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美国国家公共电台 NPR Gun Rights Case Is First Before The Supreme Court In A Decade

时间:2019-12-09 02:09来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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Gun Rights Case Is First Before The Supreme1 Court In A Decade

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

When and how to regulate guns is one of the biggest issues across this country, but the Supreme Court has rarely weighed in. In 2008, it ruled for the first time that the Second Amendment2 right to bear arms is an individual right. Two years later, the court said that right applied3 to state laws, not just federal laws regulating gun ownership and use. Since then, however, there has been radio silence as the justices have turned away one after another challenge to gun laws across the country, until now, as NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg reports.

NINA TOTENBERG, BYLINE4: The case before the court today comes from New York, a city and state with some of the toughest gun regulations in the country. Several gun owners challenged the rules for having a handgun at home. They contended the city gun license5 was so restrictive, it was unconstitutional. Specifically, they said the state law and city regulations violated the right to bear arms because they forbid pistol owners from carrying their guns anywhere other than seven firing ranges within the city limits. That meant that pistol owners could not carry their guns to a second home or to shooting ranges or competitions in other states nearby. The lower courts upheld the regulations as justified6 to protect safety in the most densely7 populated city in the country.

But when the Supreme Court agreed to hear the gun owners' appeal, the state and the city changed the law to allow handgun owners to transport their locked and unloaded guns to second homes or shooting ranges outside the city. With those changes, the first question today will be whether the case is moot8 and should be thrown out because New York has already given the gun owners everything they asked for in their lawsuit9. James Johnson is counsel for the city of New York.

JAMES JOHNSON: This is an instance where it appears the petitioners10 won't say yes for an answer.

TOTENBERG: Lawyer Paul Clement11, representing the gun owners, counters that the amended12 regulations still give the city too much power to regulate.

PAUL CLEMENT: The city of New York never expressed any doubt about the constitutionality of these regulations when they were winning in the district court and the court of appeals. And then lo and behold13, all of the sudden, the city decides, you know, maybe we don't need these regulations after all.

TOTENBERG: And he observes the city is still defending the original regulations. The city is, indeed, doing that because the justices refused in October to throw the case out on mootness grounds opting14 instead to hear the mootness arguments today along with the direct challenge to the regulations themselves. That does put the city in a weird15 position, defending regulations that are no longer in place and that it claims it has no intention of reviving. Again, New York's lawyer James Johnson.

JOHNSON: It's our position that by justifiably16 restricting the ability to carry firearms broadly on the streets of New York, it contributes to making the city safe.

TOTENBERG: And there's the rub. What did the Supreme Court mean in its 2008 decision when it said the right to bear arms is an individual right? Justice Antonin Scalia writing for the five justice court majority back then described it as the right to own a gun for self-defense in one's home. Moreover, the opinion contained a paragraph of specific qualifiers that, according to court sources, were added to Scalia's opinion at the insistence17 of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who provided the fifth vote needed to prevail in the case. The court said, for instance, that its opinion cast no doubt on longstanding bans on carrying firearms in sensitive places, such as schools and government buildings, or bans on dangerous and unusual weapons. But Kennedy, who insisted on that limiting language, has now retired18, replaced by Justice Brett Kavanaugh. And Kavanaugh, as a lower court judge, wrote expansively about gun rights.

CLEMENT: I do think it will make a difference that Justice Kavanaugh is on the court.

TOTENBERG: The gun owners' Paul Clement notes that not only does Kavanaugh have a record sympathetic to broad gun rights, but he was constrained19 by the court's precedents20 when he sat on the lower court.

CLEMENT: Now he can interpret the Constitution in a different way in his new perch21. He's somebody who I would think is going to be receptive to arguments that the Second Amendment fully22 protects an individual right and is not strictly23 limited to the home.

TOTENBERG: New York argues that the history of gun ownership dating back to colonial times shows that in this densely populated city, the law forbid the discharge of firearms in any street, lane, alley24, garden or other places where people frequently walk. And by 1784, the state regulated the storage and transport of gunpowder25. Today, the city notes, New York is the most densely populated city in the country. Manhattan alone packs around 1.6 million residents into 23 square miles. And the population doubles every weekday with commuters. These people, plus tens of thousands of tourists, move through the city's crowded streets, thus creating a staggering concentration of sensitive places, such as schools, day care centers, government buildings, playgrounds and places of worship, all places that the Supreme Court said in 2008 are legitimate26 places to ban guns.

Countering that argument, lawyer Clement maintains that the Founding Fathers never intended the right to own a gun to be limited to the home. At the very minimum, he notes, our founders27 allowed gun owners to carry their firearms from one place to another. Like any good advocate, Clement is offering the justices alternative routes to a gun-friendly ruling.

CLEMENT: They could say the Second Amendment's not limited strictly to the home and therefore this regulation has to go.

TOTENBERG: The alternative and broader ruling, he says, would treat the right to own a gun in the same way that limits on free speech are treated - with considerable suspicion.

CLEMENT: I don't think anybody would think that if the city of New York said, you know, we have seven perfectly28 nice libraries in the city of New York and there's really no reason for any of you to go to libraries in New Jersey29, I think everybody would recognize, no, that's clearly a First Amendment problem.

TOTENBERG: New York's lawyer, James Johnson, dismisses that analogy, noting that libraries have no lethality30. But both sides know that if the Supreme Court rules on the merits of the now-defunct regulations, it will be a very big deal for one simple reason. It will be only the third decision on gun rights in modern times. And it will inevitably31 lay down some new guidelines for lower courts to follow when gun regulations are challenged.

Nina Totenberg, NPR News, Washington.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 supreme PHqzc     
adj.极度的,最重要的;至高的,最高的
参考例句:
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
2 amendment Mx8zY     
n.改正,修正,改善,修正案
参考例句:
  • The amendment was rejected by 207 voters to 143.这项修正案以207票对143票被否决。
  • The Opposition has tabled an amendment to the bill.反对党已经就该议案提交了一项修正条款。
3 applied Tz2zXA     
adj.应用的;v.应用,适用
参考例句:
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
4 byline sSXyQ     
n.署名;v.署名
参考例句:
  • His byline was absent as well.他的署名也不见了。
  • We wish to thank the author of this article which carries no byline.我们要感谢这篇文章的那位没有署名的作者。
5 license B9TzU     
n.执照,许可证,特许;v.许可,特许
参考例句:
  • The foreign guest has a license on the person.这个外国客人随身携带执照。
  • The driver was arrested for having false license plates on his car.司机由于使用假车牌而被捕。
6 justified 7pSzrk     
a.正当的,有理的
参考例句:
  • She felt fully justified in asking for her money back. 她认为有充分的理由要求退款。
  • The prisoner has certainly justified his claims by his actions. 那个囚犯确实已用自己的行动表明他的要求是正当的。
7 densely rutzrg     
ad.密集地;浓厚地
参考例句:
  • A grove of trees shadowed the house densely. 树丛把这幢房子遮蔽得很密实。
  • We passed through miles of densely wooded country. 我们穿过好几英里茂密的林地。
8 moot x6Fza     
v.提出;adj.未决议的;n.大会;辩论会
参考例句:
  • The question mooted in the board meeting is still a moot point.那个在董事会上提出讨论的问题仍未决的。
  • The oil versus nuclear equation is largely moot.石油和核能之间的关系还很有争议。
9 lawsuit A14xy     
n.诉讼,控诉
参考例句:
  • They threatened him with a lawsuit.他们以诉讼威逼他。
  • He was perpetually involving himself in this long lawsuit.他使自己无休止地卷入这场长时间的诉讼。
10 petitioners 870f11b70ff5a62b8b689ec554c9af05     
n.请求人,请愿人( petitioner的名词复数 );离婚案原告
参考例句:
  • Petitioners suggest that anything less than certainty, that any speculation, is irresponsible. 申诉者认为不准确的事或推断都是不负责任的。 来自英汉非文学 - 环境法 - 环境法
  • The judge awarded the costs of the case to the petitioners. 法官判定由这起案件的上诉人支付诉讼费用。 来自辞典例句
11 clement AVhyV     
adj.仁慈的;温和的
参考例句:
  • A clement judge reduced his sentence.一位仁慈的法官为他减了刑。
  • The planet's history contains many less stable and clement eras than the holocene.地球的历史包含着许多不如全新世稳定与温和的地质时期。
12 Amended b2abcd9d0c12afefe22fd275996593e0     
adj. 修正的 动词amend的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • He asked to see the amended version. 他要求看修订本。
  • He amended his speech by making some additions and deletions. 他对讲稿作了些增删修改。
13 behold jQKy9     
v.看,注视,看到
参考例句:
  • The industry of these little ants is wonderful to behold.这些小蚂蚁辛勤劳动的样子看上去真令人惊叹。
  • The sunrise at the seaside was quite a sight to behold.海滨日出真是个奇景。
14 opting e6a09ce5b5c8079c1654586c4e1dc5b3     
v.选择,挑选( opt的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • What courses are most students opting for? 多数学生选什么课程? 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Wells doesn't rule out opting out and then re-signing with Houston. 威尔斯没有排除跳出合同再与火箭重签的可能。 来自互联网
15 weird bghw8     
adj.古怪的,离奇的;怪诞的,神秘而可怕的
参考例句:
  • From his weird behaviour,he seems a bit of an oddity.从他不寻常的行为看来,他好像有点怪。
  • His weird clothes really gas me.他的怪衣裳简直笑死人。
16 justifiably ap9zrc     
adv.无可非议地
参考例句:
  • There General Walters would come aboard to greet me, justifiably beaming with pride at his arrangement. 在那儿沃尔特斯将军会登上飞机来接我,理所当然为他们的安排感到洋洋得意。 来自辞典例句
  • The Chinese seemed justifiably proud of their economic achievements. 中国人似乎为他们的经济成就感到自豪,这是无可非议的。 来自互联网
17 insistence A6qxB     
n.坚持;强调;坚决主张
参考例句:
  • They were united in their insistence that she should go to college.他们一致坚持她应上大学。
  • His insistence upon strict obedience is correct.他坚持绝对服从是对的。
18 retired Njhzyv     
adj.隐退的,退休的,退役的
参考例句:
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
19 constrained YvbzqU     
adj.束缚的,节制的
参考例句:
  • The evidence was so compelling that he felt constrained to accept it. 证据是那样的令人折服,他觉得不得不接受。
  • I feel constrained to write and ask for your forgiveness. 我不得不写信请你原谅。
20 precedents 822d1685d50ee9bc7c3ee15a208b4a7e     
引用单元; 范例( precedent的名词复数 ); 先前出现的事例; 前例; 先例
参考例句:
  • There is no lack of precedents in this connection. 不乏先例。
  • He copied after bad precedents. 他仿效恶例。
21 perch 5u1yp     
n.栖木,高位,杆;v.栖息,就位,位于
参考例句:
  • The bird took its perch.鸟停歇在栖木上。
  • Little birds perch themselves on the branches.小鸟儿栖歇在树枝上。
22 fully Gfuzd     
adv.完全地,全部地,彻底地;充分地
参考例句:
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
23 strictly GtNwe     
adv.严厉地,严格地;严密地
参考例句:
  • His doctor is dieting him strictly.他的医生严格规定他的饮食。
  • The guests were seated strictly in order of precedence.客人严格按照地位高低就座。
24 alley Cx2zK     
n.小巷,胡同;小径,小路
参考例句:
  • We live in the same alley.我们住在同一条小巷里。
  • The blind alley ended in a brick wall.这条死胡同的尽头是砖墙。
25 gunpowder oerxm     
n.火药
参考例句:
  • Gunpowder was introduced into Europe during the first half of the 14th century.在14世纪上半叶,火药传入欧洲。
  • This statement has a strong smell of gunpowder.这是一篇充满火药味的声明。
26 legitimate L9ZzJ     
adj.合法的,合理的,合乎逻辑的;v.使合法
参考例句:
  • Sickness is a legitimate reason for asking for leave.生病是请假的一个正当的理由。
  • That's a perfectly legitimate fear.怀有这种恐惧完全在情理之中。
27 founders 863257b2606659efe292a0bf3114782c     
n.创始人( founder的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • He was one of the founders of the university's medical faculty. 他是该大学医学院的创建人之一。 来自辞典例句
  • The founders of our religion made this a cornerstone of morality. 我们宗教的创始人把这看作是道德的基石。 来自辞典例句
28 perfectly 8Mzxb     
adv.完美地,无可非议地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
29 jersey Lp5zzo     
n.运动衫
参考例句:
  • He wears a cotton jersey when he plays football.他穿运动衫踢足球。
  • They were dressed alike in blue jersey and knickers.他们穿着一致,都是蓝色的运动衫和灯笼短裤。
30 lethality 98a9d93827fe96b148a6bb33c28c72e1     
n.致命性,毁坏性
参考例句:
  • Modern weapons have greater range, accuracy, speed, and lethality than anything ever dreamed of before. 现代的武器比从前所梦想的任何武器射得更远,射得更准,速度更快,而且更具有杀伤力。 来自辞典例句
  • The Mk 46 provides long-range lethality while engaging small, high-speed, surface targets. 该系统在舰船遭遇小型高速水面目标时将提供远距离的致命杀伤力。 来自互联网
31 inevitably x7axc     
adv.不可避免地;必然发生地
参考例句:
  • In the way you go on,you are inevitably coming apart.照你们这样下去,毫无疑问是会散伙的。
  • Technological changes will inevitably lead to unemployment.技术变革必然会导致失业。
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