Public Law Legal Research Blog

    James P. Witt

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    CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: History and the Application of the Second Amendment

    Posted by James P. Witt on Thu, Dec 16, 2021 @ 09:12 AM

    Jim Witt—Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

                Historical background has always played an important role in the development of case law under the U.S. Constitution. With the emergence of original-intent theory, history, especially the legal history of England, has become even more influential. This point is exemplified by the continuing questions that arise over the interpretation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, "Keeping and Bearing Arms—A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. "

                The case law that has developed under the Second Amendment has largely focused on issues arising in the context of a state's right to raise and maintain a militia, with no U.S. Supreme Court decision dealing with the extent of an individual's right to bear arms. This changed in 2008, however, when Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the majority opinion in the 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), in which the Supreme Court affirmed the right of an individual to keep arms in the home for self-defense.

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    Topics: constitutional law, James P. Witt, second amendment, individual's right to bear arms, self-defense

    CORONAVIRUS: Hoarding During the Pandemic

    Posted by James P. Witt on Mon, Dec 21, 2020 @ 11:12 AM

    Jim Witt—Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

                While the as yet unexplained hoarding of toilet paper may be thought of as the light side of the coronavirus pandemic, on the not-so-light side is the hoarding of medical supplies, notably drugs and medical equipment such as masks and ventilators. The federal government has taken two steps in this regard—first, an Executive Order from the President, and, second, a warning from the Department of Justice.

                Executive Order No. 13910, 85 FR 17001, "Preventing Hoarding of Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of COVID-19" (Mar. 23, 2020), was announced under the authority of the Constitution and the Defense Production Act of 1950 (the "Act"), as amended (50 U.S.C. §§ 4501 et seq.).

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    Topics: James P. Witt, COVID-19, presidential orders, hoarding, Defense Production Act

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