In a follow-up to the Supreme Court’s voiding of Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban, the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center and some liberal law professors have joined gun-rights advocates in urging that the right established by the high court be extended to apply against gun restrictions in the 50 states, Legal Times reports. The case is a challenge to Chicago’s strict gun control law; the outcome is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
The lawyers are citing the long-dormant “privileges or immunities” clause of the 14th Amendment, which scholars say provides the strongest legal foundation for applying the Bill of Rights to the states. Douglas Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center says invoking “privileges or immunities” would have a “lift-all-boats” effect, strengthening free speech, and possibly even abortion and gay rights, at the same time that it bolsters the right to bear arms. Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says of the liberals’ brief: “It’s unfortunate that they would choose to participate in a gun case to grind that particular ax” because of the public safety implications.