Paper Demonstrates Threat to Second Amendment Rights Posed by Recent Supreme Court Reliance on International Law

Michael Harless Publications

In July, 2006, our firm prepared a paper entitled “Assessing the Threat to Second Amendment Rights Posed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Use of Foreign Law In Constitutional Interpretation”  which was published by Gun Owners Foundation.

The paper critically analyzes two recent Supreme Court cases (Roper v.Simmons, and Lawrence v. Texas) in which the Court has relied on international law to sustain constitutional challenges.  In Roper, the Court overturned a Missouri law permitting capital punishment for 16 and 17 year olds, and in Lawrence, the Court overturned a Texas law prohibiting certain homosexual acts primarily because of foreign authorities.  Additionally, the paper reviews the pros and cons of relying on such foreign sources in other areas.  Recently, the United Nations has been pursuing a goal of eliminating all private ownership of firearms world-wide.

If the Court continues to base its constitutional decisions on foreign law, the American people may find their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms seriously undermined because of trends in countries which have had historic hostility to private firearms ownership and because of the U.N.’s penchant to restrict firearms possession and use to government officials.

Link to paper