NRA Brief in Support of Petitioners in McDonald v. Chicago- Incorporate through Privileges or Immunities, Re-Evaluate Slaughterhouse

November 17th, 2009

The NRA, authored by Stephen Halbrook, posted its Brief in Support of Petitioners in McDonald v. Chicago. Some of my initial thoughts

The NRA seeks incorporation under the Privileges or Immunities as an alternate ground: If the Court does not decide this case in favor of Petitioners on selective incorporation grounds, then the Court should find that the right to keep and bear arms is one of the privileges and immunities of national citizenship protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. See U.S. Const., amend. XIV (“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States”).

However, they do not want to reconsider the entire Privileges or Immunities Clause jurisprudence:

Respondents in Support of Petitioners do not believe it is necessary to revisit the entire analytical framework the Court has developed for the Privileges and Immunities Clause, under which that Clause protects only rights connected to national citizenship, in order to recognize that the right to keep and bear arms is protected.

But, in the alternative, the NRA seeks for the Court to reconsider Slaughter-House.

For the reasons given at greater length in the brief of Petitioners, it is time for this Court to depart from the The Slaughter-House Cases and recognize the incorporation of the Bill of Rights, or at a Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities Clause. Even if this Court finds it unnecessary to hold that the entire Bill of Rights is so incorporated, it would be faithful to the original understanding to hold that the Second Amendment is incorporated.

Because the NRA is a Party in Support of Petitioners, they file earlier than the 11/23 deadline for amici (H/T Ilya Shapiro for the deadline clear up).