Just minutes ago the Supreme Court of the United States delivered their opinion on McDonald v. City of Chicago. The Court has decided that the 2nd Amendment does apply to the states in a 5-4 decision.
Here are the results according to the SCOTUS blog:
- Alito announces McDonald v. Chicago: reversed and remanded
- Gun rights prevail
- The opinion concludes that the 14th Amendment does incorporate the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller to keep and bear arms in self defense
- Stevens dissents for himself. Breyer dissents, joined by Ginsburg and Sotomayor.
- The majority seems divided, presumably on the precise standard
- The majority Justices do not support all parts of the Alito opinion, but all five agree that the 2d Amendment applies to state and local government.
- Alito, in the part of the opinion joined by three Justices, concludes that the 2d Amendment is incorporated through the Due Process Clause.
- Thomas thinks the Amendment is incorporated, but not under Due Process. He appears to base incorporation on Privileges or Immunities.
- The difference between the majority and Justice Thomas doesn’t affect the fact that the Second Amendment now applies to state and local regulation.
- Full Opinion is here.
- It should be noted that, in the guns case, the Court says explicitly in Alito’s opinion that it would not reconsider the Slaughterhouse cases, which almost completely deprive the Privileges or Immunities Clause of any constitutional meaning.
- The opinion leaves the fate of the Chicago gun ordinance in the hands of the 7th Circuit on remand.
The ramifications of the opinion will play out in the gun rights vs. gun control debate going forward. This case (McDonald v. Chicago) was filed the day after the Heller decision was announced back in 2008. It will be interesting to see what new cases get filed given the results of this case. The gun rights lawyers are taking a step by step approach in their fight for the right to keep and bear arms.
This is pretty much what was expected. It appears Justice Thomas is the only one with the guts to use the Privileges or Immunities Clause which would have had far-reaching implications for law outside of the gun rights world. More later as the analysis begins.