Second Amendment Incorporation through the Fourteenth Amendment Privileges or Immunities and Due Process Clauses


With the Declaration of Independence supplying the inspiration, the Framers created a constitutional template for a nation the likes of which the world had never seen – a nation in which government would serve, instead of rule, the people; and one in which the people would enjoy a freedom approximating as nearly as possible that which occurs in a state of nature itself. Government would exercise its necessary, limited role, and otherwise leave the people alone - with the Constitution standing ever watchful as guardian to assure that government would not overstep its bounds, as governments are apt to do.

After traveling nearly eighty years of hard road, and enduring a war in which 500,000 gave their lives, the people amended the Constitution in 1868 to correct serious defects in the original and to affirm, once again, the core underlying principle upon which the nation was founded: namely, Freedom. This Article describes how the Supreme Court betrays the people’s will by ignoring the privileges or immunities clause, and discusses how the issue of Second Amendment incorporation presents a useful contemporary vehicle to begin to restore the civil libertarian purposes for which the privileges or immunities clause was intended.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law

Date of this Version

March 2006