October 14, 2010

Continuing Legal Education: Privileges or Immunities Clause in McDonald v. City of Chicago

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This course examines the role of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in the protection of individual rights and its application to state-imposed limits on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in McDonald v. City of Chicago.

The Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment has long been relegated to the backstage of constitutional jurisprudence. Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion in McDonald v. City of Chicago, however, brings the Privileges or Immunities Clause to center stage. Is this simply a brief appearance for the constitutional clause or something more?

Professor Eric Claeys considers the role of the Privileges or Immunities Clause in the protection of individual rights, and reviews three leading theories on the interpretation of the Privileges or Immunities Clause.

Professor Joyce Malcolm provides a brief history of Second Amendment law, a critique of the Supreme Court opinions District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, and a discussion about the competing standards for incorporation as well as Justice Thomas’s effort to return the Privileges or Immunities Clause to its original purpose.