- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
John Paul Stevens, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2010, has come up with a plan to change the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which he says would better reflect what the Founders intended. The Second Amendment has become highly controversial lately, as it spells out the right of Americans to “bear arms.”
Stevens, 94, is promoting his new book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, in which he outlines his proposed changes to the Constitution. However, his suggestions for the Second Amendment are getting the most attention. He suggests that the amendment be changed to read “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”
In an interview with ABC News, Stevens said that the Founders did not intend on allowing individual citizens to bear arms, but rather state militias. That would be in contradiction of the 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.
Still, Stevens understands that a complete ban of individuals owning arms is remote because of the powerful gun lobby, which “is able to take care of itself in the democratic debates which would continue with my amendment.” His idea “would merely prevent arguments being made that Congress doesn’t have the power to do what they think is in the best public interest.”
According to CBS Washington, Stevens also suggested that gerrymandering - the process of redrawing district lines for political purposes - should be unconstitutional. “It doesn’t take a genius to say there’s something fishy about these districts,” he said.
Another comment from Stevens that is getting attention is that politics could be considered when a judge retires, although he said that his own retirement was not politically motivated. “My decision was not made for any political reason whatsoever. It was my concern about my own health,” Stevens said.