Georgetown Panel on McDonald & the Privileges or Immunities Clause:

As many readers probably know, McDonald v. Chicago involves a constitutional challenge to the Chicago handgun ban, which raises the issue of whether the individual right to keep and bear arms, which was recognized by the Supreme Court in DC v. Heller also applies to the states. Somewhat amazingly, the Court announced that this was the question presented:

Whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is incorporated as against the States by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities or Due Process Clauses.

This indicates that the meaning of the long-ignored Privileges or Immunities Clause is now in play, and that the Court wants to squarely address this constitutional question, as Justice Thomas has long been urging it to do. Rarely do constitutional law cases involve the isolated issue of the original meaning of the text. Heller is one such case; McDonald could be another. Is it really possible that the court will restore not one, but two clauses of the Lost Constitution?

Next Friday, November 13th, from 12:30-2:30pm, the Georgetown Law Journal will be hosting a program entitled, “A Vain and Idle Enactment: Could McDonald v. Chicago Un-Slaughter the Privileges or Immunities Clause?” The discussants are Georgetown Law graduate Alan Gura, who argued and won the Heller case and is Lead Counsel who will argue McDonald, Kurt Lash, James P. Bradley Chair of Constitutional Law, Loyola Law School (and who has recently accepted an appointment to the University of Illinois faculty), David Gans of the Constitutional Accountability Center, and me. I am coauthoring an amicus brief on the Privileges or Immunities Clause for the CAC.

The program is free and open to the public. Details are here.

UPDATE: Webcast will be available here:

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