Essay about First Amendment and 2nd Amendment

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This essay was completed for a major grade in my online Communication Law class at Mississippi College.

Abstract

This essay cites and researches each of the first ten amendments. Each amendment will be stated verbatim and will be cited at the beginning of each part of the essay. I will then address each amendment and provide cited example cases. Each amendment two through ten (the Bill of Rights) will then be compared to the first amendment.

Amendments Comparison Essay

Amendment I

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (U.S. Const. amend. I)

Amendment II

“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.” (U.S. Const. amend. II)

Case Laws

District of Columbia v. Heller (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

This case was between the District of Columbia and a D. C. special policeman, Heller. During this time the District of Columbia had strict licensing requirements for lawfully kept firearms. It was unlawful to carry unregistered firearms and they didn’t allow registration of handguns. They also required that all firearms be either trigger-locked or unassembled in the home. Heller went to court on the basis that these laws were unconstitutional to the Second Amendment because they violated the individual’s right to possess and bear firearms for self-defense.

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York

In this case, the City has strict bans on transporting and carrying operable and inoperable firearms through and out of the city. The firearm license that the city issues only allows the resident to keep it at their home. They are not allowed to bear arms outside their homes for self-defense. The only exception to this law is that they may transport the firearm to and from one of the seven authorized small arms ranges or shooting clubs. This case involved Romolo Colantone, Efrain Alvarez, and Jose Anthony. They wanted to be able to transport their firearms from their homes to their other residents located out of the city, shooting tournaments located out of the city, and shooting ranges that are closer to their residents that are located out of city limits than the ones inside city limits. This case is the first Second Amendment case heard in almost a decade and is still pending today.

Constitutional Scholar

After the Court decision involving District of Columbia v. Heller Justice Antonin Scalia was placed with the responsibility of writing the majority opinion for the Heller Case. He states “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Duke Law School has created a new research center devoted to the study of issues about the Second Amendment, firearms laws, and gun rights. One of the Professors stated “There are not enough constitutional law scholars working on Second Amendment issues, an area where the impact of scholarship can be — and has been — profound,” said Blocher, the Lanty L. Smith ’67 Professor of Law. Both Miller and Blocher are currently highly accredited constitutional scholars who have both extensively researched and written about the Second Amendment and several other gun-related rights. They are both working on The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller which was later published by the Cambridge University Press. They hope that this research and scholarship helps clarify the Second Amendment and anything surrounding it.

Comparison

The Second Amendment protects the United States citizens' rights to a free militia and the right to bear arms. This amendment helps citizens protect the First Amendment by allowing for self-defense from any government that wants to take away constitutional rights. The First and the Second Amendments help the people keep in control of the government instead of the government in control of the people. This is how the Constitution works to keep everything in balance.

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Amendment I

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (U.S. Const. amend. I)

Amendment III

“No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Case Laws

Engblom v. Carey

This case is about a riot that took place in Warwick, New York. During a sitewide correctional facility strike the National Guard was called in to the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility. While there two correction officers brought this action contending that they were removed from their residences without warning or notice so that members of the National Guard could reside in their homes. They stated that this violated their Third Amendment rights that no soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the homeowner. From what I gather about this case it was at first decided that the national guardsmen did not violate their Third Amendment right however it was later decided that they did.

Constitutional Scholar

T “Scotch” Reynolds is one of very few who practices the Third Amendment Law. He was questioned about how the third amendment could be applied. He stated, “Hypothetically, let’s say the military decides that its soldiers and armed personnel need to stay in your house, at no cost to the government. The Third Amendment prohibits that from happening unless we are in a time of war.”

The Third Amendment and the Issue of the Maintenance of Standing Armies: A Legal History

The need for the third amendment originated during the Revolutionary War when British soldiers would come and take over someone’s home without warning or notice so that they would have housing during the war. Since then cases of this happening have been far and few between as said in this scholarly article.

“For almost two hundred years, now, it has gone virtually unnoticed. No Supreme Court case has ever directly interpreted the amendment, although several opinions, most notably the case of Griswold V. Connecticut, mention it in passing as one aspect of the right to privacy.” (Fields, W., & Hardy, D., 1991)

According to Gordon S. Wood (Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University), the Third Amendment may even have application in some modern-day situations “Some legal scholars have even begun to argue that the amendment might be applied to the government’s response to terror attacks and natural disasters, and issues involving eminent domain and the militarization of the police.” These types of situations are sadly very common and it is during these times we do deploy troops out to help handle and clean up after such crises.

Comparison

The third amendment tends to protect domestic privacy and property from an overpowering government. This right helps the civilians have a chance of keeping some form of control over the armed forces just as the First Amendment allows for citizens to keep some form of control over the government. The First Amendment protects this by giving citizens the right to peacefully protest and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

References

    1. U.S. Const. amend. I.
    2. U.S. Const. amend. II.
    3. U.S. Const. amend. III.
    4. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER. (2008, June 26). Retrieved January 25, 2020, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZS.html
    5. On this day, a divided Supreme Court rules on the Second Amendment. (2019, June 28). Retrieved January 25, 2020, from https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/on-this-day-a-divided-supreme-court-rules-on-the-second-amendment
    6. Canzoneri, J., & Slotkin, B. A. (2019, November 26). New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York. Retrieved January 25, 2020, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/18-280
    7. Second Amendment scholars Blocher and Miller co-direct the new Duke Center for Firearms Law. (2019, February 12). Retrieved January 25, 2020, from https://law.duke.edu/news/second-amendment-scholars-blocher-and-miller-co-direct-new-duke-center-firearms-law/
    8. Linder, D. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2020, from http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/engblom.html
    9. Meet a lawyer who practices Third Amendment law. (2011, February 24). Retrieved January 25, 2020, from https://lawafterthebar.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/meet-a-lawyer-who-practices-third-amendment-law/
    10. Fields, W., & Hardy, D. (1991). The Third Amendment and the Issue of the Maintenance of Standing Armies: A Legal History. The American Journal of Legal History, 35(4), 393-431. doi:10.2307/845653
    11. The Third Amendment. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2020, from https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/interpretation/amendment-iii/interps/123
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