Heller and Insurrectionism

15 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2008 Last revised: 22 Sep 2015

See all articles by Carl T. Bogus

Carl T. Bogus

Roger Williams University School of Law

Date Written: December 16, 2008


The most significant aspect of District of Columbia v. Heller is the Court's pronouncement that the Founders intended to guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms. But there is another idea lurking in the Court's opinion with potentially great ramifications of its own: the idea that the Founders gave us a right to keep and bear arms as an ultimate check against governmental tyranny. This is an insurrectionist theory because it legitimizes a right of the people to be armed, potentially to go to war against their own government. The Court, however, so far, has embraced this idea tentatively and perhaps not irrevocably. Drawing on Burkean principles, as well as those of the Founders, this essay is a plea that the Court reconsider its endorsement of insurrectionism.

Suggested Citation

Bogus, Carl T., Heller and Insurrectionism (December 16, 2008). Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 59, p. 253, 2008, Roger Williams Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 71, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1316948

Carl T. Bogus (Contact Author)

Roger Williams University School of Law ( email )

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Bristol, RI 02809
United States

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