HUH? Sam Heldman has a


Sam Heldman has a precis of a Supreme Court gun case about to be argued. Speaking as a non-lawyer, and someone with no particular stake in the outcome, it doesn’t even seem a close call to me; never reviewing an application is obviously tantamount to denying it, and if a denial is subject to judicial review, then …

Anyone have an idea about why the Supremes took it? Is it just that the thought of giving gun rights back to an ex-felon just seems too scary?


Sam answers my question here. Apparently I was right that this isn’t a close case, but completely wrong about which side it wasn’t a close case for. Precedent says that an appropriations rider barring the expenditure of funds to implement a statutory right amounts to a temporary repealer of the right itself.

I’m sure someone has noticed this before, but law is weird.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

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