Archive for the 'Fourteenth Amendment' Category

Want to Help Secure Colorado’s Gun Rights? Donate to Our Legal Effort!

Posted by on Mar 21 2013 | Fourteenth Amendment, guns, Kopelization, PPC, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution

As many of you have heard, we are mounting a legal challenge to the new gun controls signed into law yesterday. Our lawsuit will be based on the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, among other grounds. The lawsuit will be brought on behalf of a large coalition of local and national law enforcement, including many of the Sheriffs who opposed the bills, disability rights organizations, gun safety organizations, civil rights organizations, and others. As always, spearheading this effort is our Second Amendment Scholar Dave Kopel.

Many have called, emailed, and written us wondering how they can help with our legal campaign. This help is sorely needed. As you might imagine, we have a long and expensive legal battle ahead of us. Your contribution will help with these expenses.

The easiest way to make a contribution directly to this effort is by clicking on this link to donate: https://secure.i2i.org/2al.php

However, if you prefer to send a check, you may mail it to:

Independence Institute
727 E. 16th Avenue
Denver, CO 80203

In the memo line, simply put SAP lawsuit, so we apply your gift to the our efforts to fight these over-reaching gun laws.

Again, thank you for your support!

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The Great Gun Control War of the 20th Century — And its Lessons for Gun Laws Today

Posted by on May 31 2012 | Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, Fourteenth Amendment, guns, History, McDonald v. City of Chicago, Politics, Popular Constitutionalism, Registration, Right to carry, supreme court

This is the subject of my article in a forthcoming symposium issue of the Fordham Urban Law Journal. The article details the political, cultural, social, and legal battles over gun control from the 1920s to the early 21st century. Here’s the abstract:

A movement to ban handguns began in the 1920s in the Northeast, led by the conservative business establishment. In response, the National Rifle Association began to get involved in politics, and was able to defeat handgun prohibition. Gun control and gun rights became the subjects of intense political, social, and cultural battles for much of the rest of the 20th century, and into the 21st.

Often, the battles were a clash of absolutes: One side contended that there was absolutely no right to arms, that defensive gun ownership must be prohibited, and that gun ownership for sporting purposes could be, at most, allowed as a very limited privilege. Another side asserted that the right to arms was absolute, and that any gun control laws were infringements of that right.

By the time that Heller and McDonald came to the Supreme Court, the battles had mostly been resolved; the Supreme Court did not break new ground, but instead reinforced what had become the American consensus: the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, especially for self-defense, is a fundamental individual right. That right, however, is not absolute. There are some gun control laws which do not violate the right, particularly laws which aim to keep guns out of the hands of people who have proven themselves to be dangerous.

In the post-Heller world, as in the post-Brown v. Board world, a key role of the courts will be to enforce federal constitutional rights against some local or state jurisdictions whose extreme laws make them outliers from the national consensus.

Also recently published in SSRN is a very good draft article by David Hardy, analyzing the four opinions in McDonald v. Chicago. As he persuasively shows, the arguments by Justice Stevens and Breyer against enforcing the Right to Keep and Bear Arms against the states would, if taken seriously, cast serious doubt on the legitimacy of enforcing against the states almost everything else in the Bill of Rights.

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The original meaning of the 14th Amendment regarding interracial marriage

Posted by on Dec 05 2011 | Anti-Semitism, congress, Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, federalism, First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, History, Racism, supreme court

Over at Balkinization, Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern) has an interesting and thoughtful post on the state of originalism. Synthesizing analysis by Jamal Greene and Jack Balkin, Koppelman writes, “Originalism is fundamentally about a narrative of rhetorical self-identification with the achievements of a founding historical moment. That is the real basis of its power. An originalist argument will be powerful to the extent that can persuade its audience that it can keep faith with that identification.”

Thus, “Originalist argument is an artifact designed to recall the Constitution’s origin and connect what we are doing now with that origin. Once this functional definition of originalism is understood, it follows that the range of possible original arguments is quite broad. It is not, however, infinite.” So, argues Koppelman, the fact that originalists differ among themselves in many important details about what “originalism” really is, is not a fatal flaw. Simiilarly, there are many different things called “aspirin” (e.g., Excedrin, generic products, St. Joseph’s children’s aspirin, etc.), but they all contain acetylsalicylic acid, and they all have a generally similar function. Which particular one you use at a given time will depend on the particular purposes for which it is needed.

I do want to quibble, though, with one particular legal history claim that Koppelman makes: “Thus originalists struggle with the problem whether the general purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, to mandate the legal equality of blacks, should trump the framers’ specific intention to permit school segregation and miscegenation laws.”  Michael McConnell and Randy Barnett have written on the school segregation issue, but I’d like to add something on miscegenation. I don’t think that the historical record unambiguously supports the claim of a specific intent in the 14th Amendment to allow the continuation of laws against interracial marriage.

We do know for certain that one very specific intention of the 14th Amendment framers was to provide a solid constitutional foundation for the Civil Rights Act of 1866. According to the Act: “All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, . . . as is enjoyed by white citizens. . .”

Early exposition by courts is one source of original public meaning. (Although this source is not always guaranteed to be reliable. See, e.g., the Slaughter-House majority’s dicta). In 1872, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the state’s 1866 constitutional ban on miscegenation  violated the “cardinal principle” of the Civil Rights Act and of the Equal Protection clause. Burns v. State, 48 Ala. 195 (1872). According to the unanimous Burns court, the idea that contracts could be limited to members of the same race was absurd: “Marriage is a civil contract, and in that character alone is dealt with by the municipal law. The same right to make a contract as is enjoyed by white citizens, means the right to make any contract which a white citizen may make. The law intended to destroy the distinctions of race and color in respect to the rights secured by it. It did not aim to create merely an equality of the races in reference to each other. If so, laws prohibiting the races from suing each other, giving evidence for or against, or dealing with one another, would be permissible. The very excess to which such a construction would lead is conclusive against it.”

That same year, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously ruled that  the “the law prohibiting such a [common law] marriage [between a white and a black] had been abrogated by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” Bonds v. Foster, 36 Tex. 68 (1872) (inheritance case). As detailed in Peggy Pascoe’s book, What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America (2010), in the years after the Civil War, eleven states repealed their bans on interracial marriage.

It was the Indiana Supreme Court  that figured out the way to evade the clear statutory language about the equal right of contract. According to the court, marriage is  ”more than a mere civil contract”; it is an institution fundamental to society. The Indiana court insisted at length that the 14th Amendment had not limited the traditional police power of the states. If Congress could ban states from imposing a racial  mandate on the right to enter a marriage contract, then Congress would (supposedly) have the power to legislate on all aspects of marriage. State v. Gibson, 36 Ind. 389 (1871).

I don’t find the Indiana court’s 1871 reasoning persuasive, and, apparently, neither did the Alabama and Texas Supreme Courts in 1872. But courts cannot stand forever against the sustained will of the electorate. After four losses, the proponents of anti-miscegenation won on their fifth try in the Alabama Supreme Court. When the courts in the various states finally acquiesced to anti-miscegenation laws, Gibson was the essential citation, because it came from a state where slavery had never legally existed. The Texas intermediate Court of Appeals provided the legal reformulation that marriage was “status” and not “contract,” and was therefore not covered by the Civil Rights Act: “Marriage is not a contract protected by the Constitution of the United States, or within the meaning of the Civil Rights Bill. Marriage is more than a contract within the meaning of the act. It is a civil status, left solely by the Federal Constitution and the laws to the discretion of the states, under their general power to regulate their domestic affairs.” Frasher v. State, 3 Tex. App. 263 (Tex. Ct. App. 1877). (The regressive Frasher decision is one more data point in support of the observation in Henry Sumner Maine’s great 1861 book Ancient Law: “we may say that the movement of the progressive societies has hitherto been a movement from Status to Contract.” Maine’s book elaborates in great detail why marriage law fits this paradigm.)

By the time that Plessy v. Ferguson was decided in 1896, the Supreme Court majority, which was willfully oblivious to contemporary social reality (e.g., if blacks consider a segregation mandate to be a “a badge of inferiority,” that is “solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it”) , was also lazily ignorant of legal history: “Laws forbidding the intermarriage of the two races may be said in a technical sense to interfere with the freedom of contact, and yet have been universally recognized as within the police power of the state.” The sole citation for this allegedly “universal” recognition was State v. Gibson. The Court was right that as of 1895, miscegenation laws were constitutionally safe, but the Court seemed quite unaware that during the first years when the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act were the law of the land, the issue was in dispute.

Although the late Professor Pascoe’s book is suffused with critical race/gender theory, readers who find such theories useless will still find Pascoe’s book enormously useful. It is an excellent legal history of anti-miscegenation laws and cases, and not just during Reconstruction. You will learn about the national panic to spread such laws during the early 20th century because the black boxer Jack Johnson (who defeated a string of opponents who were billed as “the Great White Hope”) notoriously consorted with white women; how courts struggled with interpreting miscegenation laws in the West (which were mainly aimed at Asians, and which raised questions such as whether a ban on white marriage to “the Mongolian or Malay races” applied to Filipinos); the NAACP’s political opposition to new miscegenation laws coupled with its great reluctance to mount legal challenges to existing ones; and the extremely risky litigation (not endorsed by NAACP) which led to the landmark 1948 California Supreme Court Perez v. Lippold decision (won mainly on void for vagueness, the fundamental unenumerated right to marry, and First Amendment  free exercise of religion, rather than a categorical attack on all racial discrimination).

Justice Carter’s concurrence in Perez is a good illustration of the main thesis of Koppelman’s post, and of the point made by the second Justice Harlan (and also by Jack Balkin) that our “tradition is a living thing,” in which our national understanding of the original meaning can be deepened by new experiences. Rebutting respondent’s collection of social scientists who contended that race-mixing was destructive to the health of the white race, Justice Carter quoted some essentially similar claims from Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Justice Carter continued: “To bring into issue the correctness of the writings of a madman, a rabble-rouser, a mass-murderer, would be to clothe his utterances with an undeserved aura of respectability and authoritativeness. Let us not forget that this was the man who plunged the world into a war in which, for the third time, Americans fought, bled, and died for the truth of the proposition that all men are created equal.” And so, “In my opinion, the statutes here involved violate the very premise on which this country and its Constitution were built, the very ideas embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the very issue over which the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the Second World War were fought, and the spirit in which the Constitution must be interpreted in order that the interpretations will appear as ‘Reason in any part of the World besides.’”

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House passes interstate handgun carry reciprocity

Posted by on Nov 16 2011 | Fourteenth Amendment, guns, Right to carry

By a vote of 272 to 154. (The vote on the motion to recommit was 161 to 263). On the final vote, 44 Democrats voted in favor, and 7 Republicans voted against. H.R. 822 now goes to the Senate. In the previous Congress, a broader bill on interstate carry was narrowly defeated by a filibuster led by Sen. Charles Schumer. Of course whether the bill ever comes up for a vote in the Senate is up to Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In September, I testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, in support of the bill. My testimony focused mainly on the Congress’s constitutional authority to pass the bill under the powers granted by section 5 of the 14th Amendment. Among the explicit purposes of the 14th Amendment was to give Congress the power to enact legislation protecting the right to interstate travel, which is one of the Privileges or Immunities of citizens of the United States. My written testimony is here. A video of the subcommittee hearing is here. And here’s short podcast on the subject, with Cato.

HT to Shall Not Be Questioned for coverage of the day’s voting, in which all hostile amendments were defeated.

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Kopel on State Reciprocity and the Second Amendment

Posted by on Sep 21 2011 | cato institute, Constitutional Law, federalism, Fourteenth Amendment, guns, Kopelization, Originalism, PPC, Second Amendment, Tenth Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Concealed carry is a hot topic in Congress now with a bill coming out of the House called the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 (H.R. 822). This bill would extend conceal carry rights across state lines, allowing a legal gun owner who lives in Colorado to freely move about the country with his or her legal firearm and enter, say Illinois. The bill does not change the law in regards to obtaining a permit in your home state, it only prevents the other 49 states from infringing on your Second Amendment rights upon entering their state. As with all issues Second Amendment, our Dave Kopel weighed in on the issue. On Monday he was featured in the Cato Daily Podcast to discuss H.R. 822 and its implications on gun rights and interstate travel rights.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the podcast occurs when Dave recalls a question he received from Rep. Mike Quigley while giving testimony on 822 in the House subcommittee. Rep. Quigley points out that conservatives in Congress like to talk about states’ rights, but when it comes down to it, states’ rights are merely a convenience issue for them. For example, doesn’t H.R. 822 challenge states’ rights?

You’ll have to listen to the Cato podcast to get Dave’s answer. It’s truly fascinating and extremely insightful.

UPDATE: Here is a link to Dave Kopel on the Amy Oliver radio show this morning talking about this issue. Thanks to 1310 KFKA for the audio!

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Congressional hearing on interstate handgun carry reciprocity

Posted by on Sep 14 2011 | congress, federalism, Fourteenth Amendment, guns, McDonald v. City of Chicago, Right to carry

On Tuesday I testified before the U.S. House subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, regarding H.R. 822, which would set up a national system of interstate reciprocity for concealed handgun carry permits. My 24-page written testimony is here. The video of the subcommittee hearing is about and hour and 45 minutes. Nearly all members of the 21-member attended the hearing, and used their opportunity to ask 5 minutes worth of questions. Most of the questions posed to George Mason Law’s Prof. Joyce Malcolm, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, and me, were quite thoughtful. Some congressional hearings are just a form of kabuki theater, but in Tuesday’s hearing, Representatives of both parties, and on both sides of the gun issue, seemed to be sincerely trying to learn more. The bill currently has 243 House co-sponsors.

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Natelson on the 14th Amendment and the debt ceiling

Posted by on Aug 01 2011 | Executive Branch, Fourteenth Amendment

(David Kopel)

In this iVoices.org podcast, Rob Natelson explains why unilateral presidential creation of new debt is: 1. Utterly contrary to the Constitution’s structure of limiting executive power. 2. Directly contrary to the text of the 14th Amendment. President Obama, to his credit, declaimed any unilateral power to raise the debt ceiling. But many people–some of whom have taken oaths to uphold the Constitution, or who profess respect for constitutional law–have insisted that the President has unilateral debt power. And since the current deal that is being rushed through Congress may slightly delay the insolvency of the federal government, but not prevent it, understanding what the 14th Amendment says about the issue remains important. Rule of law, not an elective dictatorship.


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Republican presidential candidates pledge to appoint judges to overturn the unconstitutional anti-abortion law they will sign

Posted by on Jun 18 2011 | abortion, Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, federalism, Fourteenth Amendment, Health Care, Individual Mandate, Judicial Nominations, Originalism, supreme court

(David Kopel)

At CNN, Politico, National Review Online’s “The Corner” blog, and at the Susan B. Anthony List website, you can read the developing controversy over some Republican presidential candidates’ refusal to sign the SBA Lists’ “2012 Pro-Life Citizen’s Pledge.”

Signers thus far are Bachmann, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Paul, and Santorum. The items on the pledge are:

FIRST, to nominate to the U.S. federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench;

SECOND, to select only pro-life appointees for relevant Cabinet and Executive Branch positions, in particular the head of National Institutes of Health, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health & Human Services;

THIRD, to advance pro-life legislation to permanently end all taxpayer funding of abortion in all domestic and international spending programs, and defund Planned Parenthood and all other contractors and recipients of federal funds with affiliates that perform or fund abortions;

FOURTH, advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.

Of the candidates who have refused to sign, Mitt Romney objects because the wording of the demand to cut on federal abortion funding could be construed to stop federal aid to many hospitals; further, he refuses to make pro-life a litmus test for his executive branch appointments, as long as the appointees are willing to abide by (President) Romney’s own pro-life views. Herman Cain says he would “sign” the pain bill, but will not take the pledge to “advance” the bill, because “Congress must advance the legislation,” and he must have “respect for the balance of power and the role of the presidency.”

Thus, of the announced candidates, we have only Gov. Gary Johnson who might have constitutional scruples about the federal pain bill.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which has been enacted in several states, requires that physicians provide a woman who is at least 20 weeks pregnant, and who is seeking an abortion, with information to obtain informed consent about the pain that the fetus will feel during the abortion.

The PCUCPA is probably constitutional under Planned Parenthood v. Casey, since it does not ban pre-viability abortions, and the lower courts have not generally found other informed consent laws for abortion to be an “undue burden,” as Casey defines that term.

However, a federal PCUCPA is plainly unconstitutional under the “original meaning” of the Constitution, which judges appointed by SBA Pledge signers would presumably uphold. The federal version of PCUCPA is S. 314, introduced by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.). After the definitions section of the proposed statute, the bill states: “Any abortion provider in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, who knowingly performs any abortion of a pain-capable unborn child, shall comply with the requirements of this title.”

Federal abortion control under the purported authority of congressional power “To regulate Commerce…among the several States” is plainly unconstitutional under the original meaning of the interstate commerce.

Even under the lax (but non-infinite) version of the interstate commerce power which the Court articulated in Lopez,  a federal ban on partial-birth abortion is dubious, as Glenn Reynolds and I argued in a Connecticut Law Review article. Indeed, in the 5–4 Supreme Court decision upholding the federal ban, Gonzales v. Carhart, Justices Thomas and Scalia, who voted in the majority to uphold the ban as not violating the Casey abortion right, concurred to point out “that whether the Act constitutes a permissible exercise of Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause is not before the Court. The parties did not raise or brief that issue; it is outside the question presented; and the lower courts did not address it.”

In other words, if the attorneys who challenged the federal ban on partial-birth abortions had been willing to raise all plausibile constitutional claims, instead of losing the case 4–5 they probably could have won 6–3, by assembling a coalition of 4 strongly pro-abortion-rights Justices, plus Scalia and Thomas on the commerce issue.

When we get beyond Lopez, and truly look at original meaning, then the unconstitutionality of the federal PCUCPA is obvious. In Gibbons v. Ogden, Chief Justice Marshall explained that “health laws of every description” are outside the scope of the federal commerce power. The statement has been cited with approval by other Supreme Court justices at least 20 times. As Wickard v. Filburn observed, the Marshall opinion in Gibbons “described the Federal commerce power with a breadth never yet exceeded.” Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111, 120 (1942). (For more on Marshall’s views about federal health control, see this article by Rob Natelson and me.)

Marshall’s opinion in Gibbon may be considered the outer boundary of any originalist interpretation of the interstate commerce power. What doctors tell patients before providing abortions is obviously not interstate commerce, all the more so since the vast majority of patients do not cross state lines to obtain abortions.

Yale’s Jack Balkin makes the argument that in the original meaning, “commerce” means “intercourse,” and thus the original meaning allows a vast amount of federal regulation of intra-state, non-economic activity. Rob Natelson and I explained the errors in this theory in an on-line article for the Michigan Law Review.

Presumably the Republican signers of the SBA pledge would not assert that the appointment of judges who accept Balkin’s “commerce = intercourse” theory of original meaning would comport with President’s pledge to appoint judges who would follow original meaning. All of the Republican presidential candidates have said that the Obamacare individual mandate to purchase expensive congressionally-designed health insurance from the congressionally-favored insurance oligopoly is unconstitutional. Balkin’s intercourse theory, however, would support the constitutionality of the mandate.

The signing of the SBA pledge by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) is particularly disappointing, since Paul has usually made a point of being scrupulous about federal powers. Indeed, Paul was the sole “pro-gun” Representative who voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a federal statute which outlawed lawsuits, in federal and state courts, against the manufacturers, wholesalers, and lawful retailers of firearms for guns which were lawfully sold and properly functioning. Paul’s argument was that the law exceeded the federal power to regulate interstate commerce; I disagree, since the undisputed original purpose of the interstate commerce power was to empoower Congress to act against state barriers to interstate commerce. The anti-gun lawsuits were plainly an effort to use fanciful tort theories to damage the entire national market in firearms, by imposing on that market many restrictions which had been considered and rejected by Congress and the state legislatures.

Thus, in regard to the anti-gun lawsuits, Paul’s scruples were mistaken, in my view, but he deserves credit for being sincerely scrupulous. I wish that he, and the rest of the Reublican presidential field, kept their constitutional scruples intact regarding federal anti-abortion legislation.

While the federal PCUCPA does not invoke section 5 of the 14th Amendment as a basis for the legislation, it is possible to construct an argument that some federal anti-abortion laws could be based on that power. However, it’s hard to base such an argument on the original meaning of the 14th Amendment, since there is not a shred of evidence in the 1865–68 history of the creation and ratification of the 14th Amendment (nor in the immediate post-ratification period, nor for nearly a century after ratification) that anyone imagined that the 14th Amendment empowered Congress to enact abortion-control laws, or guaranteed abortion rights.

So if a Republican who signs the SBA pledge is elected President, and he or she adheres to item 1 in the SBA pledge, appointing judges who adhere to the Constitution’s original meaning, then those judges will uphold state versions of the PCUCPA while declaring unconstitutional a federal PCUCPA.


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The Right to Earn a Living – Video & Podcast

Posted by on Oct 13 2010 | Fourteenth Amendment, Government Largess, iVoices.org, PPC

Tim Sandefur, Principal Attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation and Adjunct Scholar with the Cato Institute, dropped by our offices last week for a iVoices.org podcast with fellow Hillsdale alum Ben DeGrow and a special presentation and book signing for his new book “The Right to Earn a Living.” In case you missed his fascinating presentation, we’ve got it below in playlist form for your viewing. Check it out!

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The Battle Cry of Freedom

Posted by on Jul 06 2010 | Fourteenth Amendment, guns, McDonald v. City of Chicago

(David Kopel)

Click here to view the embedded video.

A wonderful song at all times, and especially around Independence Day, especially this year.

“The Battle Cry of Freedom” was written during the Civil War, and sung by Union troops going into battle. This video pays tribute to Ulysses Grant, the General most responsible for winning the war for the Union. Elected President of the U.S. in 1868 and re-elected in 1872, U.S. Grant vigorously enforced federal civil rights laws to protect the freedmen. Not until Lyndon Johnson in 1963–69 would an American President work with such determination for civil rights. After leaving the White House, Grant served as the 8th President of the National Rifle Association.

The National Rifle Association’s brief in McDonald v. Chicago quoted President Grant:

Subsequently, President Grant issued a report on enforcement of the Civil Rights Act which noted that parts of the South were under the sway of the Klan, which sought “to deprive colored citizens of the right to bear arms,” and to reduce them “to a condition closely akin to that of slavery * * *.” Ex. Doc. No. 268, 42nd Cong., 2d Sess., 2 (1872).

The brief  likewise quoted a report from General Grant about the conditions in Mississippi which had helped convince Congress of the necessity of the Fourteenth Amendment, to make the Second Amendment applicable to all state and local governments:

“The statute prohibiting the colored people from bearing arms, without a special license, is unjust, oppressive, and unconstitutional.” Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 2d Sess., 33 (1866).

McDonald v. Chicago brings the United States an important step closer to accomplishing a central purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment: making all of the Bill of Rights applicable to every state and local government in America. It was a national tragedy that the Supreme Court essentially nullified much of the Fourteenth Amendment for so long. It is a national blessing that America’s many civil rights organizations were able, over the long term, to revitalize the Fourteenth Amendment, and change the Supreme Court from a nullifier of the Amendment into an enforcer of the Amendment.

Subsequently, President Grant issued
a report on enforcement of the Civil Rights Act which
noted that parts of the South were under the sway of
the Klan, which sought “to deprive colored citizens of
the right to bear arms,” and to reduce them “to a
condition closely akin to that of slavery * * *.” Ex.
Doc. No. 268, 42nd Cong., 2d Sess., 2 (1872).

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