Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Amar on Heller

I have only skimmed the first few pages, but Akhil Amar has an amusing article out on the Supremes' recent decision in Heller, holding that the Second Amendment conveys an individual right to bear arms. Here's a taste:
Justice Scalia's landmark ruling merits our attention for its method as well as its result. Behold: a constitutional opinion that actually dwells on the Constitution itself!

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At times [in most opinions] the Constitution's language can come to resemble a pea covered by a stack of judicial mattresses -- a grain of sand no longer visible, though presumably resting deep inside the pearl of judicial elaboration. The majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, for example, never even quoted the constitutional clause that the Court used to reach its sweeping results. In countless cases involving applications of the Bill of Rights against the states, the operative Fourteenth Amendment text has received little or no mention.

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