Professor Eugene Volokh is famously known for liking substantial burden analysis when it comes to the Second Amendment, particularly when it comes to deciding the constitutionality of magazine bans.Sebastian points to the absurdities that would result from using such a model for the First Amendment -- and even comes up with a plausible governmental interest in limiting the number of books that each of us can buy each year -- reducing global warming. This is certainly as plausible a claim as the idea that limiting magazine capacity to 10 (or 5 in a few more years) will reduce mass murders -- that is to say, it is unsupported by facts and evidence, but it makes the proponent feel good.
I came across an interesting statistic this morning that got me thinking. According to a Pew Poll released earlier in the year, the typical American reads five books a year, just like a typical self-defense shooting only involves two shots. For the sake of argument, it would not be too substantial a burden on a person’s First Amendment right to limit the number of books Americans can buy in one year to twenty-five books.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Twenty-Five Books A Year
Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned points out a pretty serious flaw in Professor Volokh's defense of "substantial burden" argument about magazine limits: