you-can-still-possess-other-kinds-of-guns argument is no more persuasive this time around."

The majority had also failed to consider the rights of hunters:

Furthermore, the majority opinion's assertion does not sufficiently account for the fact that rifles, but typically not handguns, are used for hunting. Vgl. Heller, 554 U.S. at 599 (most founding-era Americans "undoubtedly" thought right to own firearms "even more important for self-defense and hunting" than for militia service).

Judge Kavanaugh was skeptical of "the rhetorical term 'assault weapon'" and of labeling the banned guns "offensive." The guns are used in crime much less often than handguns are. Semiautomatic rifles fire at the same rate as semiautomatic handguns, which can't be banned. "[I]t is the person, not the gun, who determines whether use of the gun is offensive or defensive."

Under intermediate scrutiny, yet another problem with D.C.'s law is its tailoring. The law is not sufficiently tailored even with respect to the category of semi-automatic rifles. It bans certain semi-automatic rifles but not others—with no particular explanation or rationale for why some made the list and some did not. The list appears to be haphazard. It does not reflect the kind of tailoring that is necessary to justify infringement of a fundamental right, even under the more relaxed intermediate scrutiny test.

D.C. unusual gun registration ordinances fail the history and tradition test

The Supreme Court in Heller had affirmed the permissibility of certain "longstanding" gun controls.

The fundamental problem with D.C.'s gun registration law is that registration of lawfully possessed guns is not "longstanding." Registration of all guns lawfully possessed by citizens in the relevant jurisdiction has not been traditionally required in the United States and, indeed, remains highly unusual today.

In contrast, gunowner licensing could be appropriate:

Licensing requirements mandate that gun owners meet certain standards or pass certain tests before owning guns or using them in particular ways. Those laws can advance gun safety by ensuring that owners understand how to handle guns safely, particularly before guns are carried in public. For example, many jurisdictions that permit the carrying of concealed weapons have traditionally imposed licensing requirements on persons who wish to carry such weapons. Registration requirements, by contrast, require registration of individual guns and do not meaningfully serve the purpose of ensuring that owners know how to operate guns safely in the way certain licensing requirements can. For that reason, registration requirements are often seen as half-a-loaf measures aimed at deterring gun ownership….

Likewise, it's also important at the outset to distinguish registration requirements imposed on gun owners from record-keeping requirements imposed on gun sellers. Some record-keeping requirements on gun sellers are traditional and common. Thus, the government may constitutionally impose certain record-keeping requirements on the sellers of guns. Sien Heller, 554 U.S. at 627 (listing "conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms" as being within category of traditional gun regulations).

There certainly is no tradition in the United States of gun registration imposed on all guns.

Even compared to the few states that do have gun registration, "It is undisputed in this case that D.C.'s myriad registration-related requirements are unique—and uniquely burdensome—among laws in the United States." Thus, the D.C. registration system violated the test of history and tradition.

It was true that early American militia laws required militiamen to show that they possessed the mandatory arms. But "those early militia laws applied only to militiamen, not to all citizens…. Second, militia members were required to submit for inspection only one or a few firearms, not all of their firearms. That's because the purpose of those early militia requirements was not registration of firearms, but rather simply to ensure that the militia was well-equipped." So "Yet again, what the Supreme Court said in Heller with respect to D.C.'s handgun ban applies as well to D.C.'s registration requirement: 'Few laws in the history of our Nation have come close to the severe restriction of the District's' law."

An earlier Supreme Court case on gun control (U.S. v. Miller, 1939), had examined a prosecution for possession of an unregistered firearm. (The National Firearms Act of 1934 required registration for short-barreled shotguns and rifles, and for machine guns).

If registration were constitutionally permissible for all lawfully possessed guns, the Court could simply have affirmed the conviction on that ground. Instead, the Miller Court analyzed whether the kind of gun Miller possessed—a sawed-off shotgun—was within the class of weapons protected by the Second Amendment. The Court's approach suggested that the government could require registration only of guns that were outside the protection of the Second Amendment—namely, those classes of guns that the government had traditionally banned and that were not in common use, such as machine guns and sawed-off shotguns.

Why the registration laws fail heightened scrutiny

To begin with, it would be hard to persuasively say that the government has an interest sufficiently weighty to justify a regulation that infringes constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights if the Federal Government and the states have not traditionally imposed—and even now do not commonly impose—such a regulation.

D.C. hadn't offered a persuasive rationale for the registration law, but perhaps it could do so if it got another chance in district court:

Moreover, D.C.'s articulated basis for the registration requirement is that police officers, when approaching a house to execute a search or arrest warrant or take other investigative steps, will know whether the residents have guns. But that is at best a Swiss-cheese rationale because police officers obviously will assume the occupants might be armed regardless of what some central registration list might say. So this asserted rationale leaves far too many false negatives to satisfy strict or intermediate scrutiny with respect to burdens on a fundamental individual constitutional right. D.C.'s registration law thus does not appear to be sufficiently tailored to advance a compelling or important government interest for purposes of the heightened scrutiny tests. That said, D.C. alludes to the possibility that other rationales might be asserted to support a registration requirement. Therefore, if I were applying a form of heightened scrutiny to the registration requirement, I would remand for further analysis of the interests that might be asserted. (It is possible, moreover, that the registration law might pass intermediate but not strict scrutiny.)

Indeed, under the decision of the majority of the Heller II, the most novel parts of registration law were remanded to the district court for further factfinding and development. Ultimately, some of the laws were upheld and some were not, in Heller III, under intermediate scrutiny. (As noted, Judge Kavanaugh was not on the Heller III panel.)

In conclusion, Judge Kavanaugh explained that he might favor some of the above gun controls as a matter of policy, but he thought them contrary to Supreme Court precedent:

As one who was born here, grew up in this community in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, and has lived and worked in this area almost all of his life, I am acutely aware of the gun, drug, and gang violence that has plagued all of us. As a citizen, I certainly share the goal of Police Chief Cathy Lanier to reduce and hopefully eliminate the senseless violence that has persisted for too long and harmed so many. And I greatly respect the motivation behind the D.C. gun laws at issue in this case. So my view on how to analyze the constitutional question here under the relevant Supreme Court precedents is not to say that I think certain gun registration laws or laws regulating semi-automatic guns are necessarily a bad idea as a matter of policy. If our job were to decree what we think is the best policy, I would carefully consider the issues through that different lens and might well look favorably upon certain regulations of this kind. But our task is to apply the Constitution and the precedents of the Supreme Court, regardless of whether the result is one we agree with as a matter of first principles or policy. Sien Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 420–21 (1989) (Kennedy, J., concurring) [striking law against flag-burning] ("The hard fact is that sometimes we must make decisions we do not like. We make them because they are right, right in the sense that the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result."). A lower-court judge has a special obligation, moreover, to strictly and faithfully follow the lead of the "one supreme Court" established by our Constitution, regardless of whether the judge agrees or disagrees with the precedent.

Few government objectives are more important than fighting violent crime.

That said, the Supreme Court has long made clear that the Constitution disables the government from employing certain means to prevent, deter, or detect violent crime. Sien, e.g., Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961) [exclusionary rule against using illegally-seized evidence in court] Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) [arrestees must be informed of their right to counsel] City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000) [against random checkpoints for motorists] Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004) [enforcing right to confront witnesses in criminal trial] Kennedy v. Louisiana, 554 U.S. 407 (2008) [death penalty only for treason or for crimes resulting in a death, not for aggravated rape] District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). In the words of the Supreme Court, the courts must enforce those constitutional rights even when they have "controversial public safety implications." McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S.Ct. 3020, 3045 (2010) (controlling opinion of Alito, J.).

Judge Kavanaugh's text, history, and tradition methodology for Second Amendment cases will not please people who believe that all gun control is impermissible, nor will it please advocates who want to make the Second Amendment a second-class right.


Majority and dissenting opinions

In its ruling, the Supreme Court ignored the question of class legislation, holding instead that the Bakeshop Act (particularly its hours provision) was an unconstitutional infringement of freedom of contract (the freedom of employees to sell their labour to employers), which the court had recognized in Allgeyer v. Louisiana (1897) as part of the liberty protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (The due process clause prohibits the states from depriving “any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”) Writing for the majority (5–4), Justice Rufus Peckham argued that the curtailment of contractual freedom imposed by the act could be sustained only if it served to protect public health or the health of workers at risk, which it clearly did not do. “Clean and wholesome bread,” he asserted, “does not depend on whether the baker works but ten hours a day or only sixty hours per week.” Citing Holden v. Hardy (1898)—in which the court had upheld an hours law that applied to workers in dangerous occupations, including mining—Peckham then asked whether any proof existed to show that baking was a dangerous or unhealthful trade, and he concluded that none did (here he clearly relied on the appendix submitted by Lochner’s lawyers, though he did not cite it directly). Since the hours law failed to qualify as a health measure, it could not be maintained as a valid exercise of the police power, according to Peckham.

Justice John Marshall Harlan delivered the main dissent, which was joined by Justices Edward White and William Day. The police power, Harlan wrote, extends at least “to the protection of the lives, the health, and the safety of the public against the injurious exercise by any citizen of his own rights,” and the Fourteenth Amendment had never been intended to interfere with this power. Liberty of contract certainly did exist, but it had to be subordinate to the police power.

Although Harlan’s dissent was well crafted, for the most part it has been overshadowed by the brief but memorable dissent by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The majority opinion, he charged, was based on “an economic theory which a large part of the country does not entertain.” The state’s right to interfere with liberty of contract was well established in history, he argued, pointing to such examples as laws against usury or Sunday work. Furthermore, a constitution is not supposed to embody a particular economic theory, be it paternalism or laissez-faire. “The Fourteenth Amendment does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer’s Social Statics” (1851), a famous argument for laissez-faire, Holmes wrote. The whole idea of liberty, he continued, is perverted whenever it is “held to prevent the natural outcome of a dominant opinion,” except when everyone could agree that a particular statute infringed upon fundamental principles, which was not the case here. He concluded that a reasonable person would find the hours provisions to be legitimately related to health and that therefore the law should be upheld.

While bakery owners and other businessmen applauded the court’s decision, organized labour denounced it as reactionary, confirming their view of the judiciary as a handmaiden of capitalist entrepreneurs and an enemy of working people. Lochner was destined to become a symbol of judicial interference with the democratic process, and Holmes’s dissent became a rallying cry for the Progressive movement in the United States.


What Is the Miranda V. Arizona Dissenting Opinion?

The dissenting opinions in Miranda v. Arizona stated that the rights granted to suspects in the majority decision had no support in the U.S. Constitution or English common law. The dissenting justices felt the court was overreacting and were concerned that its decision would compromise the efficiency of interrogation in law enforcement.

Miranda v. Arizona was one of four similar cases the U.S. Supreme Court addressed together in 1966 on the Fifth Amendment right of protection from self-incrimination. In each situation, defendants were interrogated by police or prosecuting attorneys in closed rooms without being advised of their rights. Although these procedures compelled the defendants to admit guilt, the question was whether the statements were admissible in court, as they had been made under duress without counsel.

In a controversial 5 to 4 ruling, the Supreme Court decided that under the Fifth Amendment, unless a prisoner was informed of his rights before questioning, the evidence obtained could not be used. The dissenting opinions, written by Justice Byron White and Justice John Marshall Harlan II, argued that there was no such provision against self-incrimination in the Fifth Amendment, the court was acting in a heavy-handed manner, and criminals would be returned to the streets due to the inability of law enforcement officials to act assertively.

The Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona prompted the police to formally institute the Miranda warning as part of the arrest procedure to ensure suspects understand their Constitutional rights when they are taken into custody.


RISE OF THE SUPER PACS

In a related 2010 case, SpeechNow.org vs. FEC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit cited the Citizens United decision when it struck down limits on the amount of money that individuals could give to organizations that expressly supported political candidates.

Contributions to political action committees (PACs) had previously been limited to $5,000 per person per year, but now that spending was essentially unlimited, so-called “super PACs” emerged that would exert a growing influence on local, state and federal political elections.

In the years since the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Citizens United vs. FEC, hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into these super PACs, allowing a relatively small group of wealthy individuals and corporations to exert an outsize influence on local, state and federal elections.

According to a report in 2014 by the Brennan Center for Justice, of the $1 billion spent in federal elections by super PACs since 2010, nearly 60 percent came from just 195 individuals and their spouses.


Dissenting Opinion - History

Primary Source Document

Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)

In Plessy v. Ferguson the Supreme Court held that the state of Louisiana did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment by establishing and enforcing a policy of racial segregation in its railway system. Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote a memorable dissent to that decision, parts of which are quoted today by both sides of the affirmative action controversy. One statement often quoted by opponents of race-conscious affirmative action programs is Harlan's assertion that the Constitution is "color-blind," which can be found in the excerpts below.

Judge Harlan's dissent

In respect of civil rights, common to all citizens, the Constitution of the United States does not, I think permit any public authority to know the race of those entitled to be protected in the enjoyment of such rights. Every true man has pride of race, and under appropriate circumstances which the rights of others, his equals before the law, are not to be affected, it is his privilege to express such pride and to take such action based upon it as to him seems proper. But I deny that any legislative body or judicial tribunal may have regard to the race of citizens which the civil rights of those citizens are involved. Indeed, such legislation as that here in question is inconsistent not only with that equality of rights which pertains to citizenship, national and state but with the personal liberty enjoyed by everyone within the United States.

It was said in argument that the statute of Louisiana does not discriminate against either race but prescribes a rule applicable alike to white and colored citizens. But this argument does not meet the difficulty. Everyone knows that the statues in question had its origin in the purpose, not so much to exclude white persons from railroad cars occupied by blacks, as to exclude colored people from coaches occupied by or assigned to white persons. Railroad corporations of Louisiana did not make discrimination among whites in the matter of accommodation for travellers. The thing to accomplish was, under the guise of giving equal accommodations for whites and blacks, to compel the latter to keep to themselves while travelling in railroad passenger coaches. No one would be so wanting in candor as to assert the contrary. The fundamental objection, therefore, to the statues is that it interferes with the personal freedom of citizens. If a white man and a black man choose to occupy the same public conveyance on a public highway, it is their right to do so, and no government, proceeding alone on grounds of race, can prevent it without infringing the personal liberty of each.

The white race deems itself to be the dominant race in this country. And so it is, in prestige, in achievements, in education, in wealth, and in power. So, I doubt not, it will continue to be for all time, if it remains true to its great heritage and holds fast to the principles of constitutional liberty. But in the view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. Hier is geen kaste nie. Our Constitution in color-blind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. Ten opsigte van burgerregte is alle burgers gelyk voor die wet. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved.

The arbitrary separation of citizens, on the basis of race, while they are on a public highway, is a badge of servitude wholly inconsistent with the civil freedom and the equality before the law established by the Constitution. It cannot be justified upon any legal grounds

If evils will result from the commingling of the two races upon public highways established for the benefit of all, they will infinitely less than those that will surely come from state legislation regulating the enjoyment of civil rights upon the basis of race. We boast of the freedom enjoyed by our people above all other peoples. But it is difficult to reconcile that boast with the state of the law which, practically, puts the brand of servitude and degradation upon a large class of our fellow citizens, our equals before the law. The thin disguise of "equal" accommodations for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead anyone, nor atone for the wrong this day done.

I do not deems it necessary to review the decisions of state courts to which reference was made in argument. Some, and the most important to them are wholly inapplicable, because rendered prior to the adoption of the last amendments of the Constitution, when colored people had very few rights which the dominant race felt obliged to respect. Others were made at a time when public opinion, in many localities was dominated by the institution of slavery, when it would not have been safe to do justice to the black man and when, so far as the rights of blacks were concerned, race guides in the era introduced by the recent amendments of the supreme law, which established universal freedom, gave citizenship to all born or naturalized in the Untied States and residing here, obliterated the race line from our systems of governments, national and state, and placed our free institutions upon the broad and sure foundation of the equality of all men before the law.

For the reasons state, I am constrained to withhold my assent from the opinion and judgment of the majority.


Dissenting Opinion in Gitlow v. New York

MNR. JUSTICE BRANDEIS and I are of opinion that this judgment should be reversed. The general principle of free speech, it seems to me, must be taken to be included in the Fourteenth Amendment, in view of the scope that has been given to the word “liberty” as there used, although perhaps it may be accepted with a somewhat larger latitude of interpretation than is allowed to Congress by the sweeping language that governs or ought to govern the laws of the United States. If I am right, then I think that the criterion sanctioned by the full Court in Schenck teen die Verenigde State, 249 U.S. 47, 52, applies.

The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive [p673] evils that [the State] has a right to prevent.

It is true that, in my opinion, this criterion was departed from in Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, but the convictions that I expressed in that case are too deep for it to be possible for me as yet to believe that it and Schaefer v. United States, 251 U.S. 466, have settled the law. If what I think the correct test is applied, it is manifest that there was no present danger of an attempt to overthrow the government by force on the part of the admittedly small minority who shared the defendant’s views. It is said that this manifesto was more than a theory, that it was an incitement. Every idea is an incitement. It offers itself for belief, and, if believed, it is acted on unless some other belief outweighs it or some failure of energy stifles the movement at its birth. The only difference between the expression of an opinion and an incitement in the narrower sense is the speaker’s enthusiasm for the result. Eloquence may set fire to reason. But whatever may be thought of the redundant discourse before us, it had no chance of starting a present conflagration. If, in the long run, the beliefs expressed in proletarian dictatorship are destined to be accepted by the dominant forces of the community, the only meaning of free speech is that they should be given their chance and have their way.

If the publication of this document had been laid as an attempt to induce an uprising against government at once, and not at some indefinite time in the future, it would have presented a different question. The object would have been one with which the law might deal, subject to the doubt whether there was any danger that the publication could produce any result, or in other words, whether it was not futile and too remote from possible consequences. But the indictment alleges the publication, and nothing more.