Featuring Alex Kozinski, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and J. Harvie Wilkinson III, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.
So many Americans are concerned with how “Washington isn’t listening to them,” and candidates like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Ben Carson are stoking that outrage. But maybe Washington isn’t listening because it is so big that only mobilized special interests have the resources and incentives to pay attention. Maybe big government will never really pay attention to the people. If this is so, then maybe people should stop trying to control each other so much.
American leaders have cooperated with regimes around the world that are, to varying degrees, repressive or corrupt. Such cooperation is said to serve the national interest. But these partnerships also contravene the nation’s commitments to democratic governance, civil liberties, and free markets. In Perilous Partners, authors Ted Galen Carpenter and Malou Innocent provide a strategy for resolving the ethical dilemmas between interests and values faced by Washington.
The Cato Institute has released its 2014 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. “Libertarianism is the philosophy of freedom,” Cato’s David Boaz writes in his book, The Libertarian Mind. “It is the indispensable framework for the future.” And as the new report demonstrates, the Cato Institute, thanks largely to the generosity of our Sponsors, is leading the charge to apply this framework across the policy spectrum.
McDonald v. Chicago: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Future of Gun Rights
Featuring Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute; Timothy Sandefur, Principal Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation; and Clark Neily, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice.
In 2008, the Supreme Court decided the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, striking down D.C.’s draconian ban on handguns and finding, at last, that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. On March 2, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Court will hear oral arguments on whether that right applies to states and localities. The Court is expected to hold that it does: a key purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified at the height of Reconstruction in 1868, was to allow newly freed slaves and white Unionists to defend themselves against Southern reprisals by protecting their right to keep and bear arms. But will the Court reach that result via the Due Process Clause or the Privileges or Immunities Clause, which was specifically enacted to protect various individual rights, including particularly the right to armed self-defense? The answer is important as a practical matter—because it will help determine the future of gun rights in America—and also as a matter of constitutional law generally, because it could lead to the reinvigoration of a variety of important liberties that courts have long neglected. Please join legal scholars Ilya Shapiro, Timothy Sandefur, and Clark Neily—each of whom recently published articles on the Privileges or Immunities Clause—for a preview of the arguments before the Court, a discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms, and reflections on other important developments that may flow from McDonald.