Illegal aliens have Second Amendment rights
So says the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision that's sure to generate a lot of debate, and possibly a Supreme Court challenge. The court's opinion -- which conflicts with several other circuit court rulings -- turns on just who the founders meant when they said "the people" have the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment. Apparently, the 7th Circuit thinks it means everyone. The court's conclusion:
In the post-heller">Heller world, where it is now clear that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is no second-class entitlement, we see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized 14 No. 14-3271 (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded. No language in the Amendment supports such a conclusion, nor, as we have said, does a broader consideration of the Bill of Rights.
We agree that the Second Amendment isn't second class. And we also agree that the rights we enjoy are granted by God, not the government. But this case leaves us wondering...does the rest of the Bill of Rights apply to illegal immigrats a well? If so, then it opens a huge can of worms regarding border security and immigration control.
Federal prosecutors may appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court -- if for no other reason than to settle the conflicting opinions of the various lower courts. If they do appeal, it will be a case we will be watching very, very closely. Not just for the constitutional issues in question, but for the political debate that is sure to follow.