McDonald beats Chicago

If you were watching the confirmation hearing of Elana Kagan, you would have seen Feinstein and Schumer announce with glee that the Supreme Court upheld the Second Amendment, once again, and reversed the gun laws in Illinois banning handguns.

The important thing is that, reading that decision, we find what this matter of incorporation was all about. Section II, B of the Opinion of the Court reads:

The Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, originally applied only to the Federal Government. In Barron ex rel. Tiernan v. Mayor of Baltimore, [32 US] 7 Pet. 243 (1833), the Court, in an opinion by Chief Justice Marshall, explained that this question was “of great importance” but “not of much difficulty.” Id., at 247. In less than four pages, the Court firmly rejected the proposition that the first eight Amendments operate as limitations on the States, holding that they apply only to the Federal Government.

I would have been surprised to learn that Chief Justice John Marshall wrote such an opinion, if I had not been reading his decision in Gibbons v. Ogden. I am pleased to learn that the Senators aforementioned hold in such esteem the decisions of Chief Justice Marshall’s.

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