Blogs > Liberty and Power > Individual Rights get a boost

Jun 28, 2010 5:59 pm

Individual Rights get a boost

The Supremes have made a pro-individual-rights ruling in the Chicago gun ban case. I know some libertarians disapprove of the idea that the 14th Amendment makes the provisions of the Bill of Rights applicable to state governments, but I am not one of them. Here is a clear case of a constitutional protection of a negative liberty: the (pre-political or"natural") right to acquire the means to protect and defend one's life, liberty, and property. The idea that a state legislature can infringe this liberty is not only wrong-headed, but, IMO, contrary to the doctrine of limited government and enumerated powers. So this decision comes as welcome news. Excerpt from the NYT:"Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the majority, said that the right to self-defense protected by the Second Amendment is fundamental to the American conception of ordered liberty. Like other provisions of the Bill of Rights that set out such fundamental protections, he said, the Second Amendment must be applied to limit not only federal power but also that of state and local governments." Word.
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