Notre Dame London Law at 50: The English Origins of the Right to Bear Arms


Location: The University of Notre Dame (USA) in England


6:00 p.m. Registration and welcome drinks
6:30 p.m. Lecture
7:30 p.m. Reception

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Judge Diarmiud F. O’Scannlain continues Notre Dame London Law at 50, delivering the Clynes lecture on ‘Glorious Revolution to American Revolution: The English Origins of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms’ by Judge Diarmiud F. O’Scannlain, United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” excites considerable attention these days, two and a quarter centuries after its adoption. But where did “the right” come from, and how much is the result of English history and experience from before American independence?

In this lecture, Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain will address the influences of English history and philosophical traditions on this controversial constitutional provision and the role those influences played in the Supreme Court’s landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision, which held for the first time that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms.
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Keep an eye on Notre Dame London Law at 50 and follow #NDLondonLaw50 for detail of more events marking this anniversary year—including monthly guest lectures and a gala in October!

About Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain

Judge O’Scannlain was appointed United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit by President Reagan on September 26, 1986. He received a J.D. degree in 1963 from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in 1957 from St. John’s University. He also earned the LL.M. (Judicial Process) degree at University of Virginia Law School in 1992 and has been awarded three honorary doctorate degrees, including one from Notre Dame University. Judge O’Scannlain served as Chair of the International Judicial Relations Committee of the United States Judicial Conference from 2010-2015, having been appointed by Chief Justice Roberts. As chair, he participated in Rule of Law programs in Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Italy, Malta, Ireland, Spain, Mexico, Turkey, Namibia and South Africa. Judge O’Scannlain has been active in the American Bar Association where he has served as Chair of its Judicial Division and in numerous other ABA positions. Judge O’Scannlain is an Adjunct Professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, and teaches at numerous federal appellate seminars for judges and attorneys. The late Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed him Chair of the Federal Judicial Center’s Advisory Committee on Appellate Judge Education. Between graduation from Harvard and investiture as a federal judge, Judge O’Scannlain was engaged in private law practice, except from 1969 and 1974 when he was consecutively the Deputy Attorney General of Oregon, the Public Utility Commissioner of Oregon, and Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1978 as a Major after 23 years Reserve and National Guard service, including four years as an enlisted person.