Gunning for the Second Amendment: The debate over gun laws in America – March 21 at the Luxe Hotel Sunset

Justice Antonin Scalia says gun control is heading to Supreme Court

Justice Antonin Scalia, decrying America’s demonization of guns, is predicting that the parade of new gun control laws, cheered on by President Obama, will hit the Supreme Court soon, possibly settling for ever the types of weapons that can be owned. Justice Ginsburg thinks, there might be a reversal of Heller (2008 case of District of Columbia vs. Heller ended gun control in Washington, D.C., suggested that the Constitution allows limits on what Americans can own, but the only example he offered was a shoulder-launched rocket that would bring down jets) on the horizon with a “future, wiser court,” but because Heller didn’t go far enough. The Supreme Court recognized our right to ownership of firearms, but didn’t specifically broach the issue of “bearing” those arms, i.e., carrying them for personal defense. The Second Amendment, as Scalia knows, isn’t about duck hunting, or deer hunting, or any other “sporting purpose.” The sporting purposes test imposed by the last round of onerous firearms laws, and enforced by the ATF, is entirely unconstitutional. But proliferation of this test through the judiciary (from some future decision) is cowardly because it doesn’t formally recognize the truth, and that is that the second amendment exists in order to ameliorate tyranny.

Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors is honored to host renowned UCLA law professors, Eugene Volokh and Adam Winkler to debate, discuss and answer your questions about important and timely issue.  Please join us.

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, criminal law, tort law, religious freedom law, and church-state relations law at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law and a seminar on firearms regulation policy. Before coming to UCLA, he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Volokh is the author of the textbooks The First Amendment and Related Statutes (4th ed. 2011), The Religion Clauses and Related Statutes (2005), and Academic Legal Writing (4th ed. 2010), as well as over 70 law review articles and over 80 op-eds, listed below. He is a member of The American Law Institute, a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel, and the founder and coauthor of The Volokh Conspiracy, a Weblog that gets about 20,000 visits per weekday. He is among the five most cited under-45 faculty members listed in the Top 25 Law Faculties in Scholarly Impact, 2005-2009 study, and among the forty most cited faculty members on that list without regard to age. These citation counts refer to citations in law review articles, but his works have also been cited by courts. Six of his law review articles have been cited by opinions of the Supreme Court Justices; twenty-one of his works (mostly articles but also a textbook, an op-ed, and a blog post) have been cited by federal circuit courts; and several others have been cited by district courts or state courts.

Volokh is also an Academic Affiliate for the Mayer Brown LLP law firm; he generally consults on other lawyers’ cases, but he has briefed and argued Ingram v. Battaglia / Rush v. Frank before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and State v. Drahota before the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Volokh worked for 12 years as a computer programmer, and is still partner in a small software company which sells HP 3000 software that he wrote. He graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in math-computer science at age 15, and has written many articles on computer software. Volokh was born in the USSR; his family emigrated to the U.S. when he was seven years old.

Adam Winkler is a specialist in American constitutional law. His wide-ranging scholarship has touched upon a diverse array of topics such as the right to bear arms, corporate political speech rights, affirmative action, judicial independence, constitutional interpretation, corporate social responsibility, international economic sanctions, and campaign finance law. His work has been cited and quoted in landmark Supreme Court cases, including opinions dealing with the Second Amendment and with corporate political speech rights. His commentary has been featured on CNN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and numerous other outlets.  He is a contributor to The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post.

Along with Professor Ken Karst of the law school and the late Pulitzer Prize-winning legal historian Leonard Levy, Adam edited the six-volume Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (2nd edition). His book for W.W. Norton titled Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America was published in 2011.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Adam went to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University intending to join the CIA.  But after graduating in 1990 he took the more mundane path of going to law school. He earned a law degree from New York University in 1993 and moved back to Los Angeles to practice law with noted criminal defense lawyer, Howard Weitzman, at Katten Muchin Zavis & Weitzman. In Adam’s first case out of law school, he worked with Weitzman representing the late Michael Jackson in a highly publicized child-molestation case. Adam was also part of the defense team that initially represented O.J. Simpson in the football player’s infamous murder trial. This was more than enough to convince Adam to return to academia.

Adam clerked on the United States Court of Appeals and then received a master’s degree in political science from UCLA under the mentorship of Professor Karen Orren. Prior to joining the UCLA faculty in 2002, he was the John M. Olin Fellow at the University of Southern California Law School’s Center in Law, Economics, and Organization (2001-02).

Adam teaches Constitutional Law I, Professional Responsibility, Constitutional Theory, Gun Control and Firearms Policy.

Adam’s new book,  Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, will be available for purchase and signing.

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