Will the Day Come When the Second Amendment Is Repealed?

John Paul Stevens, a retired associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, argued, in a New York Times op-ed today, that Saturday’s demonstrators should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment. Whether he’s right from a strategic political perspective, I’m not so sure (actually, I suspect he’s not). But I am confident he’s right from a legal and constitutional perspective.

For reasons outlined in the former justice’s op-ed, the Second Amendment was never intended to afford the rights ascribed to it by the modern conservative court in the Heller case. It was a political not a constitutional decision — albeit hardly the first or the last. So if the framers’ intent was the issue, then a repeal of the amendment would bring us closer to the 1791 adoption of the Bill of Rights than the Heller decision.¬†But, of course, it’s well established by now that conservatives care about original intent only when it serves their cause; they are quick to discard it at all other times.

I suspect the day will come when the Second Amendment is repealed. But it might be a long time in coming. I’m not sure I’ll see it happen.

In the meantime, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Supreme Court permit greater regulation of weapons, for even rabid conservative jurists are uncomfortable with blood on their hands.

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