A Georgetown law professor is calling for a “major constitutional overhaul” of the nation’s gun laws.
In an op-ed in The Washington Post on Monday, professor Richard Levin, who is the George Washington University Law School’s director of constitutional studies, said he was “stunned” by Heller, which upheld the Second Amendment and established the right to bear arms.
“The Heller decision is the most significant and consequential constitutional amendment to the United States since the Second Amendments were ratified in 1791,” Levin wrote.
“It’s a seminal decision that has changed the way we govern the United Nations, the constitution of the United Kingdom, and our legal systems.
We need to redo it.”
In an interview with The Washington Examiner last week, Levin said he would have voted for the Heller ruling if he had the opportunity to do so.
But Levin is a constitutional scholar, not a lawyer, so he says he can’t comment on how a Heller ruling could be overturned.
And if the Supreme Council of Justice, which advises the court, is willing to overturn the decision, he said he could see a court overturning the decision.
If the Supreme Supreme Court overturns Heller, it will open up the door for future Heller cases, Levin wrote, and “the Heller decision itself could be overruled, as it did in 2013 in the landmark Citizens United case.”
In a letter to the Supreme Judicial Court on Monday evening, the law professors who authored the opinion in Heller said that if the court overturned Heller, “there would be no reason for the Court to take any more steps to regulate gun ownership.”
“It would be a constitutional tragedy,” they wrote.
Law professors who wrote the Heller opinion in the case, however, have said that there are still a number of ways the court could overturn the case.
The law professors wrote that the court would need to first decide whether Heller is a Second Amendment right.
If so, the court must then decide whether it is a “liberty interest,” a word that is used by the court to define a right.
They added that if Heller is not a Second the right, the Court cannot consider the case for review.
“As the Court is already well aware, the Heller case was not a case about whether the Second amendment applied to handgun possession, or about the Second right to keep and bear arms,” the law faculty wrote.
“It was about whether Congress had the power to ban handguns as well as to ban firearms.”
Levin said that, as a matter of fact, he thinks Heller would be ruled a Second amendment right if it were decided in the Supreme court.
“If the Court decides that the Second is a right, I think it would be right, because it would go to the heart of what the Constitution says, and that is, Congress cannot constitutionally ban firearms,” he said.
The Heller case, he continued, is a case “about the limits of Congress’ power over interstate commerce.”
“This case is about the limits on Congress’ authority over the interstate commerce of arms,” he wrote.
Levin argued that the Court could overturn Heller if it decided that Congress has the power over the entire Second Amendment.
“But that would make it impossible for the Supreme Courts of the States to take away the Second,” he continued.
“I don’t see that happening.
It is a Constitutional issue.”
Lester’s opinion also noted that if Congress did not have the power, the Supreme courts could overturn other Supreme Court decisions that have upheld the right of states to regulate guns.
“A majority of the Court has expressed its concern that the Heller court could reverse a number, but not all, of the decisions of the lower courts on this issue,” he concluded.
“We are in a position in which the Court would need the consent of the other three Justices, including Chief Justice Roberts, to make a ruling on Heller.”