Judicial Interpretation of the Second Amendment
A historical survey of the opinions by the United States Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Courts, and State Supreme Courts shows that judicial interpretation of the Second Amendment has supported all three dominant interpretations of this contentious right. Support for individual, collective, and civic interpretations of the Second Amendment are all present in the case history. The Second Amendment's limitations on the federal government, the importance of the militia clause, and the right to self-defense received the most varied interpretation while the courts consistently favored "reasonable regulation" and often focused on specific types of arms deemed dangerous at the time. This historical review of noteworthy cases illustrates that the Second Amendment was not always interpreted directly or clearly and justices and judges frequently responded to the influences of contemporaneous events and opinion in support of "reasonable regulation." Read Full Article
Missed the first in this series? Also see Interpreting the Second Amendment, An Introduction.
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