Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Supreme Court Amicus Brief in McDonald v. Chicago

Following from a couple amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in cases before the Ninth Circuit(Nordyke v. King) and Seventh Circuit (McDonald v. Chicago), an amicus brief filed by the Constitutional Accountability Center and signed by six law professors (Richard Aynes, Jack Balkin, Randy Barnett, Michael Curtis, Adam Winkler and I) was filed on July 10 in the U.S. Supreme Court. It is available here.

The brief asks the Court to take this case (ie, grant certiorari), in order to clarify the misunderstandings that have existed ever since 1873, when the Court decided the SlaughterHouse Cases, about the scope of the fourteenth amendment privileges or immunities clause. The brief asserts, based on persuasive historical evidence, that the Court got it wrong in SlaughterHouse when it gave the privileges or immunities clause a very narrow reading; instead, the history suggests it was intended to apply broadly to apply the Bill of Rights (and more) to the States.