The Yale Law Journal

Forthcoming Forum Essay Cited by Government Brief in D.C. Circuit

Charles C. Bridge
29 Aug 2015

In an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the government has cited in its brief a forthcoming publication in the Yale Law Journal Forum by Eric Ruben and Saul Cornell. The case, Wrenn v. District of Columbia, concerns the District of Columbia's system for licensing the carrying of handguns in public. The government uses Ruben and Cornell's piece to support the proposition that, "for as long as citizens have owned firearms, English and American law has restricted any right to carry in populated public places."

In the forthcoming Forum publication, Firearm Regionalism and Public Carry: Placing Southern Antebellum Case Law in Context, Ruben and Cornell offer a sharp critique of the historical arguments employed by judges in contemporary Second Amendment jurisprudence. The authors argue that this jurisprudence mistakes a regional antebellum consensus against firearm regulation for a national one, and that this mistake has led to an erroneous originalist conception of the Second Amendment.

A draft of the piece is available on SSRN. The Essay will appear in finalized form on the Forum in early September.