Political scientists and law professors alike have written extensively on signaling and agenda-setting by the Supreme Court. Despite being dicta—the issues mentioned were not before the Court and were not necessary to resolve those that were before it—the Heller safe harbor seems to us to have been a clear signal, clearer perhaps than any sent in Lopez, that lower courts should not declare open season on any and all federal gun laws. It seems to us that the lower courts have certainly heeded this signal.
Brannon P. Denning
Glenn H. Reynolds
August 1, 2009
Heller, High Water(mark)? Lower Courts and the New Right to Keep and Bear Arms pages 15-16.
[H/T to Say Uncle.
That’s the bad news, which I already knew even from my limited legal viewpoint. There is good news in part III of the paper. Much of it was new to me.–Joe]