Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Professor Jack Rakove's Intellectual Embarrasments

Jack Rakove, professor of history at Stanford University, who was one of fifteen PhD. holding academic amici supporting Washington DC's gun control laws in the Heller case, made a most interesting comment this Fourth of July. It appeared at The Browser and included a criticism of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia's decision in that case.

"I submitted a brief in the District of Columbia vs Heller case, from three years ago. That was the case in which the Court struck down a 32-year-old handgun ban as incompatible with the Second Amendment. I think there are intellectual embarrassments of the first order in Justice Scalia's opinion."

Those who have read the series Root Causes of Never-Ending Second Amendment Dispute at this blog will be much amused by the professor's claim. As documented in the 24 posts of the Root Causes series, Prof. Rakove's Heller brief brimmed with errors of historical fact and left out the most relevant information for understanding the Second Amendment's intent. It is Prof. Rakove's brief to the Supreme Court that contains "intellectual embarrassments of the first order". There were so many errors of historical fact in the Rakove brief that the historical dissent from Justice Stevens only cited it once, and that was for a point relating to the English Bill of Rights.

The very first post of this blog, which was Part 1 of the Root Causes of Never-Ending Second Amendment Dispute series, documents the first of numerous Rakove intellectual embarrassments in the Heller case.

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