Published on: Wednesday, November 2, 2022

A federal court in Mississippi released an order expressing frustration with the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment opinion issued last summer and ordered the Justice Department to brief him on whether he needs to appoint an historian to help him decipher the landmark opinion (article available here).

The judge said he isn’t a trained historian, and neither are U.S. Supreme Court justices who ruled in June that gun regulations can’t be upheld unless they are consistent with historical tradition.

In an Oct. 27 order, the judge said the Supreme Court’s opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen requires him to “play historian in the name of constitutional adjudication.”

The judge  – who is considering a case concerning a federal statute prohibiting felons from possessing firearms – asked the parties in the gun case before him to submit briefs on whether he should appoint a historian to assist him as a consulting expert. “Not wanting to itself cherry-pick the history, the Court now asks the parties whether it should appoint a historian to serve as a consulting expert in this matter.”