Supreme Court Ruling in Gun-Control Case

facebook twitter google print email

Kermit Roosevelt
Professor of Law
University of Pennsylvania

• Researches and teaches constitutional law and conflict of laws.
• Author of “The Myth of Judicial Activism”

“The Supreme Court was correct to identify the right to bear arms
as an individual right, and all the justices agreed on that point. The
harder question is how to make sense of the right when the purpose it
was intended to serve -- that of protecting state militias from federal
interference -- belongs to a bygone era. Here the Court may have acted
too aggressively, substituting its judgment for that of the D.C. city
council. Since it is unlikely that justices are better than elected
representatives at deciding what restrictions on gun possession promote
public safety and since there is no risk that the D.C. regulation will
interfere with any militia, more deference might have been a better