Could US v Lopez kill NICS?


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Langenator
January 1, 2004, 03:37 PM
With the Supreme Court's decision in US v Lopez, and the 9th Circuit's ruling in the Raich/Monson medical marijuana case, the federal courts have begun to show at least a slight inclination to roll back some of Congress' abuse of the Commerce Clause. Could this be used as precedent to overturn the Brady Act-since the transaction in the sale of a firearm is a local one, it is intra-state commerce, not interstate, and thus beyond the power of Congress to regulate.

Justice Thomas touches on this point in his concurring opinion in Printz v US, which declared that the Brady Act's provisions requiring background checks to be performed by local law enforcement agencies were in violation of the 10th Amendment.

To the best of my knowledge, the requirement for NICS has never been similarly challenged. But Thomas' closing words seem to indicate how he would vote if it were.

"Perhaps, at some future date, this Court will have the opportunity to determine whether Justice Story was correct when he wrote that the right to bear arms, 'has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic.'" -Thomas, concurring opinion, Printz v US, 1997.

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