From Professor Steve HeymanSymposium on the Second Amendment-- Friday, April 28.
The school shootings at Columbine High School exactly one year ago brought the issue of gun control to the center of the national political agenda. But do gun control laws violate the Second Amendment to the Constitution? The Amendment reads, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the defense of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to possess weapons for their own purposes, or only within the context of a state-organized militia? The Supreme Court has never definitively resolved this issue, but an important case now working its way up through the courts, United States v. Emerson, may soon require the Court to do so.
On Friday, April 28, from 9:00 to 5:00 in the Auditorium, ten leading historians and constitutional scholars, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Jack N. Rakove of Stanford University, will be at Chicago-Kent for a major symposium on the meaning of the Second Amendment. We hope that the symposium, which is being co-sponsored by the Chicago-Kent Law Review and the Institute for Law and the Humanities, will attract major media coverage, and may even be broadcast on C-SPAN. Once it is published in the Law Review this fall, the symposium may have an impact on the Supreme Court's consideration of the Emerson case, which may well become one of the most important constitutional cases of the decade.
All members of the Chicago-Kent community (as well as the public) are invited to attend the symposium. Food and beverages will be provided throughout the day, and at a reception following the symposium. A schedule of the conference is available on the Law Review's Web site