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Justice Thomas offers a history lesson

Justice Clarence Thomas in the case of McDonald v. Chicago — the right of Americans to own guns — was the lone justice standing forthright for the 14th Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities Clause instead of dallying with the Due Process Clause. I think his reasoning should speak for itself:

"Interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment in the period immediately following its ratification help to establish the public understanding of the text at the time of its adoption. Some of these interpretations come from Members of Congress. During an 1871 debate on a bill to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment, Representative Henry Dawes listed the Constitution’s first eight Amendments, including ‘the right to keep and bear arms,’ before explaining that after the Civil War, the country ‘gave the most grand of all these rights, privileges, and immunities, by one single amendment to the Constitution, to four millions of American citizens’ who formerly were slaves. … ‘It is all these,’ Dawes explained, ‘which are comprehended in the words "American citizen." ‘ … Even opponents of Fourteenth Amendment enforcement legislation acknowledged that the Privileges or Immunities Clause protected constitutionally enumerated individual rights."

Thomas also offers a ugly history lesson or a lesson of our ugly history. Read why he says, "The use of firearms for self-defense was often the only way black citizens could protect themselves from mob violence."

 

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