John Paul Stevens: Heller gun control decision the worst in 35-year Supreme Court tenure

John Paul Stevens: Heller gun control decision the worst in 35-year Supreme Court tenure

Gun Rights

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens is lambasting the Supreme Court’s 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision broadening gun rights, calling it the “most clearly incorrect” ruling of his 35-year career on the high court. “ Heller is unquestionably the most clearly incorrect decision that the court announced during my tenure on the bench,” Stevens, 99, wrote in his new memoir, The Making of a Justice . The retired justice penned the main dissent in the Heller case, which established the right to keep guns for self-defense in the home. Joining Stevens’ dissent were Justices David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer. The court divided along ideological lines in the case, with Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote, siding with the conservative wing of the bench in striking down the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns. “Their twin failure in that case — first, the misreading of the intended meaning of the Second Amendment, and second, the failure to respect settled precedent — represent the worst self-inflicted wound in the court’s history,” Stevens wrote of the majority. “They also represent the most disappointing task on which I worked as a member of the court.” In addition to voicing his discontent with the Heller decision, Stevens also revealed in his book the internal deliberations that took place following the March 2008 oral arguments in the case. Stevens said he believed Kennedy or Justice Clarence Thomas could have been persuaded to change their votes, and he had discussions with both […]

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