Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dr. Nathan Kozuskanich's arguments reach the US Supreme Court, again

Back in 2008, Nathan Kozuskanich, Nipissing University's Early American historian, was cited in supporting material submitted to the United States Supreme Court in regards to a case called "Heller" involving the Second Amendment to the Constitution, the one about bearing arms. Nathan's contribution was specifically to analyze 18th century American sources to see what "bearing arms" meant at the time the amendment was written and passed. His arguments did not win the day for the people who used them, but being noticed at all in that crowded forum is nothing to be sneezed at. Mountains of learned tracts have been written about the Second Amendment; his stood out anyway.

In the past week a second case concerning the interpretation of the Second Amendment, "McDonald," came up to the Supreme Court, and this time, Nathan's name and his crucial article on "bearing arms" were mentioned in the dissent of Justice Breyer. I am linking to the Google Docs version. I found it impossible to search for Nathan's last name or anything else when I followed the link to Google Docs, so I will say that when I read the judgment, the citation was on page 3 of Breyer's dissent, page 182 of the file. Justice Breyer's dissent indeed incorporates recognizable logic from Nathan's original article.