Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens thinks the Second Amendment should be changed and he says so in the pages of his new book, an excerpt of which was published by the Washington Post, igniting a new debate about gun rights.
Justice Stevens would like to add five words to the amendment: “when serving in the militia,” right after “shall not be infringed.”
It is almost as though the retired jurist is contending that, because he did not care for the 5-4 ruling in the Heller case that affirmed the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a firearm, he now wants to change the constitution.
Stevens has authored a book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution. The excerpt in the Washington Post suggests his personal philosophy is that the right to keep and bear arms is some sort of collective right for the states to form militias.
But in his majority opinion in the 2008 Heller ruling, Stevens’ former colleague, Justice Antonin Scalia, rather belittled that notion. This represents, Scalia indicated, an erroneous interpretation of the 1939 Miller ruling, “That the Second Amendment ‘protects the right to keep and bear arms for certain military purposes, but that it does not curtail the legislature’s power to regulate the nonmilitary use and ownership of weapons.’
“Nothing so clearly demonstrates the weakness of Justice Stevens’ case,” Scalia’s majority opinion stated. “Miller did not hold that and cannot possibly be read to have held that.”
For more, check the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner.