Supreme Court says 2nd Amendment applies to the States in a 5-4 decision

June 28th, 2010 10:18 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Constitution, Court Cases, Gun Control  |  6 Responses

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.


  1. norris hall says:

    June 28th, 2010 at 4:24 pm (#)

    This is a BIG A victory for home grown terrorists all over the nation.
    The supreme court has made it even easier to home grown terrorists.
    Now they can walk into a local gun shop in any city in the nation, purchase all the guns and ammunition they want, practice to their hearts content and be ready for the big day.
    The last two bombing attempts , one aboard an airliner and one in Times Square has taught them a lesson. Bombs are unpredictable. They can often fail.
    Automatic weapons, on the other hand, are designed to work every time…even for someone with very little training in their use.
    And with the NRA protecting the rights of "suspected terrorists" to buy and use automatic weapons, their job is being made all the more easier.

  2. John says:

    June 28th, 2010 at 4:44 pm (#)

    The only residents in all 50 states that could not purchase and or own guns and ammo were D.C. till Heller, and the residents of the city of Chicago. There will be no difference in the laws in CO, FL, GA, VT, MI, etc…. There are still FEDERAL background checks in place before you can own a gun and in some states waiting periods. And I am sorry to tell you that criminals seldom purchase guns legally. At age 17 I could have bought a pistol or rifle from kids I knew in school and their "friends". Chicago is also one of the only cities with an increasing crime/murder rate, while other cities with legal gun ownership have had a decrease. Since Obama gun sales were already up by hundreds of thousands of sales, so thinking that this desision will make a big change in the US is crazy.

  3. Cyrus says:

    June 28th, 2010 at 5:00 pm (#)

    What a crock of nonsense norris. You don't even know what you're talking about, because it does not deregulate automatic weapons. Catch a clue!

  4. marcg says:

    June 28th, 2010 at 6:21 pm (#)


    I was tempted to remove your comment, but I do believe in the 1st Amendment as much as the 2nd Amendment, especially when exercising the rights of the 1st help illustrate to everyone else how moronic you are on the 2nd.


  5. Forensic Accountant says:

    June 29th, 2010 at 1:00 pm (#)

    There is no need to explain the meaning. The Bill of Rights was clearly and precisely written

  6. rosco45 says:

    December 29th, 2012 at 1:42 pm (#)

    Well, so then, when the court becomes 5/4 or better yet., 6/3 to the left of center perhaps some sanity will again visit the SCOUS