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I'll take a big victory such as this any given day! God help us if Kagan was on board already. Here is the article:


WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court ruled for the first time that gun possession is fundamental to American freedom, giving federal judges power to strike down state and local weapons laws for violating the Second Amendment.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court held that the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right that binds states

The Supreme Court ruled for the first time that gun possession is fundamental to American freedom.

"Self defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day," wrote Justice Samuel Alito. He was joined in reaching the result by Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

An earlier 2008 holding by the Supreme Court, striking down a District of Columbia handgun ban, "unmistakably" required the court to likewise overturn laws in Chicago and its suburb of Oak Park, Ill., that limited handgun possession, Justice Alito's opinion held.

Justice Thomas agreed with the majority on the result but wrote a concurrence offering different constitutional logic for viewing the right to bear arms as fundamental.

The legal question before the court had much to do with questions of constitutional history. Before the Civil War, courts held that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government. After the Union victory, the Reconstruction amendments were adopted to elevate individual rights over state powers and cement the federal role in enforcing them.

The Supreme Court has subsequently held that many constitutional rights considered fundamental to American principles of liberty override state laws. However, more technical provisions—such as the Fifth Amendment requirement that grand juries approve criminal indictments—apply only to the federal government and don't necessarily bind states.

Monday's ruling elevates the Second Amendment right to bear arms to the status of a fundamental right that states can't abridge.
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"It is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty," wrote Justice Alito in his majority opinion.

Two years ago, after the court voted 5-4 along its conservative-liberal split to strike down the District of Columbia ordinance, gun-rights forces filed suit against weapons laws around the country.

Justice Stephen Breyer, in a dissent joined by justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, said the majority ruling misinterpreted history. "[N]othing in 18th-, 19th-, 20th-, or 21st-century history shows a consensus that the right to private armed 'deeply rooted in this nation's history or tradition' or is otherwise 'fundamental,' " Justice Breyer wrote.

Justice John Paul Stevens, who served his last day at the court Monday, dissented separately.
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