The Supreme Court held Monday that the Constitution's Second Amendment restrains government's ability to significantly limit "the right to keep and bear arms," advancing a recent trend by the John Roberts-led bench to embrace gun rights.
By a narrow, 5-4 vote, the justices also signaled, however, that some limitations on the right could survive legal challenges. ...
Still, Alito noted that the declaration that the Second Amendment is fully binding on states and cities "limits (but by no means eliminates) their ability to devise solutions to social problems that suit local needs and values."
Unsurprising, but still incoherent. The Court declares that there is a fundamental right to keep and bear arms, but signals that government may still limit that right based on "local needs and values". Imagine applying that standard to free speech cases: "You have a fundamental right to speak and cannot be completely prevented from speaking, but we'll decide on a case-by-case basis whether local restrictions that are less than a total ban are permissible." The only reason the Court is doing this is because it wants to slip this newly-discovered right into the legal framework without generating political opposition from the police and prison industries, which have vested interests in maintaining criminal laws forbidding some people from owning guns.