Thursday, June 26, 2008

Keep Arms?

From Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion today in District of Columbia v. Heller, (slip opinion, p. 9)
The phrase “keep arms” was not prevalent in the written documents of the founding period that we have found, but there are a few examples, all of which favor viewing the right to “keep Arms” as an individual right unconnected with militia service. William Blackstone, for example, wrote that Catholics convicted of not attending service in the Church of England suffered certain penalties, one of which was that they were not permitted to “keep arms in their houses.” 4 Commentaries on the Laws of England 55 (1769) (hereinafter Blackstone); see also 1 W. & M., c. 15, §4, in 3 Eng. Stat. at Large 422 (1689) (“[N]o Papist ... shall or may have or keep in his House ... any Arms ...”);

(via Feddie at Southern Appeal)

1 comment:

  1. Well, if Shirley Abramanson had her way, Catholics would not be able to "keep arms" today, either.