"This Decision Will Cost American Lives": A Note on Heller and the Living Constitution

"This Decision Will Cost American Lives": A Note on Heller and the Living Constitution

Slate's blog on legal issues.
June 27 2008 12:28 AM

"This Decision Will Cost American Lives": A Note on Heller and the Living Constitution

In the Boumediene decision a few weeks back, Justice Scalia argued that the majority's decision giving Guantanamo detainees a right to a judicial hearing would cost American lives. One could probably say the same thing of Justice Scalia's majority opinion in Heller . After all, if you lift the ban on handguns in the District of Columbia, it's entirely possible that some additional people will be killed as a result.

Jack M. Balkin is Knight professor of constitutional law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School.

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