We literally have a civil right to protection from private violence. There is nothing “entitled” in seeking vindication of that right.
For scholarly discussion of this point, see scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewconten… by Robin West
The idea that the point of government is to protect people from private violence so they can participate civil society is not simply introduced by the Civil War Constitutional amendments…
Our constitutional tradition, tracing back to the Declaration of Independence, rests on the premise that government’s legitimating purpose is to create conditions of peace so that citizens can pursue their life goals.
(In an article forthcoming in @FSUCollegeofLaw law review, I elaborate this point in relation to municipal role in vindicating civil rights.)
But in terms of the immediate fight for meaningful gun control, the point is simple. Our civil right to public safety is just as constitutionally protected as the civil right to bear arms.
So @MomsDemand, Parkland students, @Everytown should be understood as a civil rights movement, with just as much constitutional validity as a right to bear arms.
Lawmaking in the face of civil rights that can be in tension with one another is not a new difficulty. Good legislators and their staffs know how to do this.
The new wave of gun violence activists should be working with lawyer-activists to frame the issue this way to state and federal legislators.
The intersection between @MomsDemand/Parkland fight and #BLM fight against police gun violence lies in the civil right to be protected from unwarranted menace whatever its source.

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More from @HeidiLiFeldman

Oct 5, 2018
I am not optimistic about the Senate vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. But that does not mean I won’t keep working toward the outcome that would surprise and relieve me. 1/
Fighting against long odds is not futile or stupid. 2/
And I am not kidding myself, if the Senate confirms Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, I am going to feel awful. Fighting now cannot insulate me from that possibility. 3/
Read 10 tweets
Oct 1, 2018
There is a complicated relationship between law and politics in the United States, and there always has been. Law has never existed in some wholly separate sphere, untouched by politics. 1/
Likewise, throughout US history, law has played a role in politics, creating norms and sanctions that are not usually vulnerable to in-the-moment disruption. 2/
What is going on now with regard to Brett Kavanaugh serving on the Supreme Court or even retaining his license to practice law, has absolutely nothing to do with rich, complex, nuanced questions about the connections between law and politics. 3/
Read 16 tweets
Sep 25, 2018
As country we have have been divided as raucously and intensely in other eras, most prominently in the 19th century run up to the Civil War. Today’s resistors and activists are heirs to the abolitionist movement. 1/
I recommend learning and if possible teaching the abolitionist movement, not only for the lessons in activism but to appreciate the hard choices activists for social change have always faced. 2/
For excellent information on abolitionism in the early 19th century and ways to grapple with hard choices for activists in turbulent times see zinnedproject.org/wp-content/upl… 3/
Read 8 tweets
Sep 22, 2018
Note, while Judge Kavanaugh can debate most of his time to hearing practice, Dr. Blasey has to divide hers, particularly with regard to making security arrangements for herself and her family. 1/
When I decided to raise funds for Dr. Blasey’s security costs, I knew it could only make a small dent in the asymmetry between her and other participants in any judicial hearing. 2/
Legislative hearings re a job promotion differ in many ways from criminal or civil trials. The enormous and concrete ways in which a witness like Dr. Blasey is disadvantaged relative both to questioners and to Judge Kavanaugh have no real equivalent in judicial trials. 3/
Read 10 tweets
Jul 14, 2018
Twitter can be wonderful. (Thread)
Late last night-early this morning, I couldn’t sleep. Trying to think of ways to boost word and reasons for this proposal and signatures in support. actionnetwork.org/petitions/cong… 2/
Some night owls made some great suggestions. Eg,
Read 17 tweets
Jun 22, 2018
Now is the time to consider what you want people to say about you in 20 or 30 years, when they ask what you were doing during June 2018 when Donald Trump intentionally traumatized children in his xenophobic crusade against immigrants. 1/
People will ask you, what did you do when Trump and his minions lied and spread confusion but it was clear they were imprisoning children and families illegally, unjustly, and evilly? 2/
Here are some answers I think every American would want to be able to give: 3/
Read 19 tweets

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