March 16, 2007

Miller's Trench Guns

United States v Miller is a fascinating law. It's a case where the defendants were missing, their lawyer never argued the case at all, and the US Supreme Court got the facts wrong, and it's controlling law today.

The decision itself is short enough and relies on the fact that shotguns are not used in combat, are thus not suitable weapons for a militia, and thus are not protected by the 2nd amendment. But combat shotguns do exist, they existed and were issued to US forces prior to the decision (significantly in WW I), and the Supreme Court just got its facts wrong. That virtually no lower court has had the guts to say so in 200 subsequent cases is a pretty damning indictment of the english precedent system of justice at least as far as 2nd amendment law goes.

HT to Matthew Yglesias whose foolish article on rewriting the US Constitution nonetheless got me off my but and writing today.

Posted by TMLutas at March 16, 2007 03:39 PM