Justice Ginsburg Laments Supreme Court Decision Affirming 2A as Individual Right

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court in May. (Photo: AP/Mike Groll)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court in May. (Photo: AP/Mike Groll)

If there was any doubt in your mind about why the 2016 presidential election is a do or die moment for the Second Amendment, you ought to consider what Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said recently about the high court’s landmark Heller decision, which affirmed that the Second Amendment protects one’s individual right to keep and bear arms.

In an interview with “The New York Times” Ginsburg said that Heller was “a very bad decision,” adding that the court may reconsider it’s ruling whenever there is a challenge to a gun control law.

So, what does that mean exactly?  Well, as I’ve said in the past, gun-grabbers have long argued (and continue to argue) that the 2A is a right that was conferred only within the context of militia service, ergo if you or I did not belong to a civilian militia, we did not have a guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.

This ass-backward reading of the Second Amendment is very troublesome, but it prevailed for years, until Heller, and it allowed certain big cities and federal enclaves, e.g. D.C., to enact various draconian gun laws, including bans on handguns and concealed carry.

But after Heller, after it was made clear that the Second Amendment was, indeed, an individual right, everything changed. It was a watershed moment. Gun prohibitions began to fall like dominos. State and municipal governments who wished to limit one’s right had to reckon with the gravity of Heller (and McDonald v. Chicago, which extended the Heller decision to all the states in 2010). It didn’t take long for anti-gunners to realize that they were now fighting a losing battle. The 2A was here to stay — at least as long as the complexion of the court remained 5-4 in favor of gun rights.

Now that justice Scalia is gone, it’s 4-4.  Four liberals, four conservatives.  Four anti-gunners, four pro-gunners.  And this is why this year’s election is so important, if Hillary Clinton takes office in 2016, she will undoubtedly appoint Scalia’s replacement and maybe one or two other justices (Ginsburg is 83, Kennedy is 80 and Breyer is 77).  Clinton has gone on record saying that the Supreme Court “got it wrong,” on the 2A, presumably with respect to Heller.

“I was proud when my husband took [the National Rifle Association] on, and we were able to ban assault weapons, but he had to put a sunset on so 10 years later. Of course [President George W.] Bush wouldn’t agree to reinstate them,” said Clinton at a private New York fundraiser back in the fall of 2015.

“We’ve got to go after this,” Clinton continued. “And here again, the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.”

If the court flips to a 5-4 or 6-3 anti-gun majority, the Heller decision is as good as gone.  One’s individual right to keep and bear arms is gone.  All the pro-gun laws that Heller paved the way for are gone.  For anti-gunners, Heller is the key thread that could unravel the pro-gun movement and all the progress that’s been made over the years.

Ginsburg is no fool.  She knows that if a Hillary-appointed court gets another whack at Heller, they’ll change it to reflect an anti-gunners interpretation of the Second Amendment.

In a 2013 interview with PRI, Ginsburg explained how she interprets the Second Amendment.

“The Second Amendment has a preamble about the need for a militia … Historically, the new government had no money to pay for an army, so they relied on the state militias,” she said. “The states required men to have certain weapons and they specified in the law what weapons these people had to keep in their home so that when they were called to do service as militiamen, they would have them. That was the entire purpose of the Second Amendment.”

She goes on to say that since there is no need for militia service, there is no need for the Second Amendment.

“Its function is to enable the young nation to have people who will fight for it to have weapons that those soldiers will own,” she said. “I view the Second Amendment as rooted in the time totally allied to the need to support a militia. So … the Second Amendment is outdated in the sense that its function has become obsolete.”

In the video below you’ll see how Hillary tacitly endorses the Ginsburg perspective by refusing to acknowledge the Second Amendment as an individual right.

Bottom line: We’re in big trouble if Hillary gets elected.

(H/T: Daniel Terrill)

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Carbine Williams June 30, 2017, 6:27 am

    Hopefully Ginsburg and her cronies will soon die and free up the oxygen we breathe.She and her fellow cretinous ilk deserve long deep dirt naps.The liberals on all of the higher courts should be tried for treason and hung.End of problem

  • Andrew N. July 21, 2016, 11:30 pm

    Funny, I always thought that putting Ginsburg on the Supreme Court was a “Mistake” and a “Bad Decision”. The unfortunate part is we are stuck with this old bat until she finally croaks. God help us if Hillary actually gets elected. I see another Civil War and a reshaping of our Gov’t coming if she wins.

  • Dr Dave July 21, 2016, 10:37 am

    What are the laws regarding starting a militia? Wouldn’t this be a way around confiscation if the Supreme Court ruled against us? I need to do some research. I am proud to read all of your comments.

  • Michael MacKay July 18, 2016, 11:11 am

    Judges attempt to legislate from the bench all the time, and they bow to political demagoguery.

    The Federalist Papers are the source where we can find out exactly what the second amendment’s purpose is.

    Let’s go with one of the principal authors of the Bill of Rights…he knew what he intended, didn’t he?

    Doesn’t mean squat what some later day legal jurist thinks it means, listen to what Thomas Jefferson SAID it means:


    “False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. Laws that forbid the carrying of arms laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they act rather to an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
    – Thomas Jefferson Quoting Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishment


    “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.”

    – Proposed Constitution for Virginia – Fair Copy, Section IV:Rights, Private and Public, June 1776; The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition, Editor: Paul Leicester Ford, (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5); Vol. 2


    “A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.”

    – Letter to Peter Carr, 1785; The Letters of Thomas Jefferson: 1743-1826, Electronic Text Center of University of Virginia

    “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”

    – Letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787; The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5) Vol. 5


    “The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen ; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press.”

    – Letter to Justice John Cartwright, June 5, 1824; “The Writings of Thomas Jefferson,” Definitive Edition, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. XVI, p. 45


    “We established however some, although not all its important principles. The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press.”

    – Letter to Major John Cartwright, Monticello, June 5, 1824; Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, ed., 19 vol. (1905)


    Thomas Jefferson, Quote “…an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” ( by a criminal – go look up the murder rate of Chicago & DC both gun grabber heavens with the most stringent gun laws in the US)

    Thomas Jefferson, Quote “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.”

    Thomas Jefferson, Quote “The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;”

    Thomas Jefferson, Quote “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”

    Thomas Jefferson, Quote “Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.”


    Don’t let any Liberal Democrat lie to you…go read the Federalist Papers…these were a series of public newspaper articles where in the representatives of the United States were debating the constitutional vote and the amendments…they clearly stated the task and purpose of each element of it and told the world what they intended.


    Please share this with your liberal friends so that at least they can understand the fact of the document before they try to defeat its principles.

    Some later day lesser jurist like Warren Burger is a useful idiot for liberals…he, despite his “credential” of being a Supreme Court Appointee, doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to the second amendment… his opinion is absolutely wrong…Thomas Jefferson is the source and one of the principal authors of the Bill of Rights that proves it.

    Thomas Jefferson, Quote “it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;”

    Pretty damned clear, isn’t it?

    Brother, you need to learn your rights and stop letting liberal sources attempt to take them away.

    The Founding Fathers on the Second Amendment | The Federalist Papers

    Benjamin Franklin “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” George Mason, co-author of the Second Amendment “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way…


  • TPSnodgrass July 16, 2016, 3:32 pm

    The JewishMunchkin, that made those comments, is another example of faux moralism, that sits behind her wall of armed Supreme Court Police protective detail. Yes, Ruthie, it IS easy to pass judgment on the normal people you hold in such contempt, and from whose sweat and toil, YOU, get paid from. The JewishMunchkin is a fine example of the ProgressivePlantation Slavery Elitistism.
    If Ruthie, ever ventures far from her protective detail, she will see how “lucky the ISIS JV team” can be. Good thing she doesn’t, I for one, don’t want her canonized as a martyr for the Republic, she’s just another flatulating academic crone.

  • mike ehrig July 15, 2016, 10:32 pm

    im glad that we still have some sane, serious judges still active on the supreme court.

  • Leighton Cavendish July 15, 2016, 9:42 pm

    It says “the people”…meaning all individual Americans…just as all the other rights are individuals rights of “the people”.
    She is old and senile…needs to retire or die…or both.

  • EdNope July 15, 2016, 5:53 pm

    Since Scalia’s death, I’ve been telling everyone who will listen about this exact thing! The next president WILL select the 4 (FOUR!) justices.

    So, how scary is a Hillary presidency?? Imagine every future Supreme Court gun case going 8-1 against us – for the next 20-plus years?

  • BR549 July 15, 2016, 4:25 pm

    Isn’t this typical? Yet another leftard whose dysfunctional conscience comes face to face with the oath they took to get in office.

    I’ll defer to the founding fathers’ reasoning before listening to the babbling commentary from this aging, subjectively tainted, leftard who seems to conveniently IGNORE the history and philosophy behind the founding fathers’ decisions.

  • mka July 15, 2016, 3:56 pm

    If push comes to shove concerning the second amendment,I feel most police will not enforce ridiculous laws.
    This is the reason our treasonous president is trying to federalize large police departments.They do not care about the departments where speed control devices consist of Barney and a stopwatch.
    I would just like to say police and military are sworn to enforce constitutional laws. If the courts and the democrats pass restrictive and laws that are confiscatory take it up by personally “reasoning” with the makers of these laws,not the police who are doing a job. A few well placed reasons will change these cowards,it is the reason you never see them talking about muslims. They know what will happen to them.

  • Kalashnikov Dude July 15, 2016, 3:55 pm

    The greatest thing about our Constitution is that it is written in plain English. We know what it says. And what it says about citizens is that their right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That’s all. Full stop, drops mike and walks off stage. No judge, lawyer, or politician, or any number of misinformed, or hateful citizens can change that. Anything they do manage to come up with that says otherwise is null and void the moment it comes into existence. The real question is what are any or all of us willing to accept. My acceptance begins and ends with our 2nd Amendment. I will kill and die on the concept those words convey. That is my duty as a citizen, a family member, and gun enthusiast. Don’t tread on me. Or die. Those are your choices when it comes to me keeping and bearing arms in America.

  • Paco July 15, 2016, 1:45 pm

    No surprise here. Wasn’t Ginsberg council for the ACLU in the 50’s when it was identified as a Communist front?

  • BD Katt July 15, 2016, 1:18 pm

    “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”– Thomas Jefferson
    Injustice example:
    “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so. Indeed, I would go so far as to say, that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a “sine qua non” for the overthrow of any sovereignty”–
    Adolph Hitler
    “The beauty of the 2nd Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it”.. attb: Thomas Jefferson

  • Ronald Cawthon July 15, 2016, 1:10 pm

    Then, we the people, should form our neighborhood militias to be prepared for the onslaught of government tyranny

  • John E July 15, 2016, 1:00 pm

    It is sad that we ever see a 5/4 split on the supreme court. In reality it should always be 9-0 as polictics should never play a part into the constintution. The fact that is does shows that the courts do not work!

  • BD Katt July 15, 2016, 12:44 pm

    Ginsberg should read these thoughts from the founders:
    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but force. whenever you give up that force, you are ruined. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun”–Patrick Henry
    ” To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them”–George Mason
    Nowhere in their writings do they require participation in a militia as a prerequisite to owning guns.

  • Mark July 15, 2016, 12:13 pm

    We need to dust off the Jeffersonian/Madison acts of interposition and nullification as well as work together in the Convention of States. Work at the state level to disallow the Lincolnian precedent to run the General Government over the freedom of the states, Freedom is God given not government granted. Not to do so is to become slaves to the nation state. Slavery has also been abolished by the Constitution. We are not subjects of the General Government. Reinterpreting Heller means nothing if we hold to the authority of freedom and nullification. Just say “no.” If we do this then it is up to Clinton to initiate civil war like Lincoln did.

  • R. Coffin July 15, 2016, 11:03 am

    Nobody thought for a second that pioneers following Daniel Boone west were going unarmed. They needed to hunt and protect themselves.

  • Josh Melton July 15, 2016, 10:42 am

    Ginsberg is selective in her history and reading of 2A. In Federalist No 29, Alexander Hamilton writes to the people of New York State in 1788 that a militia is necessary, but doing so with such a large swath of the citizenry would be unreasonable due to the burden on the government and the economy. Therefore, a smaller, well trained force is ideal (think National Guard). He does state that little more could be reasonably done than to leave the people at large well armed and equipped, and have them assemble once or twice a year. If that was the intent of one founder, we can look to another to see if there are any correlations. James Madison, Federalist 46, 1788 describes a well-formed invasion from another country composed of 25 to 30,000 men. Because of our right to bear arms, and our choice to fight for our freedom and home, this invading army wouldn’t stand a chance against the half a million armed citizens of the United States that would arrive to fight them. One quote is striking: “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.
    And now there’s my opinion: What Ginsburg doesn’t get is that that colonies formed this nation and decided which laws the federal government could administer. In doing so, they identified 12 amendments (only 10 were finally agreed upon), which would protect the rights of the people and the states from the new federal government. As a member of the federal government, she should be especially aware of that. Any infringement on a individual right, used for whatever purpose, is unacceptable.

  • mudflat July 15, 2016, 10:25 am

    The only reason the 2A is under attack is because of the constant gun use by moronic criminals, gang members, etc., in our inner cities, and the occasional mass shooting by a deranged person. The rest of the population of the country has a high percentage of gun ownership that is never abused at all! If the authorities could actually do something to reduce crime and criminal gun use, then the problem concerning guns would be drastically reduced. Just because morons in Chicago typically go on a rampage of testosterone, nitrocellulose, and drugs, every weekend, doesn’t mean that the rest of us appreciate the political backlash. Sardonically, I think that the authorities, because they can’t reduce these activities, should supply the gangbangers and drug dealers with more guns and ammo in order to speed up their demise. Then the problem would literally die out.

  • Ken July 15, 2016, 10:06 am

    We just seen this week how Ginsburg leans when she attacked Trump.
    I thought SCJs were suppose to be impartial in their decision making.
    If she doesn’t like the way the 2A was written , she should have spoke up when they were drafting it!
    The citizen is so far out gunned by the government now-a-days it’s not even funny.

    • Ken July 15, 2016, 10:15 am

      I just remembered something I herd this week on the news.
      Remember when Gingsburg was shown sleeping during the State of The Union Address …
      She admitted that she wasn’t “100% sober”!

  • Edward Wright July 15, 2016, 9:04 am

    Anyone with a clue to real history, and not novels about history. can see the country was founded on freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom to be armed. These were clearly in almost every revolutionary time writing, by all our “forefathers”, and echoed by the common man. There was no dispute about these freedoms, only on how to guarantee them for the future. Remember the brave men that signed the Declaration, and the Constitution were doing so under penalty of death. They fully understood the need for everyone to be armed “always” to protect them now, and forever against the tyranny they were being threatened with then.
    The “Militia” as liberals like to call it, is in fact then, and now the individual included in the Declaration of Independance, and the Constitution. We were then “all” under the penalty of death for including ourselves in those documents. The forefathers had to then find a way for men to keep these rights intact. They ultimately could not! As beautiful, and God given as these documents are, they place the responsibility of their keep squarely on the people it includes, to understand, and protect them. The forefathers looked across centuries of rule, and government, and saw no other example to build from. These rights are for the people, by the people, and under the care of the people. Because they knew history repeats itself, tyranny returns every millennium, and there is no model of peace. This time, the people will care for the rights of man, this time will ensure they can start with freedom, and with these documents that God helped us write, they will have a chance.

  • john July 15, 2016, 9:03 am

    The point is, if Hillary is elected, she will appoint more Justices like Ginsburg and the Court will gut your second amendment rights.

  • Minuteman July 15, 2016, 7:18 am

    Ultimately, you are responsible for your own protection…That’s what the 2nd Ammendment
    Is rooted in. It is an inalienable right.

  • Veritas July 15, 2016, 4:36 am

    What can one expect from a senile old crow who admires the Constitutions of other nation rather than the Founding Father’s gem. She is what Jefferson predicted the judicial system would become.

  • Jeff Knox July 15, 2016, 3:56 am

    Your division of the Court is overly optimistic. At best we have 1 pro-gun, one leaning pro-gun, and two wishy-washy-limited-pro-ish-gun justices on one side vs. 4 resolutely anti-rights justices on the other. We barely got Heller and McDonald, and the cases rejected by the Court since then demonstrate that neither side was confident that they had the votes to win. Only Thomas and Scalia voiced objection to passing over some of these cases, and Thomas is now the only reliable pro-rights vote on the Court. We’re in deep trouble if we can’t get at least two more solid pro-rights justices appointed and confirmed. Then we could be sure of at least 3 supporters who could hopefull drag two of the others along with them. Where have all the honest men gone?

    • TPSnodgrass July 16, 2016, 3:34 pm

      Chief Justice Roberts is certainly “bought and paid for” as his decisions have shown. He’s NO friend of the Constitution at all.

  • Michael E. Hensley July 15, 2016, 3:29 am

    I see a Care Facility in her future where she can take trips around the world and never leave her room.

  • AK July 13, 2016, 8:30 pm

    WTF? The second amendment was to tell people to carry weapons? I could be getting old but I don’t remember a “must” in there.I’d love to see these eastcoast state laws mandating weapons.

  • SuperG July 13, 2016, 11:15 am

    There should be limits for a how long a Supreme Court justice can sit. This woman’s opinion just proves that senility is creeping up on her, like a blank panther in the snow.

    I think if the founding fathers could see us today, they’d be appalled at how “their” Constitution has been degraded. A sitting president even tried to void the Constitutional rights of Americans abroad too. Now we have secret lists, and ban protesting at certain places in our nation’s capitol. Congressmen are allowed to do insider trading, whilst any other American is imprisoned if they try it. But the one thing that the fathers never believed could happen, did happen. Both Republican and Democrat Congressmen conspired to steal from the American people. Now we are lost. Once Queen Hillary takes power, she’ll totally erode the Constitution to a meaningless jumble of words that mean nothing, while imprisoning all who stand in her way.

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