This year, no case on the Supreme Court docket is more important than McDonald v. Chicago, where the Court is deciding whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is only a right you have against the federal government, or instead if the Second Amendment (like most of the Bill of Rights) also secures a right you can assert against state and local governments. At issue is whether Chicago’s law banning all guns—even in your own home—is constitutional.
When the Supreme Court considered its last Second Amendment case, District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, then-U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement filed a brief in the case, and then requested and received time to argue the federal government’s position in that case as to the meaning of the Second Amendment.
When the McDonald case was argued before the Court on March 2 of this year, current Solicitor General Kagan argued… Nothing. Not only did she not ask for time during oral argument, she didn’t even file a brief (which the solicitor general routinely does in important constitutional cases—and the McDonald case is monumentally important).
If someone asserts that the solicitor general shouldn’t file a brief because it’s a state matter as to whether the Second Amendment is “incorporated” to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment (which is the issue in McDonald) the record speaks to the contrary. The last time the Supreme Court “incorporated” a right from the Bill of Rights to the states, in the 1969 case Benton v. Maryland, the solicitor general filed a brief, and then (just like Heller in 2008) got divided argument time to express the government’s views in front of the Court.
Why wouldn’t Kagan file a brief expressing the view of over 75% of Americans that the Second Amendment is an individual right, one that every American citizen has against all levels of government?
Aside from her shocking decision not to file a brief in McDonald, we’ve learned that Elena Kagan was part of the Clinton White House’s gun-control efforts, where a Clinton staffer said, “We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.”