Treating Young Adults as Citizens


John Stuart Mill distilled what the Founders knew all along: majorities harnessing the power of the state are often willing to trammel minorities’ rights. The Founders drafted the Constitution to curb, in James Madison’s words, “the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.” But how are mere “parchment barriers” to withstand overbearing majorities? “[I]t would require,” in Alexander Hamilton’s words, “an uncommon portion of fortitude in . . . judges.”

In issuing Firearms Policy Coalition v. McCraw, the first post-Bruen merits win for Second Amendment claimants, Judge Mark T. Pittman displayed just such fortitude in guarding the Second Amendment rights of eighteen-to-twenty-year-olds from a Texas statute that forbade them, with narrow exceptions, from applying for licenses to carry firearms in public.