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The Natural Right of Self-Defense: Heller's Lesson for the World

David B. Kopel

Independence Institute; Denver University - Sturm College of Law

April 17, 2009

Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 59, 2008

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller constitutionalized the right of self-defense, and described self-defense as a natural, inherent right. Analysis of natural law in Heller shows why Justice Stevens' dissent is clearly incorrect, and illuminates a crucial weakness in Justice Breyer's dissent. The constitutional recognition of the natural law right of self-defense has important implications for American law, and for foreign and international law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: District of Columbia v. Heller, Second Amendment, self-defense, natural law, inherent right

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Date posted: July 24, 2008 ; Last revised: April 21, 2009

Suggested Citation

Kopel, David B., The Natural Right of Self-Defense: Heller's Lesson for the World (April 17, 2009). Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 59, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1172255

Contact Information

David B. Kopel (Contact Author)
Independence Institute ( email )
727 East 16th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
United States
303-279-6536 (Phone)
303-279-4176 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.davekopel.org
Denver University - Sturm College of Law
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.davekopel.org

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