More on Stand Your Ground

Miguel notes some history of the concept, from 117 years ago, in two federal cases from 1895 and 1921. That’s right folks, there’s no duty to retreat under federal law, and that’s been the case since 1895 at least, and this duty was not unknown prior to this as well, as most western states never required such a duty, including California, which was admitted into the Union in 1850.

As a side note, I normally would not advocate debating CSGV, as opposed to pointing and laughing, since it’s about as pointless as beating your head against a wall, and about as entertaining as watching the grass grow. But you’ll note the other person involved in that conversation is a CNN legal analyst and anchor. If there’s even a chance that you can raise some doubt about CSGV’s, ahem, honesty, that’s worth beating your head against a wall for a little bit, don’t you think? She has a pretty interesting legal background. Clerked for the Chief Justice of Maryland’s Supreme Court, and worked for a bit as an AUSA in D.C.

12 thoughts on “More on Stand Your Ground”

  1. Why would the feds have *ANYTHING* to do with ‘duty to retreat’ within the states in the first place?

    1. They didn’t. This was a case in a territory.

      I have a really cool article about stand your ground laws and domestic violence that I am trying to sell to America’s First Freedom.

  2. The year 1895 would be 117 years ago, not 107.

    Don’t mean to nitpick, but the antis will use any means to attack our credibility, and I’d hate to see “incorrect arithmetic” join the long list of “disqualifying factors” for gun ownership. They have fallen that low.

  3. Heh. Archer and I are on the same page. I went to Miguel’s place to pick the same nit.

  4. Actually, Maryland’s top court is the Court of Special Appeals. That’s the court that ruled that the Second Amendment has no effect outside of the home in Maryland and did so after the SCOTUS rulings in Heller and McDonald. Having clerked for that court is not a good sign.

    1. I used Supreme Court because most people understand that term. If I said that no one would have context, unless they knew Maryland’s Judicial system.

      And I said interesting… didn’t say good :) Her background is one that would make me suspect she’s a lefty.

      1. Let’s get nitpicky: rather than use Supreme Court like a proper noun, use supreme court, which will get across the meaning without, e.g., making you look clueless to those who know.

        1. Yup, or “high court,” perhaps. There are a few states (like New York) where Supreme Court means something entirely different from the rest of the country.

          1. Here’s a good Wikipedia essay on the naming of the New York courts (which is supreme or superior, supreme or superior? :-), which also says Maryland and D.C. are similar. Reviewing just the 13 colonies and D.C., here are the other ones that vary from having a simple “Supreme Court”:

            Massachusetts, Maine: Supreme Judicial Court

            Maryland, D.C.: Court of Appeals

            West Virginia: Supreme Court of Appeals (see note below on Virginia; as you might recall, WV hived off of Virginia during the War Between the States AKA the Civil War).

            There’s also a historical aspect: when checking Virginia, Wikipedia said it had the oldest court system in the US and that made me wonder, so I checked the specific page and it said that its top court “was known as the Supreme Court of Appeals until 1970, when it was renamed the Supreme Court of Virginia.” I wouldn’t be surprised if it was not the only example of a rename.

            Clayton’s suggestion of “high court” would seem to be the best, it’s clear and unambiguous.

  5. Thank you for bringing this history to our attention, Sebastian. I am bookmarking this for reference!

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