Briefly 1.9 – Originalism and the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v Heller

Today, Briefly dives into the late Justice Scalia’s majority opinion in District of Columbia v Heller, a case in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protected the right to keep and bear firearms unrelated to military service. The case has attracted attention from scholars and lawyers for the method of originalism Justice Scalia used in the decision.

We’ve talked to Robert Levy, chairman of the Cato institute and lead lawyer for the plaintiff in Heller, Saul Cornell, Chair in American History at Fordham University, Nelson Lund, Professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, and Professors Alison LaCroix and Jason Merchant of the University of Chicago. Professors LaCroix and Merchant are working on a project called “Historical Semantics and Legal Interpretation,” which aims to give judges and legal scholars the tools to understand how language was used in the past.

This episode of Briefly, a production of the University of Chicago Law Review, was produced by Sef Schaffel, David Sandefer, Megan Coggeshall, Jeremy Rozansky, and Chris Walling. Music from Special thanks to Noel Ottman, and the V85 Online Group.