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For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in United States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.”
As a result of the rulings in Heller and McDonald, the Second Amendment, which was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were “well regulated,” has given federal judges the ultimate power to determine the validity of state regulations of both civilian and militia-related uses of arms. That anomalous result can be avoided by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make it unambiguously conform to the original intent of its draftsmen. As so amended, it would read:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”
Read the full essay @ The Washington Post.
Supreme Court opinions have come down with a bad case of link rot. According to a new study, 49 percent of the hyperlinks in Supreme Court decisions no longer work.
“Aren’t you glad you didn’t cite to this Web page?” it asks. “If you had, like Justice Alito did, the original content would have long since disappeared and someone else might have come along and purchased the domain in order to make a comment about the transience of linked information in the Internet age.”
The prankster has a point. The modern Supreme Court opinion is increasingly built on sand.
Read the full article @ N
Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor says she has second thoughts on whether the Supreme Court should have accepted Bush v. Gore — the deeply controversial case that effectively decided the 2000 presidential election.
“It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” O’Connor told the Chicago Tribune editorial board last Friday. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.'”
Read the full article @ TalkingPointsMemo.com.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Monday said states are free to allow public records access only to their own citizens, delivering a blow to freedom of information advocates who had challenged a Virginia law.
In a unanimous ruling, the court said two out-of-state men did not have a right to view the documents. Various other states, including Tennessee, Arkansas and Delaware, have similar laws, although some do not enforce them.
Read the full article @ Yahoo! News.
For close on six years the dizzying file-sharing case of the RIAA vs Jammie Thomas-Rasset has been winding its way back and forth through the U.S. legal system. The U.S. government itself got involved last month, submitting a brief to the Supreme Court asking it to uphold the $220,000 verdict. Today the Court granted that wish with an announcement that it will not hear Thomas-Rasset’s appeal.
Read the full article on TorrentFreak.
Justice Clarence Thomas hasn’t asked a question during the Supreme Court’s oral arguments for five years. He has said the sessions are unnecessary and maybe even a sideshow, but other justices do not agree.
Source: Los Angels Times