When oral argument in the crucial Second Amendment case of McDonald v. Chicago ended at the Supreme Court Tuesday morning, one thing appeared clear: the justices are not yet ready to open what seems to them to be a can of worms by invoking the “privileges or immunities” clause of the 14th Amendment as the way to apply the right to bear arms to states and localities. The more traditional route of the “due process” clause seems almost certain to be Court’s chosen path.

Alan Gura, who was arguing for the “privileges or immunities” route, ran into skepticism almost from the moment he began, when Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. said Gura had a “heavy burden” because his approach entailed striking down the Slaughterhouse cases of 1873.

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