ABA Only Presenting One Side

It’s well known that the American Bar Association are a left-leaning organization that is institutionally anti-gun. But just how institutionally anti-gun? Well, they are having a symposium in Philadelphia that essentially invites no one who is any kind of expert on the current state of Second Amendment law, despite the fact that we have at least one local expert, and several others that aren’t too far away. The closest they come is Erwin Chemerinsky, who as far as I know has only published one very brief law review article on the subject that really breaks no new ground on the subject. The only other bit of legal writing on the Second Amendment I can find was his Amicus Brief before the Heller Court, which he co-authored with Professor Adam Winkler, in support of the District of Columbia. Their brief argued such things that even if the Second Amendment is an individual right, unlike any other right it may be subject to essentially no higher scrutiny than rational basis review:

Assuming an Individual Right Unrelated to Militia Service, the Text of the Second Amendment and the History of the Right to Bear Arms Support the Application of Reasonableness Review [..] Reasonableness Test Is Consistent with the Text of the Second Amendment, Which Explicitly Acknowledges the Necessity of Government Regulation for Public Safety and Security.

These arguments were rejected, and thus don’t represent the current state of the law. I have no doubt that Prof Chemerinsky is well aware of the current state of Second Amendment law, but let’s not pretend this is anything other than refighting the Heller and McDonald decisions, and commiseration on just how wrong the Supreme Court got it. Meanwhile, next week in Knoxville, there will be a symposium on the Second Amendment that discusses “New Frontiers in the Second Amendment.”

The scary thing in all this? All it would take is one death or retirement out of five for the ABA viewpoint to become law, and for all our gains to end up reversed or minimized into little to no effect. We are essentially walking a dangerous tightrope for the next three years, and that’s assuming we win in 2016, which I’d not bet money on at this point.

9 Responses to “ABA Only Presenting One Side”

  1. jkp says:

    We are essentially walking a dangerous tightrope for the next three years, and that’s assuming we win in 2016, which I’d not bet money on at this point.

    Ah, the nation of laws not men….

  2. Merle says:

    Surely you aren’t suggesting they are biased, or have an agenda???
    :) :) :)


  3. Patrick says:

    Let ’em have their day.

    Frankly, the more they “train” their lawyers to keep rehashing lost arguments, the better we probably do in the long run. Granted, there are judges who buy the same schtick, but that only opens the door to knocking down more bad case law with fewer wins.

    Peruta pointed out the fallacy of the arguments in the three eastern circuits – the ones who based their rulings on logic from the Heller dissent. If all your laws are based on false readings of the constitution, then all it would take is one correct reading to knock them all down.

    Sebastian’s point is solid: we need to do more than hope. We need to vote. Because what we have we got by the slimmest of margin. We need more, and we need it soon.

  4. Pepin the Short says:

    One can be inclined to believe that, with the balance on the Supreme Court being so precarious, the capability of judges to undo all our hard work seems profoundly undemocratic. I would contend, however, that the extended terms of judges and their role of legislative review helps prevent transient public moods from becoming wild swings in the law, à la Zambia.

    I feel confident in saying that a classical interpretation of the Second Amendment is making a slow but steady resurgence in the minds of the public; no temporary shift in the wind, but rather a long-term trend. The actions of judges appointed in bygone eras may be setbacks, but they’ll be gone soon enough if the trend holds strong.

  5. Archer says:

    “We are essentially walking a dangerous tightrope for the next three years, and that’s assuming we win in 2016, which I’d not bet money on at this point.”

    That’s also assuming we win in 2016 with a candidate supportive of 2A rights. If it’s Chris Christie, we’re likely just as hosed – if not more so – as we are if the Democrat wins.

    • Sebastian says:

      That’s just not true. Christie will be under a lot of pressure to pick a conservative candidate. I’d like to avoid Christie, but if it’s a choice between Christie and, say, Hillary, we’re foolish to vote for Hillary.

  6. Mike N. says:

    I’ve registered for the symposium and hope to see many other gun rights supporters in the audience.

  7. chris says:

    This is what passes for debate with the ABA.

    To the ABA, debate is a novel concept it hasn’t learned about yet.

    These political hacks must have missed the day they taught the Socratic method in law school.

    I dropped out of the ABA in 1992 and my state bar association a few years ago.

    Both of them had long-since serving as professional associations and become defacto political action committees for the Democratic Party.

    I am a member of the Federalist Society, where we sponsor rigorous and animated civil debate.

    The ABA should refer to this as a gun control symposium and delete all references to the 2A, because no one will be there to defend it.

    And they should host it in a Philly neighborhood with a high crime rate and not at the Consitutional Center.


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