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Former Supreme Court Justice Urges Total Repeal of Second Amendment

by The Daily Signal | Updated on 4.4.18

Kevin Daley / @kevindaleydc / March 27, 2018

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens argues for total repeal of the Second Amendment. in an opinion piece published Tuesday by The New York Times.

Stevens, who retired from the high court in 2010, wrote favorably of Saturday’s March for Our Lives demonstrations, but suggested gun control supporters are far too modest in their goals.

“The demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform,” he wrote. “They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”

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Stevens, now 97, wrote the principal dissent in D.C. v. Heller, a landmark Second Amendment case that affirmed for the first time the right to maintain firearms in the home for self-defense.

Writing for himself, then-Justice David Souter, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, Stevens argued that the Second Amendment secures the right to posses guns in connection with service in state militias.

The provision was included in the Bill of Rights, Stevens explained, given national anxieties about the tyrannical potential of a permanent standing army. He pointed to the simultaneous provisions of state constitutions that explicitly establish a right to keep firearms for self-defense, in contrast to the federal Constitution, which mentions guns only in the context of militias.

Stevens revives the themes in Tuesday’s opinion piece, calling those concerns “a relic of the 18th century.” The current court’s Second Amendment jurisprudence derives largely from National Rifle Association propaganda, he argues.

The court has said very little about the Second Amendment since 2010, when the Heller decision applied to state and local governments. Its silence has been a point of consternation for gun rights activists, as lower courts upheld a range of gun control laws in recent years.

Stevens joined the high court in 1975, an appointee of President Gerald Ford. Justice Elena Kagan, nominated by President Barack Obama, succeeded him.

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The Daily Signal

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