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Articles 1 - 12 of 12

Full-Text Articles in United States History

The Right To Arms In The Living Constitution, David B. Kopel Jan 2010

The Right To Arms In The Living Constitution, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

This Article presents a brief history of the Second Amendment as part of the living Constitution. From the Early Republic through the present, the American public has always understood the Second Amendment as guaranteeing a right to own firearms for self-defense. That view has been in accordance with élite legal opinion, except for a period in part of the twentieth century.

"Living constitutionalism" should be distinguished from "dead constitutionalism." Under the former, courts looks to objective referents of shared public understanding of constitutional values. Examples of objective referents include state constitutions, as well as federal or state laws to protect ...


State Court Standards Of Review For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, David B. Kopel, Clayton Cramer Jan 2010

State Court Standards Of Review For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, David B. Kopel, Clayton Cramer

David B Kopel

Cases on the right to arms in state constitutions can provide useful guidance for courts addressing Second Amendment issues. Although some people have claimed that state courts always use a highly deferential version of "reasonableness," this article shows that many courts have employed rigorous standards, including the tools of strict scrutiny, such as overbreadth, narrow tailoring, and less restrictive means. Courts have also used categoricalism (deciding whether something is inside or outside the right) and narrow construction (to prevent criminal laws from conflicting with the right to arms). Even when formally applying "reasonableness," many courts have used reasonableness as a ...


The Natural Right Of Self-Defense: Heller's Lesson For The World, David B. Kopel Jan 2008

The Natural Right Of Self-Defense: Heller's Lesson For The World, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller constitutionalized the right of self-defense, and described self-defense as a natural, inherent right. Analysis of natural law in Heller shows why Justice Stevens' dissent is clearly incorrect, and illuminates a crucial weakness in Justice Breyer's dissent. The constitutional recognition of the natural law right of self-defense has important implications for American law, and for foreign and international law.


The Gold Standard Of Gun Control - Book Review Of Joyce Malcolm, Guns And Violence: The English Experience, David B. Kopel, Joanne D. Eisen, Paul Gallant Jan 2006

The Gold Standard Of Gun Control - Book Review Of Joyce Malcolm, Guns And Violence: The English Experience, David B. Kopel, Joanne D. Eisen, Paul Gallant

David B Kopel

Guns and Violence tells a remarkable story of a society's self-destruction, of how a government in a few decades managed to reverse six hundred years of social progress in violence reduction. The book is also a testament to the amazing self-confidence of British governments; Labour and Conservative alike have proceeded with an extreme anti-self-defense agenda, although the agenda has never had much supporting evidence beyond the government's own platitudes.


The Scottish And English Religious Roots Of The American Right To Arms: Buchanan, Rutherford, Locke, Sidney, And The Duty To Overthrow Tyranny, David B. Kopel Jan 2005

The Scottish And English Religious Roots Of The American Right To Arms: Buchanan, Rutherford, Locke, Sidney, And The Duty To Overthrow Tyranny, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

Many twenty-first century Americans believe that they have a God-given right to possess arms as a last resort against tyranny. One of the most important sources of that belief is the struggle for freedom of conscience in the United Kingdom during the reigns of Elizabeth I and the Stuarts. A moral right and duty to use force against tyranny was explicated by the Scottish Presbyterians George Buchanan and Samuel Rutherford. The free-thinking English Christians John Locke and Algernon Sidney broadened and deepened the ideas of Buchanan and Rutherford. The result was a sophisticated defense of religious freedom, which was to ...


The Religious Roots Of The American Revolution And The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, David B. Kopel Jan 2005

The Religious Roots Of The American Revolution And The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

This article examines the religious background of the American Revolution. The article details how the particular religious beliefs of the American colonists developed so that the American people eventually came to believe that overthrowing King George and Parliament was a sacred obligation. The religious attitudes which impelled the Americans to armed revolution are an essential component of the American ideology of the right to keep and bear arms.


The Evolving Police Power: Some Observations For A New Century, David B. Kopel, Glenn Harlan Reynolds Jan 2000

The Evolving Police Power: Some Observations For A New Century, David B. Kopel, Glenn Harlan Reynolds

David B Kopel

A review of state and federal courts decisions on the scope of state police powers suggests that the shift from the more restrictive sic utere principle to the more open salus populi principle may be reversing, with courts -- at least in cases involving sex and marriage -- taking a much more skeptical view of government objectives and justifications.


Clueless: The Misuse Of Batf Firearms Tracing Data, David B. Kopel Dec 1998

Clueless: The Misuse Of Batf Firearms Tracing Data, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

Sometimes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms traces the registered sales history of a gun which was used in a crime, or which has been seized by the police. Traced guns are not representative of the broader universe of crime guns. Accordingly, drawing public policy conclusions based on tracing data is unwise.


The Little Rock Crisis And Foreign Affairs: Race, Resistance, And The Image Of American Democracy, Mary L. Dudziak Sep 1997

The Little Rock Crisis And Foreign Affairs: Race, Resistance, And The Image Of American Democracy, Mary L. Dudziak

Mary L. Dudziak

When President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce a school desegregation order at Central High School in the fall of 1957, more than racial equality was at issue. The image of American democracy was at stake. The Little Rock crisis played out on a world stage, as news media around the world covered the crisis. During the weeks of impasse leading up to Eisenhower's dramatic intervention, foreign critics questioned how the United States could argue that its democratic system of government was a model for others to follow when racial segregation was tolerated ...


Relativism, Reflective Equilibrium, And Justice, Justin Schwartz Jan 1997

Relativism, Reflective Equilibrium, And Justice, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

THIS PAPER IS THE CO-WINNER OF THE FRED BERGER PRIZE IN PHILOSOPHY OF LAW FOR THE 1999 AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE BEST PUBLISHED PAPER IN THE PREVIOUS TWO YEARS.

The conflict between liberal legal theory and critical legal studies (CLS) is often framed as a matter of whether there is a theory of justice that the law should embody which all rational people could or must accept. In a divided society, the CLS critique of this view is overwhelming: there is no such justice that can command universal assent. But the liberal critique of CLS, that it degenerates into ...


Preventing A Reign Of Terror: Civil Liberties Implications Of Terrorism Legislation, David B. Kopel, Joseph Olson Jan 1996

Preventing A Reign Of Terror: Civil Liberties Implications Of Terrorism Legislation, David B. Kopel, Joseph Olson

David B Kopel

Domestic terrorism is not a reason to abrogate constitutional rights, argues this 101-page paper, which discusses the 1996 omnibus federal terrorism bill, and other terror proposals. Topics include: scope of the terrorism problem; Britain's mistaken response to terror; use of the military in law enforcement; the Internet; militias; wiretapping; the FBI; and federalizing local crime.


De Facto School Segregation: A Constitutional And Empirical Analysis, Frank I. Goodman Mar 1972

De Facto School Segregation: A Constitutional And Empirical Analysis, Frank I. Goodman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.