The Weekly Reload Podcast

Bruen Critic Law Professor Jake Charles Reacts to Rahimi Ruling

July 8th, 2024

In Rahimi, the Supreme Court recently handed down its first application of the Bruen test for Second Amendment cases. With the Court passing on new Second Amendment cases and remanding several in its final conference of the term, its opinion in Rahimi will be the thing most lower courts look to for guidance during at least the near future.

That's why we had pro-gun scholar David Kopel on the show two weeks ago to give his interpretation of what the opinion means for future gun cases. It's also why we have Bruen critic and Pepperdine University law professor Jake Charles on the show this week to give his take. We think it's important to give you guys insight from several different perspectives on important developments like this. That way, you're best informed about what's going on and can make up your own mind.

Like Kopel, Charles's writing seemed to have a direct impact on the Rahimi ruling itself. Charles has been critical of the Bruen test's reliance on analogizing historical laws to modern regulations since the Court handed it down back in 2022. One of his primary complaints is that the lack of a certain regulation for a societal issue faced during the Founding Era implies that regulation is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. Some of the justices, including Amy Coney Barrett, appeared to agree with that critique in Rahimi.

Charles also agreed with Justice Clarence Thomas on how the majority seemed to be rejecting the Bruen test--at least to some degree. But he wasn't sure how much of a seachange the ruling would create in the lower courts. And he argued the Court will probably have to take up more Second Amendment cases to answer many of the questions Rahimi left unanswered.

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