Recent developments in the interpretation of the Second Amendment left unanswered questions regarding the scope of the constitutional guarantee of armed self-defense. Most importantly, neither District of Columbia v. Heller nor McDonald v. City of Chicago set a firm standard for determining the constitutionality of gun-control laws. This determination is of critical importance because—perhaps more directly than any other fundamental right—the Second Amendment implicates philosophical questions of societal versus individual safety. Strong constitutional protections for the Second Amendment tend to prioritize the right of responsible citizens to rely on themselves, rather than the government, for their own protection and tend to force the government to address the problem of gun violence through punishment rather than prevention. Deference to the power of the State to regulate firearms allows government more latitude to prevent violence, which is vastly superior to punishment, but tends to leave the individual dependent on the questionable ability (or even responsibility) of government to protect them. Regulation often has the unfortunate tendency to disproportionately impact those unlikely to commit a crime of violence with a firearm. This Note proposes that gun regulations that create a substantial likelihood that individuals will be unable to defend themselves when faced with serious, imminent danger should be subjected to strict scrutiny. While gun regulations that tend to improve societal safety without significantly obstructing an individual’s ability to defend him or herself should be given more judicial latitude in the form of intermediate scrutiny.
Case Comment: Bhogaita v. Altamonte
EVERY DOG CAN HAVE HIS DAY IN COURT: THE USE OF ANIMALS AS DEMONSTRATIVE EXHIBITS Kyle R. Kroll, Volume 100, Online Managing Editor In Bhogaita v. Altamonte, the Eleventh Circuit recently decided whether to allow a dog in the courtroom as a demonstrative exhibit. Although the case presented many serious [...]
Revisiting Water Bankruptcy
REVISITING WATER BANKRUPTCY IN CALIFORNIA’S FOURTH YEAR OF DROUGHT Olivia Moe, Volume 100, Managing Editor This spring, as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought stretched across most of California—indicating that a four-year streak of drought was not about to resolve itself—Governor Jerry Brown issued an unprecedented order to reduce potable urban water [...]
Defying Auer Deference
DEFYING AUER DEFERENCE: SKIDMORE AS A SOLUTION TO CONSERVATIVE CONCERNS IN PEREZ v. MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION Nicholas R. Bednar, Volume 100, Lead Articles Editor* On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association.F The Court overturned the D.C. [...]