Glenn Harlan Reynolds & Brannon P. Denning

86 Texas L. Rev. See Also 22

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The Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in the District of Columbia gun-ban case promises to make this Term “The Year of the Gun.”[1]  Though the Court will review many other important cases, the Heller case presents a unique constellation of characteristics: It involves the scope of a right that many Americans regard as highly important, but that has not been signifi­cantly addressed by the Supreme Court before, and it does so in an unusually open national election year, with no incumbent or obvious successor running for president.

 

Though the Court did address Second Amendment issues somewhat in the 1939 case of United States v. Miller,[2] the treatment was limited, and uninformed by opposing counsel because only the federal government was represented.[3]  The Court’s decision in Heller will thus give the Justices a chance to address—or to duck—a number of important Second Amendment issues and may also pose potential difficulties for the Court’s existing jurisprudence of unenumerated rights, in a setting in which the po­litical ramifications are likely to be obvious and immediate.