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Two new books on the Heller case:

Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle Over the Second Amendment, by Brian Doherty (an editor of Reason magazine), premieres this week. The book is published by the Cato Institute. Here's the Cato site for the book, including a good video commercial. I read a pre-publication draft in September, and thought it was a solid history of the case, including the broader context around the case.

This afternoon (4 p.m. Eastern Time) Cato will host a forum on the new book, which you can watch online.

The other book on Heller is co-authored by Alan Korwin and me. The Heller Case: Gun Rights Affirmed! is much larger in page count and narrower in focus than the Cato book. The Cato book is a journalistic story of an important case, similar to Gideon's Trumpet by Anthony Lewis. In contrast, The Heller Case is a reference book on Supreme Court jurisprudence. It's a sequel to the Kopel-Halbrook-Korwin book from 2003, Supreme Court Gun Cases. That book provided the text, along with commentary and analysis, for all 92 Supreme Court cases involving the Second Amendment (even in passing), firearms law, or self-defense law. The new book, The Heller Case, provides summaries of those 92 cases, plus the full text (the relevant parts) with analysis of three recent cases on firearms/self-defense (Brosseau, 2004; Small, 2004; Castle Rock, 2005). And then there is the full text of Heller itself, the 96th Supreme Court gun case. That's followed by 80 pages of analysis of the meaning and implications of Heller from scholars such as Glenn Reynolds (and me), and reactions from pro-rights groups, anti-rights groups, and also contrarian gun rights advocates who warn that the Heller will destroy the Second Amendment. Plus outline level summaries of every one of the 67 amicus briefs. And Alan Korwin's description of the scene on argument day, and life in Hellertown (the two-day camp-out scene outside the Court building).

Gun Control on Trial and The Heller Case would be, in my biased view, fine additions to your legal library, or great gifts for anyone who you know who is interested in Second Amendment issues.

Melancton Smith:
I'll open up the comments on this. I have my copy of the book, yet to read it though.

I'm interested in the report on the 2day campout outside SCOTUS. My wife and I participated and we got to meet (though we didn't realize it) Dick Heller one night. He anonymously passed out throat lozenges to folks in line.

Later as we filed in someone ID'd him and I did get to shake his hand. He seemed like a real nice guy.
11.24.2008 3:58pm