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Why Firearm Federalism Beats Firearm Localism icon.pdf Print E-mail

Americans are increasingly polarized on gun rights and gun policy, leading some scholars to ask whether the Second Amendment provides a tool to manage disagreement and promote decentralization. Joseph Blocher’s Firearm Localism takes up this perspective and makes a case for deference to local and municipal gun control laws, including the revision or repeal of statewide firearms preemption statutes. In this Essay, Professor O’Shea argues that neither judicial tradition nor the priorities of contemporary urban gun owners support such deference. Moreover, unlike traditional federalism, Blocher’s localism would undermine the compromise value that was supposed to be decentralization’s strength: the prospect of piecemeal local regulation could threaten the practical exercise of gun rights even in generally pro-gun areas. In short, if one adopts a decentralizing approach to the Second Amendment, then its proper form is a conventional, state-based federalism backed by preemption.

Tiny Constables and the Cost of Surveillance: Making Cents Out of United States v. Jones icon.pdf Print E-mail

In United States v. Jones, five Supreme Court Justices wrote that government surveillance of one’s public movements for twenty-eight days using a GPS device violated a reasonable expectation of privacy and constituted a Fourth Amendment search. Unfortunately, they didn’t provide a clear and administrable rule that could be applied in other government surveillance cases. In this Essay, Kevin Bankston and Ashkan Soltani draw together threads from the Jones concurrences and existing legal scholarship and combine them with data about the costs of different location tracking techniques to articulate a cost-based conception of the expectation of privacy that both supports and is supported by the concurring opinions in Jones.