Quote of the Day

We need more judges like this:

This is a case where emotions run high on both sides of the policy issue because of the vital public safety interests at stake. As one who was born here, grew up in this community in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, and has lived and worked in this area almost all of his life, I am acutely aware of the gun, drug, and gang violence that has plagued all of us. As a citizen, I certainly share the goal of Police Chief Cathy Lanier to reduce and hopefully eliminate the senseless violence that has persisted for too long and harmed so many. And I greatly respect the motivation behind the D.C. gun laws at issue in this case. So my view on how to analyze the constitutional question here under the relevant Supreme Court precedents is not to say that I think certain gun registration laws or laws regulating semi-automatic guns are necessarily a bad idea as a matter of policy. If our job were to decree what we think is the best policy, I would carefully consider the issues through that different lens and might well look favorably upon certain regulations of this kind. But our task is to apply the Constitution and the precedents of the Supreme Court, regardless of whether the result is one we agree with as a matter of first principles or policy … A lower-court judge has a special obligation, moreover, to strictly and faithfully follow the lead of the “one supreme Court” established by our Constitution, regardless of whether the judge agrees or disagrees with the precedent.

D.C. believes that its law will help it fight violent crime. Few government responsibilities are more significant. That said, the Supreme Court has long made clear that the Constitution disables the government from employing certain means to prevent, deter, or detect violent crime… In the words of the Supreme Court, the courts must enforce those constitutional rights even when they have “controversial public safety implications.”

As I read the relevant Supreme Court precedents, the D.C. ban on semi-automatic rifles and the D.C. gun registration requirement are unconstitutional and may not be enforced. We should reverse the judgment of the District Court and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion. I respectfully dissent.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Heller v. DC, dissenting.

2 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

Comments are closed.