NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Breyer Fires Warning Shot Across Second Amendment’s Bow

Friday, December 17, 2010

On Sunday, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer reminded Americans why it is important to vote for a president whose nominees to the court will likely be faithful to the Constitution, to vote for U.S. senators who will reject nominees who likely will not be faithful, and to vote for federal and state legislators who can check and balance justices like Stephen Breyer who don't believe the Second Amendment protects any meaningful right.

On Sunday, during an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Clinton nominee Breyer, who dissented from the Supreme Court's decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), claimed that the role of the court is to interpret the Constitution flexibly, in light of ever-changing circumstances.  Breyer argues that the court should give consideration not to the Constitution’s “words,” but to the “values” that the Framers had in mind. Fox News’ article on the interview can be viewed here.

The Framers’ “values,” Breyer suggested, would allow a total ban on handguns in Washington, D.C. “It’s not a matter of policy, it’s a matter of what those Framers [of the Bill of Rights] intended,” he said.

What Second Amendment author James Madison intended, Breyer said, was only to prevent Congress from nationalizing state militias. That, of course, is not what Breyer said in his dissent in the Heller case. Then, Breyer said that the amendment was intended to prohibit Congress from disarming state militias.

Regardless of what Breyer was trying to sell on Sunday, Wallace didn’t seem to be buying it. Pointing out the plain language of the amendment’s “keep and bear arms” clause, Wallace asked Breyer whether, in ignoring those words, he was assuming the role of politician or policy-maker, rather than that of a judge.

Breyer grinned smugly, said “no,” and sarcastically asked whether the amendment should be interpreted to allow the ownership of machine guns and torpedoes, as well as handguns. Wallace countered that at the very least, the amendment “certainly . . . didn’t provide for a ban on all handguns, as we have here in Washington, D.C.”

To that, Breyer, still grinning, asked Wallace, “Are you a sportsman? Do you like to shoot pistols at targets? Well, get on the subway and go to Maryland.”

Realizing that Madison and the other Framers surely did not intend for the Second Amendment to mean one thing in Maryland and another in D.C., Wallace pointed out that allowing a ban on handguns in D.C. while not allowing it in Maryland would be “a policy issue, not a constitutional issue.” Breyer changed the subject.

TRENDING NOW
Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

With the presidential race tighter than ever as it heads into its final stretch, panicked Hillary Clinton supporters are desperate to find a way to discredit, not just Donald Trump, but anyone who would dare ...

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

Show your support for NRA and the Second Amendment this election cycle by purchasing an NRA yard sign.  With everything that is at stake this year, including the Presidency, the balance of the U.S. Senate ...

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, was in New York City recently on an official visit. Commenting on the bombs that exploded while he was in town, he opined that such attacks are now simply ...

Montana: Bloomberg Targeting Missoula – Your Action Needed NOW!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Montana: Bloomberg Targeting Missoula – Your Action Needed NOW!

On Monday, September 26, the Missoula City Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would only create a burden for law-abiding citizens and may turn them into criminals if they unknowingly violate the ordinance.

California: Final Weekend to Sign Referendum Petitions, Signatures Still Needed

Friday, September 23, 2016

California: Final Weekend to Sign Referendum Petitions, Signatures Still Needed

This is the last weekend to sign the referendum petitions! Signatures are still needed to ensure each of the Veto Gunmageddon Referendums qualify for the 2018 ballot.

Get the Official NRA-ILA App for an Exclusive NRA Store Discount!

Take Action  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Get the Official NRA-ILA App for an Exclusive NRA Store Discount!

For a limited time only, the official NRA Store is offering a special deal to anyone who downloads the NRA-ILA App! Once the app is installed on your smartphone, you’ll receive a discount code that you can ...

Pennsylvania: Semi-Automatic Rifle Hunting Legislation will go to the House Floor Next Week!

Hunting  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pennsylvania: Semi-Automatic Rifle Hunting Legislation will go to the House Floor Next Week!

Next week, and important pro-hunting reform bill, Senate Bill 737, may be considered in the House of Representatives.  Please call your state Representative and urge them to vote in favor of Senate Bill 737!

California: Signature Efforts for Veto Gunmageddon Extended to September 24th

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

California: Signature Efforts for Veto Gunmageddon Extended to September 24th

If you have not yet signed the petitions to repeal the seven gun bills signed by Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year, please make sure that you do so by September 24th! After that, all ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

News  

Friday, July 1, 2016

California Governor Signs Draconian Gun Control Package into Law

Fairfax, Va.— California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Friday a package of gun bills that were rushed through the state legislature with no regard for proper process. The National Rifle Association Institute for ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.