The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that U.S. states do not have the right to require gun licenses to circulate in public spaces.
In effect, the Court has just paved the way for a dramatic increase in violence in the United States.
Not just because there will now be more guns in free circulation, but also because this decision will likely lead to the repeal of other laws. For example, limitations on oversized magazines or assault weapons will almost certainly be successfully challenged.
Political and dubious
The decision on the unconstitutionality of gun licenses repeals a law that the State of New York had passed in 1913. It also reverses a judgment of the same court. In 1939, it had concluded that the freedom to possess firearms, guaranteed by the American Constitution, did not cover personal self-defense, but rather was linked to the formation of armed militias.
Today's decision is therefore highly political.
It is in line with other questionable decisions. For example, in 2010, the Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to impose spending limits on candidates during elections. In doing so, the Court significantly weakened American democracy.
Constitution versus society?
The question could be rephrased in another way: should judges make decisions that go deeply against the interests of American society, in the name of full respect for the Constitution, or should they reinterpret the Constitution in light of today's society?
Sensible people think the second choice is the right one.
But conservative judges believe that full respect for the Constitution trumps everything else. They are legal fundamentalists.
This cult of the Constitution is based on the political interests which they espouse, but which they hypocritically keep quiet.
The Supreme Court of the United States , like many other American institutions, has entered a process of decay that will be difficult to reverse.