Amicus Brief in Second Amendment Case Based on Professor Zick's Scholarship

Lawyers from Holwell Shuster & Goldberg in New York filed an amicus brief at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday in a Second Amendment case on behalf of two legal scholars, Professor Timothy Zick of William & Mary Law School and Professor Gregory P. Magarian of Washington University School of Law. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York, concerns the city’s restrictions on transporting licensed handguns. Read the brief here (opens .pdf). The arguments in the brief are adapted from Zick's recent article, The Second Amendment as a Fundamental Right (read it on SSRN).

“Having researched the treatment of Second Amendment claims and claimants in the Courts of Appeals as compared to the treatment of those involving other fundamental rights, [the scholars] are interested in ensuring that the Court has an accurate picture of the matter,” states the brief.

The brief’s key arguments:

  1. The growing body of Second Amendment precedent has adhered to constitutional doctrine for reviewing fundamental rights.
  2. Success rates of Second Amendment claims do not suggest second-class status.
  3. The Court should not credit conjecture about judicial “hostility.”

Timothy Zick is the John Marshall Professor of Government and Citizenship at William & Mary Law School. He has written on a variety of constitutional issues, with a focus on the First and Second Amendments, and he is the author of over thirty books and articles on constitutional law. His work on the Second Amendment includes The Second Amendment as a Fundamental Right, 46 Hastings Const. L. Q. 621 (2019); Arming Public Protests, 104 Iowa L. Rev. 233 (2019); and Framing the Second Amendment: Gun Rights, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties (forthcoming).

Gregory P. Magarian is the Thomas and Karole Green Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. His scholarship focuses on freedom of expression, the interaction between church and state, firearms regulations, and regulations of the political process. His Second Amendment scholarship includes Speaking Truth to Firepower: How the First Amendment Destabilizes the Second, 91 Tex. L. Rev. 49 (2012). He is the author of twenty articles and other publications on constitutional law, including Managed Speech: The Roberts Court’s First Amendment (Oxford Univ. Press 2017).

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