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Stephen Breyer, On Handguns and the Law, N.Y. Rev., Aug. 19, 2010.

Abstract: The following is drawn from Justice Breyer’s forthcoming book Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View, to be published by Knopf in September. In that book Justice Breyer uses examples drawn from the Court’s history to show how its members have approached decisions in difficult cases. In this excerpt concerning a 2008 case, District of Columbia v. Heller, Justice Breyer seeks, as he has written, “to explain why judges who interpret the Constitution cannot rely simply upon history. They must also examine values and reconcile competing values by determining whether a restraint is proportionate to need.” The excerpt is based solely on the written record of the case, which can be found in full at