(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Based on his longstanding support for Second Amendment rights, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray applauded today’s ruling in the United States Supreme Court that government cannot unduly restrict these rights. Cordray co-sponsored an amicus brief in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, decided this morning, in which the court held that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms from federal, state and local government interference. In its decision, the court cited the brief from Cordray and other state attorneys general, pointing out, "the right to keep and bear arms is fundamental."
“We are proud to have helped defend the Second Amendment rights of Americans in this important Supreme Court case. We joined with other state attorneys general in urging the court to hold that the people’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms is fundamental and cannot be denied by state and local governments,” Cordray said. “The Supreme Court has now given full meaning to the Second Amendment for all Americans, no matter where we live or what level of government might seek to restrict our rights.”
The Supreme Court decided this issue based on its landmark 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller. That case recognized that, with respect to the federal government and in federal enclaves, the Second Amendment affords individuals the right to keep and bear arms. Today’s decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago goes further, holding that this right guaranteed by the Second Amendment is incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment so as to apply to state and local governments.
Attorney General Cordray co-sponsored the amicus brief along with the attorneys general of Texas, Arkansas and Georgia, while 34 other states also signed the brief. Cordray had previously joined the effort in asking the court to take this case. As the amicus brief argued:
“Over the last century, the Court has held that virtually all of the individual rights found in the Bill of Rights apply to state and local government through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Under the doctrine of selective incorporation, these rights have been applied to state and local government because they are considered fundamental — that is, necessary to an Anglo-American regime of ordered liberty.
“The right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment is a fundamental liberty interest subject to incorporation against the States. Indeed, in the Anglo-American tradition, it is among the most fundamental of rights, because it is essential to securing all our other liberties. The Founders well understood that, without the protections afforded by the Second Amendment, all of the other rights and privileges ordinarily enjoyed by citizens would be vulnerable to governmental acts of oppression.”
To view the amicus brief in full, visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/McDonaldAmicusBrief.
To view the opinion in full, visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/McDonaldOpinion.