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It’s time for a break! While we’re off doing summery things, we will repost a few of our favorite interviews. First up is Professor David S. Schwartz from “Where’s the Freedom? (Episode 121). Wendy talks with her brother about which commonly understood freedoms in the United States are written down in the Constitution, which have been interpreted from the founding documents, the current conservative Supreme Court, and what we each can do to keep our freedoms from eroding. Professor Schwartz teaches and writes in the areas of Constitutional Law, Evidence, and Civil Procedure at the University of Wisconsin.
While we’re away, you can always give us a shout on social media @Leftscape and join us on Patreon for extra content. Have fun, take care of yourself, and we’ll be back in July with brand new episodes.
Wendy Sheridan and Robin Renée
(Wendy here) I just want to add that Professor Schwartz’ comments about the 2nd amendment are what our current understanding and interpretation is, according to the most recent SCOTUS decisions on the matter, and not offering an originalist interpretation.
I refer to the above podcast and in particular your brother’s comment at 05:45.
When giving an example of “freedoms that are spelt out” he said the 2nd amendment gives us the right to bear arms.
I was horrified to hear this as the 2nd, in my opinion, refers to a (collective) right to belong to a militia, not to an individual right to bear arms.
It is my understanding that the US Supreme Court once held this view but was then overturned by a right wing SC.
Although the 2nd does indeed say “..the right of the people to keep and bear Arms…” this is in the middle of a sentence that starts off referring to a right to belong to a militia.
It would be interesting to listen to a podcast from you and your brother on this subject.
(Wendy here again) The interpretation of the 2nd amendment by the most recent SCOTUS decisions on the matter were what Professor Schwartz was referring to, and the “gun discussion” was not a hot topic when we recorded the interview, as opposed to what’s going on now with this latest rash of mass shootings, both in schools and elsewhere. We have set up our government so that the Supreme Court is the arbiter and interpreter of what the words in the Constitution mean, and I don’t think all the “originalists” on the court are going to re-interpret that amendment any time soon.
My personal views regarding current gun laws include removing the immunity from lawsuits currently enjoyed by gun manufacturers and gun sellers. I believe they bear at least *some* responsibility about how their products are used in the real world, and if they are forced to take responsibility (as in getting sued by the families of victims of gun crimes) they will be more careful about who they let have these items.