Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SCOTUS Guns Down "Employment Law Blockbuster"

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in McDonald v. City of Chicago today (transcript here .pdf). Although the case involves the right to keep and bear arms as applied to state and local governments, I previously wrote that this could be an "employment law blockbuster." The employment law aspect arises from the possibility that the Supreme Court could revive the all but defunct 14th Amendment Privileges or Immunities clause.

Every indication is that the Supreme Court gunned down (corny pun fully intended) this legal theory. The National Law Journal reports "Justices Shoot Down 'Privileges' Argument in Gun Case." Apparently they like gun puns too. Josh Blackman's initial reaction after attending oral arguments was that "The Court was not at all receptive to arguments on Privileges or Immunities but incorporation on Due Process is a slam dunk." And the Business Insider writes, "The court pretty much put the heat on ice by signaling they are not giving the Privileges or Immunities clause argument any serious consideration."

Oh well, it remains an interesting academic theory and maybe one day the Privileges or Immunities clause will rise again. It doesn't appear as though that day is upon us.

Image: Handgun Collection by Joshuashearn licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.