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This is a fraught topic, touching on both gun "rights" and "originalism" in judicial philosophy, but here goes: Barrett and Gorsuch Have to Choose Between Originalism and Expanding Gun Rights (Slate). The premise of the piece is that the Heller decision, which animated "gun rights" (creating a "right" that didn't previously exist), has been undercut by a decade of research that demonstrates its historical basis was just plain wrong.
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Justices Gorsuch and Barrett have staked their reputations on their commitment to apply originalist methods in a neutral manner and let the evidence dictate the outcome. Will they follow through on that promise in Corlett? Research and scholarship published in the decade after Heller will force them to put their earlier promises to the test. It now seems clear that if they apply originalism in a neutral fashion they will have to choose between Heller’s methodology and Heller’s conclusions.

To expand slightly, the article is inspired by the Supreme Court's acceptance of a case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett, challenging New York's restrictive "concealed carry" law, which requires a justification for the permit to be granted. The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Are Ready to Create a Constitutional Right to Concealed Carry (Slate). I'll have more to say, but I want to get this out there.


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Not to put too fine a point on it but originalism is bullsh*t.

The second amendment doesn't say what they say it says and everybody knows it.

Gun ownership under the 2A was an obligation not a right. When the obligation ended it didn't automatically become a right.

Barret and Gorsuch will side with the Republican base because they are part of the Republican base. It won't be a difficult choice for them.


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I happen to agree with all of those sentiments. While I fervently believe that people have a right to own guns, for whatever reason they like, I am also quite familiar with the history and purpose of the Second Amendment and know that Scalia's opinion in Heller was utter crap. It was, however, indicative of the vacuity of "originalism" as he espoused. What current research has established is just how far from historically accurate his opinion was.

I don't believe Gorsuch or Barrett are particularly principled, either. But the case itself presents an opportunity for them to show their true colors. Are they really "originalist", or, like Scalia, opportunists in originalist clothing?


A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich
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Originally Posted by NW Ponderer
Are they really "originalist", or, like Scalia, opportunists in originalist clothing?
I think they are frauds in cheat's clothing. Coincidentally, that also happens to be the current operative definition of "Conservative".


You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.
R. Buckminster Fuller
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The Founding Fathers all thought 10 was a suitable Age of Consent, back when they wrote the Constitution. Are the Originalists going to act on that? I don't think so. It was also perfectly legal to smoke weed, take any drug you wanted, and kill your servants on a whim.


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The majority of the framers thought owning humans was A-OK, or at least didn't think the United States could exist without allowing it.


A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich
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So I guess we're pretty clear that originalists aren't and never were originalists. They are simply using the framers as human shields.


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