I know that it is Wednesday, but yesterdays Young v Hawaii ruling has me off and chasing through the streams of history as we consider what the ruling might – it may still not be clear – actually means.
Our examination of the ruling starts in 1752 in Port Royal, Bermuda, where a boy was born to Colonel Henry and Anne Butterfield Tucker. Some generations before, the family had married into the St. George family, and so the boy was christened, St. George Tucker.
It is this young man, who will eventually find his way to Virginia, where in 1772 he will become a lawyer, trained under George Wythe, will serve his adopted State and his new country, who will one day sit down and compose his notes on Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Law. And what is that to us today?
Gun rights advocates are rejoicing over a 9th Circuit Panel ruling out of Hawaii, that carrying a firearm is a Constitutional right. Before you get really excited though, keep three things in mind:
(a) this is the same Court that re-impaneled itself en banc to overturn Peruta.
(b) The three Judge Panel that ruled on Young v Hawaii were all GOP appointees and it was NOT unanimous.
(c) They also made it clear that the state of Hawaii could still put limits on open carry, and that “for better or worse,” their ruling is in line with Heller and Peruta (the en banc redo)
So while the initial reaction is positive, what did the Court actually say that we can take and consume to decide if all of that work that St. George Tucker did more than 200 years ago still matters?