From H.P. Nugent, An Account of the Proceedings had in the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans, against Thierry & Nugent for Libels and Contempt of Court 43-44 (Philadelphia 1810), relating statements by Judge François Xavier Martin, then a territorial judge and eventually a Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court:
It is true, said he [Judge Martin], the constitution secures the liberty of the press, but it likewise secures the liberty of keeping arms; now, as the liberty of keeping arms is not the liberty of killing or maiming whom we please, so is not the liberty of the press, the liberty of publishing libels....
It was for the second time during the trial, that judge Martin compared the liberty of the press to the right of keeping arms, and argued that as one was not the liberty of killing or maiming, neither was the other that of publishing libels.
The Louisiana Supreme Court went on in the 1850s -- after Judge Martin was dead -- to likewise characterize the Second Amendment as an individual right, but it looks like this view was taken by a leading Louisiana judge as early as 1810. The reference is in passing, but it just reflects, it seems to me, the uncontroversial nature of the assertion at the time; and though it's second-hand (Judge Martin's words are paraphrased, not quoted), the tangential nature of the assertion adds credibility to it, since the author had little reason to misreport it.
I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, so I thought I'd post it. If any of you know of a source that talks about it, please let me know so I can give it proper credit. I know of no relationship between H.P. Nugent and Ted Nugent.
Related Posts (on one page):
- An 1869 Data Point on the Second Amendment:
- Two More Early References to the Right To Bear Arms,
- An 1831 Source Supporting the Individual Rights View of the Second Amendment:
- An 1830 Source Casually Assuming the Individual Rights View of the Second Amendment:
- Another Early 1800s Source Supporting the Individual Rights View of the Second Amendment: