Quote of the Day
The Second Amendment accords protection of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” by providing that the right “shall not be infringed.” U.S. Const. Amend. II (emphasis added). The Second Amendment is unique in its use of “infringed” for the word does not appear anywhere else in the Constitution. Despite its uniqueness, the term “infringed” has received little attention by scholars or courts. However, Heller took the view that “infringed” “implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right.” 554 U.S. at 592 . As articulated in Heller, the Second Amendment does not serve to grant a right but rather preserves a right that the people already possessed. Therefore, to “keep and bear” serves to identify the right protected, not to define the right in the first instance.
The definition of “infringe” further supports the conclusion that the pre-existing right includes a right to purchase. “Infringe” is defined in modern dictionaries as “to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another.” “Infringe,” Merriam-Webster.com. “Encroach,” in turn, has two definitions: “to enter by gradual steps or by stealth into the possessions or rights of another” and “to advance beyond the usual or proper limits.” “Encroach,” Merriam-Webster.com. Those words have possessed the same meaning since the sixteenth century and the Founders would have understood them in the same way. Not simply protecting the heartland of the preserved right, the Second Amendment protects the environs surrounding it to prevent any encroachment on the core protections. Thus, by virtue of the word “infringed,” the Second Amendment ‘s protective textual embrace includes the conduct necessary to exercise the right (“to keep and bear”) and that, as explained above, includes the right to purchase arms so that one can keep and bear them.
Robert E. Payne
Senior United States District Judge
May 10, 2023
JOHN COREY FRASER, et al., on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated as a Class, Plaintiff, v. BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES, et al., Defendants.
This is from the summary judgement saying that prohibiting 18 to 20 year old people from purchasing firearms is unconstitutional.
I am not a lawyer but the court finally defining “infringe” in such an inclusive manner seems like a big deal to me. I am all in for inclusive rights.
Machine gun sporting events in high schools by 2032 (a decade after Bruen)!