In Defense of a Thin Second Amendment: Culture, the Constitution, and the Gun Control Debate

Albany Government Law Review, Vol. 1, 2008

21 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2008

See all articles by Brannon P. Denning

Brannon P. Denning

Samford University - Cumberland School of Law

Abstract

This article, written for a symposium on the Second Amendment at the Albany Law School, uses Mark Tushnet's concept of the thin Constitution and populist constitutional law to consider the Heller case, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. In it, I argue that such an individual right is part of many Americans' thin Constitution, and that the Court's decision should respect, and reflect, that fact. However, I also urge caution in crafting the scope of the right, at least initially, because reasonable regulation of the individual right is apparently a part of the populist constitutional law of the Second Amendment as well.

Keywords: Heller, Albany, Tushnet, thin Constitution, populist constitutional law, gun control, right to keep and bear arms, Parker, Roe, culture, Kahan

JEL Classification: k00

Suggested Citation

Denning, Brannon P., In Defense of a Thin Second Amendment: Culture, the Constitution, and the Gun Control Debate. Albany Government Law Review, Vol. 1, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1126885

Brannon P. Denning (Contact Author)

Samford University - Cumberland School of Law ( email )

800 Lakeshore Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35229
United States
205-726-2413 (Phone)
205-726-4060 (Fax)

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