Larry Roibal, portrait of Antonin Scalia
Ball point pen on the morning newsprint
JUSTICE SCALIA: Mr. Gura, do you think it is at all easier to bring the Second Amendment under the Privileges and Immunities Clause than it is to bring it under our established law of substantive due?
MR. GURA: It’s—
JUSTICE SCALIA: Is it easier to do it under privileges and immunities than it is under substantive due process?
MR. GURA: It is easier in terms, perhaps, of—of the text and history of the original public understanding of—
JUSTICE SCALIA: No, no. I’m not talking about whether—whether the Slaughter-House Cases were right or wrong. I’m saying, assuming we give, you know, the Privileges and Immunities Clause your definition, does that make it any easier to get the Second Amendment adopted with respect to the States?
MR. GURA: Justice Scalia, I suppose the answer to that would be no, because—
JUSTICE SCALIA: Then if the answer is no, why are you asking us to overrule 150, 140 years of prior law, when—when you can reach your result under substantive due—I mean, you know, unless you are bucking for a—a place on some law school faculty—
MR. GURA: No. No. I have left law school some time ago and this is not an attempt to—to return.
JUSTICE SCALIA: What you argue is the darling of the professoriate, for sure, but it’s also contrary to 140 years of our jurisprudence. Why do you want to undertake that burden instead of just arguing substantive due process, which as much as I think it’s wrong, I have—even I have acquiesced in it?