Working Paper No. 06-29:
A Constitutional Right to Self Defense?

Author(s):

Nelson Lund

Date Posted: 2006

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Abstract:

This very short comment examines the relationship between the Constitution and the presuppositions of the Constitution with respect to the right of self defense. As central as this right appears to be in the liberal tradition, its treatment in Hobbes' Leviathan shows why it is more problematic than we generally assume. Moreover, as well-established as it seems to be in our legal tradition, it seems not be included as such in the Constitution, and only partially or erratically protected by constitutional law.