Fordham Law


Professor Nicholas Johnson Cited in Supreme Court Opinion on Second Amendment Case

June 28, 2010

Professor Nicholas Johnson was cited in the Supreme Court's majority opinion following the June 28 decision in McDonald v. Chicago. The Court's ruling states that the Second Amendment's guarantee of an individual right to bear arms is applicable to both state and local gun control laws.

The ruling comes after a related decision in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Court ruled in favor of individual gun owners' rights vis-à-vis federal law. The McDonald ruling extends these rights to the state and local government levels.

Johnson's article, "'This Right is Not Allowed by Governments That Are Afraid of The People': The Public Meaning of the Second Amendment When the Fourteenth Amendment was Ratified" 17 Geo. Mason L. Rev.  823, 854 (2010), is cited by Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority in the 5-4 McDonald decision. Johnson's article was co-written by Clayton E. Cramer and Fordham Law alumnus George A. Mocsary '09.

In another recently published article, "The Second Amendment in the States and the Limits of the Common Use Standard," Johnson examines provisions in the Heller decision to provide a framework for understanding some of the potential impacts of the McDonald case.

Johnson and Mocsary are also currently co-authoring the first law school textbook on firearms regulation and the Second Amendment. It is scheduled for publication in fall 2011.

Read the Supreme Court's ruling.

Read Johnson's "'This Right is Not Allowed by Governments That Are Afraid of The People': The Public Meaning of the Second Amendment When the Fourteenth Amendment was Ratified."


Contact: Stephen Eichinger
Email: eichinger@law.fordham.edu