Congratulations and Thanks are in Order

First, to Otis McDonald, Adam Orlov, David and Colleen Lawson, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association for winning their case. Congratulations and thanks also to the attorney who brought, argued, and won the case, Alan Gura. That two landmark cases with his name on it now. I would also take a moment to recognize Paul Clement, who NRA brought in, over the objections of the petitioners, to argue Due Process, which you might remember I had disagreed with. I think it would be unfair not to recognize his contribution to oral arguments, and also for his amicus brief on behalf of Members of Congress, which was cited in the opinion.

But aside from the folks who won the case, there are many who built the solid foundation upon which these victories stand. They should not go unrecognized. First, I should recognize Steven Halbrook. Halbrook was cited multiple times in the opinion, but his academic work on the 14th Amendment was much of the foundational basis for this opinion. Fellow blogger Dave Hardy was cited twice, in Justice Thomas’ opinion, and the opinion. He wrote one of the Amicus briefs on behalf of Academics for the Second Amendment. Dave’s involvement in this issue goes back to the early 70s, and he was one of the few individuals publishing law reviews on the Second Amendment, long before it was fashionable. Clayton Cramer was cited in both the opinion and dissent. Clayton has been writing on this subject for years, and came to be well known with his involvement in taking down Michael Bellesiles. Bob Cottrol was cited multiple times in Justice Thomas’ opinion, and has done extensive academic work on this subject, along with Ray Diamond, who co-authored one of the cited sources. We also should not forget the work of Don Kates, Joe Olsen, Dave Kopel, Glenn Reynolds, Eugene Volokh, Joyce Lee Malcom, and probably half a dozen other folks I’m forgetting.

I’d also like to take time to thank some folks at NRA for their work on this case, namely Sarah Gervase and Carol Bambery, who’s brief on behalf of Women Academics was cited in the Court’s opinion. We also should not overlook the work of NRA General Counsel himself, Bob Dowlut, who’s work on this issue goes back to the 70s, and has contributed much to this issue academically and in his role as NRA General Counsel, a position I believe he has held since I was in elementary school.

3 thoughts on “Congratulations and Thanks are in Order”

  1. If Alan Gura ever has to buy himself another drink as long as he lives, we have failed.

  2. It’s all about long-term planning. When I started writing For the Defense of Themselves and the State in 1991, I had a very small audience in mind: the nine justices of the Supreme Court. I believed (as it turned out, incorrectly) that racial fears played a major part in causing the Southern states to take the lead in concealed weapon regulation. For that reason, I spent part of my year between my BA and MA writing Black Demographic Data, 1790-1860, so that I would be able to cite it in Concealed Weapon Laws of the Early Republic.

    One of the reasons that social conservatives have largely failed is a failure to engage in long-term planning–to see where they needed to go, and what intellectual ammunition was required. And of course, that social conservatives don’t seem to want me to help them.

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