March 25th, 2021


i can’t even

In 1299, King Edward I of England ordered the sheriffs of Salop and Stafford to prohibit any one “from tourneying, tilting . . . or jousting, or making assemblies, or otherwise going armed within the realm without the king’s special licen[s]e.”

Some 18½ years after authorizing torture in the service of the War on Terror, Jay Bybee relied on this royal order yesterday in George K. Young v. State of Hawaii, to gainsay the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States on behalf of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit:

“The government may regulate, and even prohibit, in public places—including government buildings, churches, schools and markets—the open carrying of small arms capable of being concealed, whether they are carried concealed or openly.”

You know what else King Edward I of England ordered? Nine years earlier, on 18 July 1290, in one of the final so-called great statutes of his reign, he issued a royal decree expelling Jews from England.

Imagine the degree of judicial sophistication required to attribute more authority over today’s Americans to the former, than the latter edict.