Judge Raymond Kethledge and the Second Amendment

Judge Raymond Kethledge and the Second Amendment

Judge Raymond Kethledge teaches his son, Ray, Jr., how to shoot. Judge Raymond Kethledge vigorously defends — and exercises — individual rights under the Second Amendment. On the bench, he has faithfully applied the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller , and ruled that Second Amendment rights deserve at least as much protection as any others. Off the bench, he is an avid hunter and a lecturer on originalism, textualism, and the Second Amendment. Perhaps the most important Second Amendment case to come before the Sixth Circuit in the last few years — so important that the court took it en banc — is Tyler v. Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Department . The case dealt with a federal statute that barred anyone who had ever been involuntarily committed from owning a gun. Although Clifford Tyler had enjoyed decades of good mental health, the statute barred him from owning a gun because he had been involuntary committed — one time — 28 years earlier. In a divided vote, the court held that Tyler had plausibly alleged that the statute violated his Second Amendment rights. Judge Kethledge went further still. Joining an opinion by Judge Sutton, he concluded that the statute, as applied to Tyler, did violate the Second Amendment because Tyler had not received an individual adjudication before he lost his rights. Kethledge thus eschewed the debate between strict and intermediate scrutiny that occupied most of the court. These so-called tiers of scrutiny require the government to show […]

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