Postscript: Is it Unconstitutional to Take Guns Away from Domestic Abusers?


The Supreme Court recently wrapped up their term – and announced that they will hear a very controversial case about domestic abuse, the power of Congress, and the right to keep and bear arms called United States v. Rahimi. The Court will decide whether a Texas man who assaulted his girlfriend in a parking lot and threatened to shoot her if she told anyone has been deprived of his Second Amendment rights. When the assaulted woman later obtained a restraining order against Mr. Zackey Rahimi, federal law made illegal for him to possess a firearm or ammunition while under that order.

In 2019, Mr. Zackey Rahimi had an argument with his girlfriend in a parking lot. Mr. Rahimi knocked the woman to the ground. As he dragged her back to his car, she hit her head on the car’s dashboard. Later, in a telephone call. Mr. Rahimi threatened the woman that he would shoot her if she told anyone about the assault. Later, a Texas state court entered a domestic violence restraining order against Rahimi. The order also barred Rahimi from possessing a gun based on a part of a federal statute: the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Mr. Rahimi claims that the statute violates his Second Amendment rights.

Postscript invites authors to react to contemporary events that engage their scholarship and we have two experts on the Second Amendment to unpack the case. Joseph Blocher, Lanty L. Smith ’67 Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law co-authored The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller (Cambridge University Press, 2018) with Darrell Miller and has a forthcoming article in the Yale Law Review (co-authored with Eric Ruben) entitled Originalism-by-Analogy and Second Amendment Adjudication. In addition to his numerous influential law review articles and nuanced public facing scholarship in print, radio, and tv, he was one of the attorneys who helped write the brief for the District of C in Heller and he contributed an important brief to New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.

Susan Liebell is Dirk Warren '50 Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

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Susan Liebell

Susan Liebell is a Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

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