Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Federal Judiciary Stuck in a Pre-Heller State of Mind

Professor Reynolds has a noteworthy post on a seemingly erroneous opinion by a federal judge in the Virgin Islands that basically ignores the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Heller (the case that struck down the D.C. gun ban and embraced the "individual right" theory of Second Amendment interpretation).

Two thoughts:

1) I am a big fan of sites like Instapundit and Volokh delving into the opinions of the federal judiciary. Lord knows that the traditional media doesn't do an adequate job of shining a light on judicial practices (particularly in the federal district and state appellate realms), and more people probably read Instapundit and Volokh than watch MSNBC.

2) Reynolds hits on a key point that everyone should remember from Heller:

"...that the "collective right" approach, which the pre-Heller lower court caselaw followed, was rejected by all nine Supreme Court Justices."

No one defended the "collective right" approach - not in the Opinion, not in the Dissents. The "collective rights" approach is dead. Somebody just needs to tell the federal district court judges (and probably the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit) that the funeral, wake, and obituaries have been cast.

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