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