Liberal constitutional law professor Adam Winkler took to the Daily Beast today to attack Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as an "extremist" on the Second Amendment. Winkler -- who filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 2008 backing the District of Columbia's gun ban -- drew upon an AP news wire account regarding comments Scalia made at a recent Federalist Society event about the purpose for which the Second Amendment was proposed by Congress in 1789.
But an official with the Federalist Society who was in attendance at the speech says Winkler is all wet. First, the key charge Winkler leveled at Scalia (emphasis mine):
While most reactions from the liberal media today regarding the Supreme Court's rulings on the gay marriage cases, liberal constitutional law professor and Daily Beast contributor Adam Winkler laments that the right rulings may have been made for the "wrong reasons."
Having a strict “girls’ room” and “boys’ room” is just as bad as keeping black and white bathrooms separate, claimed UCLA law professor Adam Winkler. In a New Republic article called “Bathrooms Are Not Separate-But-Equal,” Winkler sympathized with Maine high school student Nicole Maines, a 15-year-old “transgender girl” who was denied access to the girls’ restroom, since Maines is biologically a boy who wears female clothing and makeup.
Winkler decried the “intolerance” of the “insensitive” schools officials who aren’t comfortable letting the male Maines use the girls’ bathroom, and complained that these are “strict and outdated rules that discriminate in who can use which restroom.” He insisted that such standards are “acts of discrimination no different from those that prohibited black people from entering white bathrooms until the 1960s.”
While much of the media reaction about Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to scrap the assault weapons ban has been predictably shrill and overwrought, to its credit the Daily Beast ran an interesting analysis from a liberal law professor that argued that a) the Feinstein gun ban was easy to get around with all its loopholes b) might not pass muster in federal court given Supreme Court precedent and c) that the focus on a weapons ban had poisoned the well for liberal gun control advocates who might have had more success had they not pursued a gun ban that energized gun rights advocates to rally against it.
In a report at the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Kevin Tibbles fretted that "Despite bylaws that prohibit gun shops within city limits...Chicago appears to be awash in guns." A sentiment that echoed ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer, who on Wednesday announced to viewers that the whole nation was "awash in guns." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The declaration from Tibbles teed up gun control advocate and UCLA law professor Adam Winkler to claim that the problem with Chicago's gun restrictions was that they were not universal: "Chicago certainly has strict gun control laws. But the difficulty is that outlying areas outside of Chicago and in other states, neighboring Illinois, don't have strict gun control laws, and the guns easily flow into Chicago because of that."