"Why A Recent Supreme Court Copyright Ruling May Have Important Implications for Second Amendment Gun Rights As Well"

Recently, in Eldred v. Ashcroft, the Supreme Court declined to strike down Congress' extension of copyright protection for an additional 20 years. Appellants had argued that the extension was contrary to the preamble to the Constitution's Copyright & Patent Clause, which states "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts . . .", Congress can give limited exclusive rights to inventors and artists in their creations. The Supreme Court's decision essentially discounted the limiting function of the preamble.

Problem is, the only other specific part of the Constitution that has a similar preamble is the Second Amendment, which the Court is likely to take up soon because of the recent split between the Ninth and Fifth Circuits on an individual's right to bear arms. That preamble states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State . . . ." If the Supreme Court similarly discounts that limiting language, it is likely to hold that an individual's right to bear arms is absolute -- well regulated militias be damned. Read Michael C. Dorf's original and interesting observations and analysis on the topic here.