During a July 31 luncheon for the American Bar Association’s International Human Rights Award Luncheon, former Justice John Paul Stevens said he agreed with the Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) decision that the 14th Amendment protects gay rights but rejected the claim that the 14th Amendment protects gun rights too.
Breitbart News previously reported that in overturning Chicago’s gun ban–McDonald v. Chicago (2010)–SCOTUS ruled that the individual right to keep and bear arms is incorporated and limits the actions of states via the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Because of the arguments SCOTUS used to find gay marriage protections under the 14th Amendment, Breitbart News also reported that an expansion of the exercise of 2nd Amendment rights may be discoverable through further due process rationale; and particularly an expansion of the exercise of 2nd Amendment rights via national reciprocity for concealed carry. After all, in ruling for gay marriage Justice Anthony Kennedy explained that states cannot interfere with same-sex couples intentions to wed because the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment says that “no State shall ‘deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’”
Kennedy sees gay marriage as something included in “liberty,” thereby protected and beyond state-level interference, like “most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights”–including 2nd Amendment rights.
On July 31, former Justice Stevens recoiled at this notion.
He first did it by saying it was “absurd” that up until June 26, 2015, the word “liberty” was held to protect gun rights but not gay rights. He then transitioned to argue that gay rights are rightly viewed under the schema of “liberty” but gun rights never should have been.
Stevens’ closing statement:
I endorse the Court’s holding that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment protects an individual’s right to choose his or her spouse but I remain unpersuaded that that Clause also protects an individual’s right to use a gun. The dissenters have things backward when they argue that it protects the latter but not the former.
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