United States v. Emerson

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms web site started as a collection of academic papers advocating the individual rights Standard Model. The one such paper that counts is Judge Sam Cumming's decision on US v Emerson. Judge Cumming's had obviously been keeping up with the academic debate. The decision is as good a summary of the Standard Model as any of the others I've collected. The briefs supporting and attacking his decision pretty much define the Standard Model debate.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is due to hear debates on the case in spring of 2000, with a decision likely towards the end of summer. This would be just in time for the final sprint to the White House. The Supreme Court seems likely to speak on the issue next.

The Decision : Stands up pretty well on it's own.

USA Today : A popular press review of the case.

Law News : A legal press review of the case.

NRA's Amicus Curiae brief seems the clearest of the many that have been filed on both sides. The NRA's longer term strategy can be implied. With Emerson, they hope to win an individual right ruling. They emphasize that Emerson does not require a ruling that the Second is incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment, and thus binds the states. This war is saved for another day. They also emphasize that this case does not involve a weapon oriented uniquely towards criminal use, such as a junk gun, sawed of shotgun, or assault rifle. This too is saved for another day, and it looks like the NRA does not particularly want to win that fight. They seem willing to let Congress regulate weapons particularly well suited for criminal use.

Second Amendment Foundation Contains copies of or pointers to most of the Amicus Curiae briefs on both sides. The academic brief is nearly as good as the NRA's. The women's group that asserts the victim should not be punished by mutual restraining orders has the unexpected twist. The Alabama brief goes into the wording of statute in question, and rules for interpreting law. The briefs for the opposing "state's rights" position balance out this web site's strong second amendment bias.

Guns and the Constitution - Professor Volokh of UCLA asks the question I care about. If the Supreme Court can ignore the intent of the founding fathers in writing the Constitution, what good is a written Constitution? Yes, the academics are that sure of the standard model.

Enemy of the Court - The professional's 'Friend of the Court' briefs for and again Emerson address the Standard Model far better than this writer could. Emerson is being well defended. The NRA's political agenda is being forwarded. However, as Guns and the Constitution asks, will the court system respect the clear word and intent of the authors of the law? The professionals, in the "Friend of the Court" briefs are polite and politic. I go a bit further.

United States v. Emerson

The Decision
USA Today - Law News - NRA - SAF
Enemy of the Court