Supreme Court Cases/D.C. vs. Heller?


Can you explain to me what D.C. vs. Heller was and what precedent it set in relation to gun control? Mostly, I've heard it used to null the counter argument of the second amendment.

It lifted the DC gun ban.
Basically it resolved that the 2nd amend, is indivudual right not a collective right.
Full opinion is here well worth the read.

It was followed up by McDonald V Chicago which said the 2nd Amend is fundamental right and applies to cities and states.

n American Constitutional Law, fundamental rights have special significance under the US Constitution.

Those rights enumerated in the US Constitution are recognized as "fundamental" by the US Supreme Court. The Court further describes fundamental rights to be those rights that pre-exist the Foundation of the United States. Such fundamental rights exist philosophically and legally at the individual level and are not dependent upon the existence of government. They are - in essence - an element of humanity, rather than a construct of government. These fundamental rights are frequently also termed "God-given rights", "human rights" or "natural rights". All such terms refer to the fundamental nature of certain rights under the US Constitution.

According to the Supreme Court, enumerated rights that are incorporated are so fundamental that any law restricting such a right must both serve a compelling state purpose and be narrowly tailored to that compelling purpose.

The original interpretation of the United States Bill of Rights was that is was binding exclusively to the Federal Government. In 1835, the US Supreme Court in Barron v Baltimore unanimously ruled that the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states. During post Civil War Reconstruction, the 14th Amendment was adopted in 1868 to rectify this condition, and to specifically apply the whole of the Constitution against all US States. In 1873, a Supreme Court essentially nullified the key language of the 14th Amendment that guaranteed all "privileges and immunities" to all US persons, in a series of cases called the Slaughterhouse cases. In so doing, they set up a system that allowed post-emancipation racial discrimination to continue largely unabated.

Later Supreme Court justices found a way around these limitations without overturning the Slaughterhouse precedent: they created a concept called Selective Incorporation. Under this legal theory, the court used the remaining 14th Amendment protections for equal protection and due process to "incorporate" individual elements of the Bill of Rights against the states. "The test usually articulated for determining fundamentality under the Due Process Clause is that the putative right must be 'implicit in the concept of ordered liberty', or 'deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition.'" Compare page 267 Lutz v. City of York, Pa., 899 F. 2d 255 - United States Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit, 1990.

This set up a continuous process under which each individual right under the Bill of Rights had to be incorporated, one by one. That process has extended more than half a century, with the free speech clause of the First Amendment first being incorporated in 1925 in Gitlow v New York. The most recent amendment to be completely incorporated as fundamental was the Second Amendment right to possess and bear arms for personal self defense, in McDonald v Chicago, handed down in 2010.

Not all clauses of all amendments have been incorporated. For example, states are not required to obey the Fifth Amendment requirement of indictment by grand jury. Many states choose to have preliminary hearings instead of grand juries. It is possible that future cases may incorporate additional clauses of the Bill of Rights against the states.

The Bill of Rights lists specifically enumerated rights. The Supreme Court has extended fundamental rights by recognizing several fundamental rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution, including but not limited to:

   The right to interstate travel
   The right to intrastate travel
   The right to privacy[10] (which includes within it a set of rights) including:

   a. The right to marriage[11][12]
   b. The right to procreation [13]
   c. The right for a woman to choose to have an abortion before fetal viability [14][15]
   d. The right to contraception (the right to use contraceptive devices) [16]
   e. The right of family relations (the right of related persons to live together)

Any restrictions on these rights are evaluated with strict scrutiny. If a right is denied to everyone, it is an issue of substantive due process. If a right is denied to some individuals but not others, it is also an issue of equal protection. However, any action abridging a right deemed to be fundamental, when also violating equal protection, will still be held to the overriding standard of strict scrutiny, instead of just simply a rational basis test.

During the Lochner era, the right to freedom of contract was considered to be fundamental, and thus restrictions on that right were subject to strict scrutiny. Following the 1937 Supreme Court decision in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, though, the right to contract became considerably less important in the context of substantive due process and restrictions on it were evaluated under the rational basis standard.

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Paul Edward Zukowski


Judicial & Constitutional issues.


Just 17 years of personal study. I am not a lawyer I just play one on the internet. Politics will lead you to the Constitution.
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A general biography my fit more here so I offer the following. (it appears on on all my profiles) After all who we are affects our opinions or even inadvertently effect of statements of fact. I hold a AS from Eastern Conn. State Univ. and a BA from Trinity College, Hartford Ct. Plus 11 other professional certifications. I have received 31 awards for various activities. My writings published in ?The Other Voice? and other publications. I have had my original music published, licensed and recorded by David Kaye. I have been a guest on CyberRadio & TV and many other talk radio programs. I welcome interviews and I am willing to act as a technical advisor to various media. I am single and have resided in Hartford, Ct. since 1976. I have no children. I am a political conservative with libertarian leanings. I am a registered Republican. I am a Roman Catholic. I have worked in the following areas, entertainment, real estate, mortgage banking, and human services. I have owned 2 businesses. Some of my interests include politics, law, history, and current events.Hobbies I partake in include music, target shooting and cars (my Camaro rumbles) If you wish to find out more about me, feel free to visit my web page PEZmans World
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AS from Eastern Conn. State Univ.
BA from Trinity College
11 other professional certifications

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I have received 31 awards and honors for various activities.

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