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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

L.A. Times Endorses Applying 2nd Amendment to States

Miracles never cease. The L.A. Times editorial page has come out in favor of applying the Second Amendment to the states through 14 Amendment incorporation.

If you support measures to reduce gun violence, as this page does, it's tempting to hope that the court will rule that states aren't bound by the 2nd Amendment. The problem is that allowing states (and cities) to ignore this part of the Bill of Rights could undermine the requirement that they abide by others.

Landmark civil liberties decisions spanning eight decades were possible only because the justices concluded that key protections of the Bill of Rights applied to the states, because those rights were "incorporated" by the 14th Amendment. Added to the Constitution after the Civil War, that amendment includes these words: "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Give it to the Times, they recognize if one of the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights is ignored, it is a license to ignore all of them. Not to completely throw out their anti-rights creds, they did get in the caveat that the Court should reaffirm that government may still impose "reasonable restrictions" on the right to bear arms.

Hat tip to Dave Hardy at Of Arms and the Law.

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