Thursday, June 23, 2022

State's Compelling Interest

In my view, when courts interpret the Second Amendment, it is constitutionally proper, indeed often necessary, for them to consider the serious dangers and consequences of gun violence that lead States to regulate firearms.  The Second Circuit has done so and has held that New York's law does not violate the Second Amendment.  See Kachalsky v. County of Westchester, 701 F. 3d 81, 97–99, 101 (2012).  I would affirm that holding.  At a minimum, I would not strike down the law based only on the pleadings, as the Court does today -- without first allowing for the development of an evidentiary record and without considering the State's compelling interest in preventing gun violence.  I respectfully dissent.

-- Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, with whom Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan join, dissenting in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen, in which the majority ruled that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have a right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense, 23 June 2022

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