Justice Scalia’s Death Resets SCOTUS’ Opportunity To Gut Second Amendment
Scalia’s name became synonymous with the individual right to keep and bear arms after the release of his majority opinion for the decisive SCOTUS decision, District of Columbia v Heller(2008).
In that opinion, Scalia showed how phrases that appear in the Bill of Rights again and again share a common meaning, and that references in one amendment match references in others, whether or not the phrase is explicitly or loosely stated.
For example, the phrase “right of the people,” which explicitly appears in the First and Second Amendments, and is loosely expressed in the Ninth Amendment, shares a context that refers to individual rights in every occurrence. “All three of these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not ‘collective’ rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body,” Scalia wrote.
In other words, just as the “right of the people” to assemble in the First Amendment is an individual right, so is the “right to keep and bear arms” in the Second Amendment and the rights not enumerated but protected by the Ninth Amendment.