TINKER ET AL. v. DES MOINES INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT ET AL.
UNITED STATES v. MILLER ET AL.
In 1939 the Great Depression was coming to an end in part because of the Federal regulations. Regulation from the Federal Government was more common in the years leading up to 1939 and the Supreme Court case reflects that. This case was brought the court of Chief Justice Hughes. The only important Justice in this case was Justice McReynolds who wrote the opinion of the court.
The story behind the case is that Congress passed a National Firearms act which limits the trade and ownership of unlicensed firearms. Jack Miller and Frank Layton were arrested for transporting an unregistered shotgun across state lines. They appealed the arrest to the District Court who declared the National Firearm Act unconstitutional and it was appealed up to the Supreme Court who overturned the district court’s decision. Miller and Layton argued that their Second Amendment rights were being infringed upon because they legally owned the weapon and the Federal Government has no power to take the weapon.
The constitutional question, as decided by the Supreme Court, was whether the Second Amendment refers specifically to state created militias and whether the type of weapon can affect the constitutionality of law. The Supreme Court decided that the type of weapon matters and that weapons that do not have, “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia” are not guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
One essential precedent of this case was the Supreme Court case Sonzinsky v. United States which the Supreme Court uses to overrule Miller’s argument that the National Firearms Act interfered with state police power. The Supreme Court also uses several state statutes establishing militias to justify the argument that the weapon in question matters to the Second Amendment right and that only firearms that are required by an established militia are guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
The main ramification of this decision is that the government can limit certain types of weapons without infringing on the Second Amendment rights of people. Another ramification is that the government is allowed to restrict trade of guns without it interfering with people’s Second Amendment right. The only direct effect on citizenship is a slight decrease in the power of the people to trade and own weapons of certain types.
Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech. "United States v. Miller." Oyez. https://www.oyez.org/cases/1900-1940/307us174 (accessed January 18, 2016).
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al PETITIONERS v. DICK ANTHONY HELLER
This case was decided in June of 2008 by the Supreme Court with Chief Justice Roberts. In 2008 the country still had the Virginia Tech shooting on their mind. This had caused more intense backlash against gun ownership and debates about gun laws were becoming a more essential part of politics. The important justices of the Supreme Court were Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Scalia, who wrote the opinion, and Justice Stevens, who wrote the dissent.
The story behind the case is that the District of Columbia prohibited the possession of handguns without a proper permit and even with a proper permit it needs to be disassembled or disabled when in the home. Dick Heller was a police officer who wanted to keep a functional firearm in his home, having been trained in it’s use and self defense in mind. He appealed against the law on the basis of his Second Amendment right to have a weapon for self defense in his home. The Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional on the basis that the weapon is necessary and proper for self defense and is therefore constitutionally guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
The constitutional question of this case was whether the right to bear arms guarantees the right to own weapons for self defense or solely for an armed militia. Another constitutional aspect of this case was how it is decided which weapons are considered appropriate for self defense and are therefore protected.
The main precedent of this case was United States v. Miller which decided that the government could regulate certain weapons without violating the Second Amendment. Miller v. United States was also used for precedent to define a well-regulated militia. The opinion written by Justice Scalia mostly uses the constitutional text as precedent but also cites a 1773 dictionary to define the specific terms of the constitutional Amendment.
The ramifications of the decision include the inability of government to restrict the ownership of usable weapons that are designated for self defense. This means that the Federal Government is unable to take away weapons that are commonly used for self defense even if they aren’t connected to a militia. Another ramification of this decision is that people are basically guaranteed a right to self defense that the Federal Government can’t interfere with. The main effect on citizenship is that the decision guarantees all citizens the right to defend themselves.
Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech. "District of Columbia v. Heller." Oyez. https://www.oyez.org/cases/2007/07-290 (accessed January 18, 2016).
OTIS McDONALD, et al., PETITIONERS v. CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, et al.
Mcdonald v. City of Chicago, Illinois was decided in 2010 by the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Roberts. The important justices in the case were Justice Alito who wrote the opinion of the court, Justice Breyer who wrote a dissent, and Justice Stevens who wrote another dissent. The context of this case involves an increase in the shooting in the big cities around the country and growing popularity of gun control as a measure to decrease the gun violence.
The story behind this case is that the city of Chicago banned the ownership of handguns because of increased gun violence in the city. McDonald argues that the city of Chicago is in the wrong by infringing on his Second Amendment rights but the city of Chicago argues that the Second Amendment is protection from the Federal Government and the state and city governments can make decisions that they deem necessary for the protection of the people in spite of the rights mentioned in the Bill of Rights. The court decided that the Second Amendment applies to state and city governments as well as the Federal Government and deems the city ban on handguns unconstitutional.
The general Constitutional question of this case is whether the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights protect the people only from the Federal Government or whether those rights are guaranteed even when set against state or local legislation.
The main precedent in this case was Heller v. District of Columbia which is used to establish the unconstitutional nature of a ban on handguns. The opinion refers to precedent set in Presser v. Illinois and Miller v. Texas which argue that the Second Amendment is of federal concern only but the court uses an interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to establish that the Bill of Rights applies to all levels of government and is guaranteed to all citizens. The opinion then refers to Heller again to point out the nature of self defense and the importance of each individual’s right to self defense. Another important precedent was Eversion v. Board of Ed. of Ewing where the court held that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the rights of the First Amendment against all levels of government.
The biggest ramification of this decision is that the state governments can’t infringe on rights guaranteed to citizens by the Bill of Rights.
Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech. "McDonald v. Chicago." Oyez. https://www.oyez.org/cases/2009/08-1521 (accessed January 18, 2016).
Miller v. United States was argued in the Supreme Court in 1939. During the 1930’s there was a lot of federal regulation attempting to remedy the great depression. This is also the time period of the dust bowl when agriculture was at an all time low. This case was brought to the Hughes Court.
Jack Miller and Frank Layton were charged with violating the National Firearms Act by transporting a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun. They then sued the United States for violating their second amendment rights. The question the court had to answer was “Does the Second Amendment protect an individual's right to keep and bear arms?” Precedents used to come to a decision in this case include Sonzinsky v. United States (1937) and several state statutes.
District of Columbia v Heller was argued in the Supreme Court in 2008. During this time, the country was experiencing the late 2000 recession that destroyed the realty market. 2008 is also the year the country voted for change and elected the first ever African American president, Barrack Obama. The country was still involved in the Iraq and Afghanistan war which left middle east tensions high. More notably in relation to this case, the Virginia tech shooting happened the year prior to this case being argued. This case was brought to the Roberts court.
The District of Columbia outlawed the ability to carry unregistered handguns and prohibited the registration of handguns, with the provision that the chief of police could issue one-year licenses for hand guns. The law also required registered handgun owners to keep their gun unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock unless in the use of business or other legal recreational activities. A D.C police officer named Dick Anthony Heller who was already authorized to carry a handgun while on duty, applied for a gun licence to keep a gun at home and was denied. The officer then sued the District of Columbia for violating his second amendment rights. The question the court had to answer was “Do the provisions of the District of Columbia Code that restrict the licensing of handguns and require licensed firearms kept in the home to be kept nonfunctional violate the Second Amendment?”. The court first had to break the amendment down in to two parts. Its prefatory clause and its operative clause. The operative clause discusses the pre-existing right to “bear arms” through the statement of “ shall not be infringed” . The judges then discussed its prefatory clause to what a “A well regulated Militia” actually is and what is “necessary to the security of a free State … .”. The Supreme Court came to a 5- 4 decision deeming the D.C law unconstitutional and the majority opinion was drafted by Justice Scalia. A relevant precedent that was discussed in the majority opinion was United States v Miller (1939).
Finally McDonald v Chicago was decided in june 2010. In 2010 the United States was attempting to recover from the late 2000 recession. There was a huge BP oil spill in the gulf of Mexico. More importantly, only two years prior the District of Columbia v Heller case was decided that found a federal law violated the second amendment. The Roberts court heard this Supreme Court case.
Otis Mcdonald was a Chicago resident that wanted to keep a firearm in his house but was unable to due to a Chicago ordinance outlawing the ability to have a firearm without a license. This same ordinance also prohibited the registration of most handguns. Essentially outlawing private citizen gun ownership. The question the court had to answer was ,“ Does the Second Amendment apply to the states because it is incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment's Privileges and Immunities or Due Process clauses and thereby made applicable to the states?” . The Roberts court came to a 5-4 decision that the Chicago law was in fact Constitutional. A relevant precedent is of course District of Columbia v Heller that creates the precedent that self-defense is a basic right.