Monday, June 28, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Incorporates 2nd Amendment, Rebukes Ballard Administration's Position on Second Amendment

Having been on the front-line of the debate over Indianapolis' gun policies, I can testify first hand the incredible hostility the Mayor Greg Ballard has toward the Second Amendment and gun owners. In court, his attorneys have taken the position that the City of Indianapolis does not have to follow the Second Amendment, a position directly opposite fellow Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller. Ballard has supported one of the most restrictive gun return policies in the Midwest, with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department insisting that lawful gun owners undergo fingerprinting and ballistics testing of their guns before they are returned, even when the seizure was a mistake. Ballard has also supported a ban on guns in City parks even though licensed gun owners can carry guns into state and federal parks, the latter law signed by President Obama. Ballard even went so far as to support New York City-style gun registration and supported a Public Safety Chief who has supported strengthening restrictions on private possession of guns.
Today, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt the Ballard administration's gun policies a blow. In McDonald v. City of Chicago the Court "incorporated" the Second Amendment as one of the Bill of Rights that states and local governments have to follow.
The rumor is that national gun rights groups may, post-McDonald, target Indianapolis' gun return policy and ban on guns in city park as being in violation of the Second Amendment. In light of McDonald, Mayor Ballard should lead the charge on revising these two likely unconstitutional policies. We'll, see if that, having his position rebuked by the United States Supreme Court, Greg Ballard will finally start living up to his claim that he supports the Second Amendment. I won't hold my breath.


Blog Admin said...

I remember Jonathan Turley writing about McDonald about a month ago, hoping that the Supremes would incorporate the entire Bill of Rights to apply to the states and local governments, rather than just the 2nd.

At least this is a partial victory.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I like what Colleen Lawson, a co-plaintiff had to say about this ruling, "We will not be prey."

Diana Vice said...

Amazing how Ballard swore an oath to uphold and defend the constitution only to turn around and violate it.

Paul K. Ogden said...


There are only a couple other provisions in the Bill of Rights that haven't been incorporated. (Such as the grand jury indictment requirment for federal crimes.)

I would agree though that selective incorporation has never made much sense. I would have hoped that at least one of the four dissenters would have voted for incorporation based on the idea that selective incorporation never made any sense.

american patriot said...

I still can't figure out how the Supreme court managed to say the Bill of Rights didn't apply to the states way back in 1833, as mentioned in the opinion.

It will be interesting to see how this will affect concealed carry permits, that particular part of the amendment keeps being avoided.

I travel for business and am very aware that my Indiana permit is not honored in all states. It seems that the "keeping" part is being separated from the "bearing" part, even though they are both given equal force.

I wonder if Sotomayor will remember this statement she made during her confirmation hearings if a follow up case comes before the court.
“I accepted and applied established Supreme Court precedent.”

Cato said...

Correct, Paul. The Ballard administration was directly rebuked by this ruling.

I wonder what new argument his attorneys will use to attack guns. How can any Republican, in good conscience, work for such an anti-gun Mayor?

Cato said...

This entire business of the BoR not applying to the states was the fictional work of America's most noxious tyrant, John Marshall.

America would have been better had he never been born.

In Barron ex rel. Tiernan v. Mayor of Baltimore, 7 Pet. 243 (1833), the Court, in an opinion by Chief Justice Marshall,explained that this question was “of great importance” but “not of much difficulty.” Id., at 247. In less than four pages, the Court firmly rejected the proposition that the first eight Amendments operate as limitations on the
States, holding that they apply only to the Federal Government.

McDonald at 5.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I never understood why states don't have to recognize concealed permit laws.