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dc.contributor Thomas, Matthew O.
dc.contributor.advisor Gibson, Alan
dc.contributor.author Suhrie, Robert J.
dc.contributor.other Thomas, Matthew
dc.date.accessioned 2018-08-30T18:14:30Z
dc.date.available 2018-08-30T18:14:30Z
dc.date.issued 2018-08-30
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/205905
dc.description.abstract The 2008 Supreme Court decision in D.C. v. Heller declared, for the first time in the Court’s history, that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution guarantees an individual right to own a firearm regardless of one’s affiliation with a militia. In another first for the Court, Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion has been called the most originalist decision in the Court’s history. This thesis finds that the Court in Heller rewrote the 2nd Amendment using contemporary benchmarks and assumptions about its scope and purpose. This has led some scholars to suggest that Justice Scalia engaged in judicial activism and based his interpretation on the idea of a “living Constitution.” Such allegations, this thesis argues, are, in fact, true. One of the most enduring aspects of Scalia’s legacy will be his advocacy of originalism and his belief that the text in question should be interpreted according to the public understanding of its meaning at the time of its adoption. But when Heller is examined according to this dictum Scalia’s findings have much more in common with present-day beliefs about the 2nd Amendment. While Heller has the accouterments of an originalist inquiry, it also has many of the trappings of the judicial activism that Scalia has railed against throughout his tenure on the bench. The long-term effect will almost certainly be that originalism is further impugned. And as the politicization of judicial appointments increases, gun rights may one day be at the peril of the political makeup of the courts. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship CSU, Chico en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Judicial opinions en_US
dc.subject Judicial originalism en_US
dc.subject Judicial activism en_US
dc.subject Second Amendment en_US
dc.title Scalia's ironic swan song: D.C. v. Heller as faint-hearted originalism en_US
dc.college Behavioral and Social Sciences en_US
dc.program Political Science en_US
dc.degree MA en_US


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