Supreme Court to look at Chicago gun ban

posted at 12:15 pm on September 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Supreme Court has decided to tackle another local gun ban, this time in Chicago, where a lower court upheld an ordinance outlawing handguns.  The decision indicates that the Roberts Court wants to clarify further its decision in Heller, which struck down a similar ban in Washington DC as unconstitutional.  The McDonald case gives the court an entree to broadening its incorporation doctrine for the Second Amendment (via The Right Scoop):

The Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether strict local and state gun control laws violate the Second Amendment, ensuring another high-profile battle over the rights of gun owners.

The court said it will review a lower court ruling that upheld a handgun ban in Chicago. Gun rights supporters challenged gun laws in Chicago and some suburbs immediately following the high court’s decision in June 2008 that struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave.

The new case tests whether last year’s ruling applies as well to local and state laws.

The doctrine of “incorporation” holds that the rights enumerated to individuals in the Constitution have to be respected by states and localities as well.  This may seem rather obvious, and usually gets applied to questions of free speech, religious practice, and so on.  However, courts have vacillated on incorporation, and even Heller didn’t directly rule on it, as DC is a federal jurisdiction.

At the time, Justice Antonin Scalia hinted that the court would address incorporation more directly. McDonald gives them that opportunity.  If they rule that the states must respect the US Constitution as a baseline of protections for American citizens in all states, then gun bans such as those in McDonald cannot stand.  Second Amendment advocates have long argued this, and they may soon have the victory they seek.

That could have other implications as well. Tom King noted that liberals might like that kind of ruling in order to force all 50 states to use grand jury proceedings for indictments in order to comply with the Fifth Amendment.  If so, defense attorneys could already be preparing habeas corpus motions by the bucketload in the roughly half of the states that don’t require it.

The court itself will be interesting to watch on this question.  Its newest member, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, ruled on another case in the same manner as the appellate court in McDonald.  She replaced David Souter, who would likely have voted similarly, so the balance of the court has not shifted to the left since Heller.  It may give the current court an interesting opportunity to rebuke one of their colleagues, albeit indirectly.  Just the fact that they have decided to hear McDonald indicates a desire to settle the incorporation and Second Amendment issues forcefully, and we’ll see if they follow through on that promise.


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Do you get it. OF course you do as I said before, you are just playing word games until some statist left-wing judge can overturn an amendment from the bench. I know your play book.

That goes for you too tneloms, first amendment rights don’t need to be re-interpreted by anyone else.

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 9:50 PM

You’re hopeless. I guess the “statist left-wing” judge that “overturned” the amendment was “statist” and “left-wing” in 1833, before most “leftist” thought as you think of it was even conceived of. Also, apparently that judge was “statist” even though he supported states rights and limited the federal government’s power through the decision! Incredible.

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 9:58 PM

CBP on September 30, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Apparently they need to write what was Federally protected into state law to get the point across to the weak-minded i.e. crr6

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 9:59 PM

Can crr6 explain how the gun ban in Chicago is legal under the Illinois Constitution?

CBP on September 30, 2009 at 9:56 PM

It probably isn’t, and if that’s so the case should be brought before an Illinois court. I said that on the very first page of the thread.

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 10:00 PM

CBP on September 30, 2009 at 9:38 PM

I’m really not going to argue about the interpretation of “militia.” It was claimed that the plain meaning was clear, so I gave my own reading of the plain meaning, but also pointed out that I don’t think it’s clear either way. Your interpretation doesn’t really even differ from mine that much anyway.

tneloms on September 30, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Apparently they need to write what was Federally protected into state law to get the point across to the weak-minded i.e. crr6

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 9:59 PM

haha. You don’t even seem to understand that you just disproved your own point. If the federal protection applies to “everyone” why is there a right to bear arms in so many state constitutions? This should be good…

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 10:02 PM

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 9:58 PM

I don’t care what his other positions were, if he can’t read and correctly interpret a simple document that is the backbone of his profession than he is useless to me. There are plenty of other judges who recognize his opinion for what it is, a simple gun grab play by a statist. I may be hopeless to you, but I prefer to remain free. Why did it take a judge from 1789 to 1833 to suddenly set the record straight when one of the first Justices could have just asked James Madison if he thought there was any ambiguity?

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 10:03 PM

There are plenty of other judges who recognize his opinion for what it is, a simple gun grab play by a statist.

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 10:03 PM

Great. Please name some.

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 10:05 PM

Excuse me, it should read wasn’t there a judge from 1789 to 1833 to set the record straight, etc.

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 10:06 PM

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 10:03 PM

Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, Alito,

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 10:07 PM

That goes for you too tneloms, first amendment rights don’t need to be re-interpreted by anyone else.

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 9:50 PM

I didn’t say they need to be re-interpreted. I said the Constitution does not “plainly say” that states can’t infringe on an individual’s free speech. It *does* plainly say that Congress can’t infringe on that right. But it doesn’t say that about states.

Do you think it does plainly say this? You’re talking a lot about plain reading of the Constitution, so I’m just asking for the place where the Constitution plainly says that. I’ll even allow you some “interpretation” or “re-interpretation” if you want.

tneloms on September 30, 2009 at 10:07 PM

Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, Alito,

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 10:07 PM

Ok, where did they call that judge (it was actually at least 5 judges because it was a SCOTUS ruling) a “statist” gun grabber? Or where did they even imply this?

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 10:11 PM

There are plenty of other judges who recognize his opinion for what it is, a simple gun grab play by a statist.

celtnik on September 30, 2009 at 10:03 PM

Huh? A gun grab? It was a case about taking private property that involved the Takings Clause of the 5th amendment. No guns were grabbed, either then or any time near then.

tneloms on September 30, 2009 at 10:12 PM

You don’t even seem to understand that you just disproved your own point. If the federal protection applies to “everyone” why is there a right to bear arms in so many state constitutions? This should be good…

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 10:02 PM

The point is, the Federal Government and 44 States all agree through their Constitutions, that We the People have the right to keep and bear arms. I think that is pretty plain. Fortunately my state allows me the right to bear arms and to do so concealed if I so choose.

CBP on September 30, 2009 at 10:27 PM

crr6, its interesting that you liberals believe the Constitution is a flexible, living document, until its not. So convenient that you want to “strictly construe” the 2nd A to restrict the right to militias, because militias are mostly a footnote in history. You are a gun grabber.

Regardless of the 2nd Amendment’s application to the States, (it speaks of Congress and the people), at the time of the founding the right to bear arms was considered so basic to individual liberty that they likely did not believe the states would abridge the right. In any event, most states’ constitutions also protect the right.

And while you’re ‘schooling’ us all on con law, you might consider the following remarks from Samuel Adams and Justice Story – no discussion of militias.

“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of the republic, since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.” -Justice Joseph Story of the Supreme Court in his Commentaries on the Constitution (1833).

“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” -Samuel Adams, During the Massachusetts U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788

Firefly_76 on September 30, 2009 at 10:38 PM

You are a gun grabber.

How am I a gun grabber? I’ve said repeatedly that the states should be free to provide a right to bear arms in the state constitution.

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 11:12 PM

crr6 asked for it…you got it
“No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Thomas Jefferson
“The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…” (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789])
“On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” Thomas Jefferson
“…to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380

nelsonknows on September 30, 2009 at 11:24 PM

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)
“…but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights…” (Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29.)
“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.)

nelsonknows on September 30, 2009 at 11:25 PM

“The Constitution shall never be construed….to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms” (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87)
“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them.” (Richard Henry Lee, 1788)
“The great object is that every man be armed” and “everyone who is able may have a gun.” (Patrick Henry)
“Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” Patrick Henry

nelsonknows on September 30, 2009 at 11:29 PM

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8)
“That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms…” (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)
“And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms….The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants” Thomas Jefferson
“The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — (Thomas Jefferson)

nelsonknows on September 30, 2009 at 11:33 PM

crr6, have you had enough yet?

nelsonknows on September 30, 2009 at 11:34 PM

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good” (George Washington)
“A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.” Thomas Jefferson
“The supposed quietude of a good mans allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside…Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them…” (Thomas Paine, I Writings of Thomas Paine at 56 [1894])
“What country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” (Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Dec. 20, 1787, in Papers of Jefferson, ed. Boyd et al.)

nelsonknows on September 30, 2009 at 11:37 PM

crr6, are you STILL of the opinion that the Founding Fathers didn’t intend on individuals having the right to keep and bear arms?

nelsonknows on September 30, 2009 at 11:38 PM

No. The Bill of Rights prevented the FEDERAL government from infringing on those rights, but it wasn’t binding on the states.

People keep saying this, but I just don’t see it in the plain language of the Second Amendment. It says “shall not be infringed”, and doesn’t say only that it won’t be infringed by the national government. If it meant to be a limit only on the national government, it should have said so, like the First Amendment (“Congress shall make no law…”).

The Monster on September 30, 2009 at 11:39 PM

One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.
— Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796.
We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; Thomas Jefferson
[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
—James Madison,The Federalist Papers, No. 46.
To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.
—John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)

nelsonknows on September 30, 2009 at 11:44 PM

crr6, I have HUNDREDS of quotes ready for you from our Founding Fathers confirming their ideas that the PEOPLE have the right to keep and bear arms.

nelsonknows on September 30, 2009 at 11:46 PM

What crr6 believes is of absolutely no importance. Heller demonstrated that the second amendment describes an individual right, and the federal government has to respect that right. McDonald will determine if the states are to be held to that same standard through incorporation as they are the first, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh. The ninth is toilet paper nowadays, as is the tenth, but it never applied to states.

What’s going to be determined can have no effect on whether the second amendment is an individual or collective right. That’s already been determined. It’s an individual right.

applebutter on October 1, 2009 at 12:11 AM

haha. You don’t even seem to understand that you just disproved your own point. If the federal protection applies to “everyone” why is there a right to bear arms in so many state constitutions? This should be good…

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 10:02 PM

I don’t normally like to play with trolls, but you are in fact the dumbest rock in the whole box of rocks.

Here’s a question for you – do any state constitutions mention any other rights from the US constitution? Like freedome of speech and the press?

Does that negate the First Amendment?

That was a rhetorical question, in case you were wondering.

Merovign on October 1, 2009 at 1:35 AM

Here is a good quote, talking about guns

Citizens claim to have been stopped at road blocks and one business owner claims to have been told by an APF employee that they have a register list of all gun owners in the town.</blockquote

Saudi owned company called American-Police Force wants to open a training center next to a facility that was on the list to hold Gitmo detainees? Cant make this stuff up.

Link to story

WoosterOh on October 1, 2009 at 2:17 AM

I don’y believe this is the good news we gun owners are hoping for. This will be decided on a 5-4 vote and Kennedy could go either way. If it is 5-4 for the libs the blue states wll legislate gun ownership out of existence. Be careful what you wish for…

jwp1964 on October 1, 2009 at 7:31 AM

I hope you understand that there are several issues here: a) interpretation of the Constitution, b) what you would *like* the Constitution to say (for example, some people want to get rid of the 2nd amendment, and some people want to add a marriage amendment), c) and what you think is good legislative policy as a separate matter from Constitutional rights.
tneloms on September 30, 2009 at 7:49 PM

No, the issue here is that ‘crr6′ contradicted himself:

I don’t think it’s a “fundamental right” that the founders wanted to guarantee in the Bill of Rights, and it shouldn’t be treated as such.
crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 12:51 PM

I think the second amendment may be a fundamental right.
crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 1:43 PM

In one instance, he stated that it wasn’t a fundamental right, and in another he said it may be a fundamental right.

Go ahead, write a freaking term paper on it, but his words stand or fall as written.

Juno77 on October 1, 2009 at 9:35 AM

haha. You don’t even seem to understand that you just disproved your own point. If the federal protection applies to “everyone” why is there a right to bear arms in so many state constitutions? This should be good…

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 10:02 PM

People keep saying this, but I just don’t see it in the plain language of the Second Amendment. It says “shall not be infringed”, and doesn’t say only that it won’t be infringed by the national government. If it meant to be a limit only on the national government, it should have said so, like the First Amendment (”Congress shall make no law…”).

The Monster on September 30, 2009 at 11:39 PM

It was strictly a federal Constitution. It did not rewrite the constitutions of the 13 states. The 14th Amendment passed in 1867 is the first explicit limit on state government by the federal constitution in the name of individual liberty, though I guess there’s argument about how far it goes.

Chris_Balsz on October 1, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Let’s see if we can make this simple for everyone…

1) The Preamble to the Constitution says that the right to life is an unalienable right given by our Creator (not bequeathed by any government anywhere).

2) It is axiomatic that to have a right to life we must posess the right to defend our lives.

3) In order to have a right to defend our lives, we must posess the right to the means to defend our lives.

Can you count to three?

EscapeVelocity on October 1, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Then why didn’t they simply say ‘militia’ .
Juno77 on September 30, 2009 at 5:11 PM

I could ask you the reverse. If it were clearly to protect just the “individual”, why not simply say that? Why the mention of “militia”?

That’s NOT answering the question.

Notice Juno –they do not answer. The naivete of these blowhards is something.
CWforFreedom on September 30, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Read the thread, I and others have engaged him numerous times.

And avoided the questions by spouting a boat load of BS, and stalling until he can claim he’s actually answered the question.

Frankly he’s one of the least informed posters in the discussion so we’ve been charitable in doing so.
crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 7:42 PM

‘least informed?’ Look, you can’t even figure out if the 2nd amendment is a fundamental right.

Statist trolls like ‘crr6′ can only traffic in obfuscation and Bullsh*t. Problem is, while they are spouting off, trying to confuse the issue and insult Conservatives, they make contradictory and nonsensical statements and then later spew more BS to cover the stench.

Everyone also Note that ‘crr6′ studiously avoids directly answering the questions.

Everyone should realize that he can’t answer them without revealing the vacuousness of the Leftist agenda. So much for being the smartest people on the planet.

Juno77 on October 1, 2009 at 10:18 AM

haha. You don’t even seem to understand that you just disproved your own point. If the federal protection applies to “everyone” why is there a right to bear arms in so many state constitutions? This should be good…

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 10:02 PM

Fascinating. This guy thinks that if a right is described in the federal constitution and several state constitutions, that shows it’s not a right, but if it’s just in the federal constitution it’s golden?

I would think that if you find a right described in more than one place that emphasizes the right, rather than diminishing it.

applebutter on October 1, 2009 at 10:20 AM

EscapeVelocity on October 1, 2009 at 10:16 AM

I’m “borrowing” you comment and sending it to fiends via e-mail. As well stated as I’ve ever read.

hawkdriver on October 1, 2009 at 10:21 AM

hawkdriver on October 1, 2009 at 10:21 AM

your…

hawkdriver on October 1, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Let’s see if we can make this simple for everyone…
1) The Preamble to the Constitution says that the right to life is an unalienable right given by our Creator (not bequeathed by any government anywhere).
2) It is axiomatic that to have a right to life we must possess the right to defend our lives.
3) In order to have a right to defend our lives, we must possess the right to the means to defend our lives.
Can you count to three?
EscapeVelocity on October 1, 2009 at 10:16 AM

That is reasoned and logical argument for the right to bear arms as a means to defend one’s life.

Unfortunately, the leftists are TOO SMART( /sarc) to understand logic.

[ And yeah, if you don't mind, I'm going to borrow it as well.]

Juno77 on October 1, 2009 at 10:28 AM

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 11:12 PM

And I, and others have plainly stated that it is not for the states to confer or deny the righ to bear arms, it is already a constitutionally confirmed right.

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Maybe this has been stated before in this discussion, but if it hasn’t:

THIS IS BAD NEWS. If Ginsburg kicks the can or retires before this case gets heard, O gets another Supreme Choice. How do you think the Supremes would rule under an Obama court? Guarandgoshdarnteed it won’t be on the side of individual liberty and the proper interpretation of the Bill of Rights.

Maybe those bitter folks clinging to their guns have a reason to keep doing so…while stocking up on ammo and clips, of course.

rotorhead on October 1, 2009 at 10:41 AM

That is reasoned and logical argument for the right to bear arms as a means to defend one’s life.

Unfortunately, the leftists are TOO SMART( /sarc) to understand logic.

[ And yeah, if you don't mind, I'm going to borrow it as well.]

Juno77 on October 1, 2009 at 10:28 AM

So that means there should be no death penalty, since the right to life is unalienable?

mycowardice on October 1, 2009 at 10:44 AM

So that means there should be no death penalty, since the right to life is unalienable?

mycowardice on October 1, 2009 at 10:44 AM

Sure, and no prisons either since preamble discusses liberty also.

Forgive, forget. Turn the other cheek. Be can’t by your logic deprive anyone of liberty with prison.

Oh and no private possessions. Because the preamble discusses the pursuit of happiness and if you have something I don’t, I might be unhappy. If you have something I need, I’ll just ask and you’ll give it to me. If you’re not home, I’ll just take it. If you were so crass as to have locked the door, I’ll just break a window.

See how easy Straw Men are to erect?

hawkdriver on October 1, 2009 at 11:16 AM

“We can’t…”

hawkdriver on October 1, 2009 at 11:17 AM

crr6, I have HUNDREDS of quotes ready for you from our Founding Fathers confirming their ideas that the PEOPLE have the right to keep and bear arms.

nelsonknows on September 30, 2009 at 11:46 PM

Keep ‘em coming. I’m pasting them all together and will send them out in an email to everybody in my address book.

darwin-t on October 1, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Heh. Let’s see how conservatives feel about the incorporation doctrine now. I’m sure there will be universal condemnation of this potential infringement on states rights….

crr6 on September 30, 2009 at 12:21 PM

The same way we have always felt. To quote the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

All States’ rights is about is simply respecting the Tenth Amendment, which the Federal government clearly does not do.

tballard on October 1, 2009 at 11:34 AM

And I, and others have plainly stated that it is not for the states to confer or deny the righ to bear arms, it is already a constitutionally confirmed right.

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 10:31 AM

I give up. I can’t teach you Con Law on HA. Educate yourself, because nothing seems to be getting through that thick skull.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 11:50 AM

I give up. I can’t teach you Con Law on HA. Educate yourself, because nothing seems to be getting through that thick skull.
crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Okay, considering that someone here can claim whatever credentials they want, what makes you the expert on Constitutional Law?

Juno77 on October 1, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Okay, considering that someone here can claim whatever credentials they want, what makes you the expert on Constitutional Law?

Juno77 on October 1, 2009 at 12:13 PM

I wouldn’t claim to be an expert but I am a law student. I’d be willing to wager that gives me more expertise than you, and certainly more than celtnik.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 12:18 PM

“I wouldn’t claim to be an expert but I am a law student. I’d be willing to wager that gives me more expertise than you, and certainly more than celtnik.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 12:18 PM”

So, we’re supposed to be quaking in our boots because you are a law student? What that makes you like 23? I’m willing to wager that others on this thread have significantly more legal and historical knowledge than you. I hate it when people parade around their degrees, but I have a JD and I strongly disagree with your interpretations.

Besides, they don’t even teach historical constitutional principles in your con law classes anyway. Have you read the Federalist/Anti-Federalist papers in school? I’ll bet not. It’s all about ‘interpretation’ and case law handed down by activist judges. Give me a break.

Firefly_76 on October 1, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Does this mean that I can take my gun to the 2016 Olympics?

JohnBG on October 1, 2009 at 1:07 PM

I wouldn’t claim to be an expert but I am a law student. I’d be willing to wager that gives me more expertise than you, and certainly more than celtnik.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Oh really, that’s very interesting, because I happen to have the law right here…go on…tell him…

Three provisions of the Constitution refer to “the people” in a context other than “rights” — the famous preamble (“We the people[sic!!]“), (section) 2 of Article I (providing that “the people” will choose members of the House), and the Tenth Amendment (providing that those powers not given the Federal Government remain with “the States” or “the people”.) Those provisions arguably refer to “the people” acting collectively — but they deal with the exercise or reservation of powers, not rights. Nowhere else in the Constitution does a “right” attributed to “the people” refer to anything other than an individual right.

District of Columbia v Heller, 554 US ___ (2008)

Still you have a point. Let no one think you ignorant–you are being wrongly instructed, at great expense…

Chris_Balsz on October 1, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Does this mean that I can take my gun to the 2016 Olympics?

JohnBG on October 1, 2009 at 1:07 PM

No. Brazil doesn’t honor our bill of rights.

Chris_Balsz on October 1, 2009 at 1:20 PM

I hate it when people parade around their degrees, but I have a JD and I strongly disagree with your interpretations.

That’s all well and good, but in the case of celtnik, it’s not just my interpretation of the 2nd amendment that he disagrees with. He says…

it is not for the states to confer or deny the righ to bear arms, it is already a constitutionally confirmed right.

This is simply not true. It might change, but as of right now the 2nd amendment in the federal constitution does not apply to the states at all, and it never really has. I’ve been trying to explain this throughout the entire thread but he still doesn’t seem to get it.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 1:35 PM

The Constitution is not something that really needs to be ‘interpreted’.
We keep trying to redefine things that already have clear & concise definitions.
People owning guns individually in this country is spelled out clearly & concisely in our founding documents.
But there are lots of people in this world who like to play logic circles when ‘interpreting’ these dosuments.
A spade is a spade.
There is no way to change it just by defining it differently.
I can call an apple an orange & it’s still an apple.
All this dickering over previous cases still doesn’t address the point that SCOTUS has made improper ruling all throughout our country’s history by redefining things that were already clearly defined.
This is how liberty falls: rewriting (AKA ‘new interpreations of) history & judges ‘interpreting’ the ‘intentions’ of our forefathers by ‘redefining what the Constitution & other founding documents really means.
Black is black & white is white.

Badger40 on October 1, 2009 at 2:39 PM

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 1:35 PM

It doesn’t need to apply or more correctly be applied by the states because it is already a constitutional right. How can you possibly say that it isn’t when it is specifically stated as a right in print in the constitution?

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 3:46 PM

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Do they have a copy of the constitution at the law school you go to? Does it have this in it.

“the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Who has the thick skull here moron. You cannot pretend this does not exist, or try to explain it away. This is the problem with law schools today, they graduate people who have no comprehension of the law.

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Do they have a copy of the constitution at the law school you go to? Does it have this in it.

“the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Yes. And that restricts the federal government from encroaching on that right until the 2nd amendment is applied to the states through the 14th amendment. As of now it restricts federal power, but not state power.

I honestly can’t make it more clear than that. Read up on the Bill of Rights, or more specifically the incorporation doctrine and you should be able to understand better. I’m not here to hold your hand through the process.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 3:53 PM

The Constitution is not something that really needs to be ‘interpreted’.
We keep trying to redefine things that already have clear & concise definitions.

If you knew anything about law, you’d know that nearly everything is subject to different interpretations. The law, like the world is rarely simply black and white.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 3:53 PM

what the hell are you talking about, the 2nd amendment doesn’t need to be applied to the states through the 14th amendment, one amendment is not contingent upon the application of another to be valid? It is a right of the people that no government, state, federal or local can infrige on. That is why it is enumerated in the first ten amendments to the constitution as something that cannot be infringed upon. Keep talking past me moron. The State cannot

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 4:09 PM

what the hell are you talking about, the 2nd amendment doesn’t need to be applied to the states through the 14th amendment, one amendment is not contingent upon the application of another to be valid? It is a right of the people that no government, state, federal or local can infrige on. That is why it is enumerated in the first ten amendments to the constitution as something that cannot be infringed upon

…by the federal government. The amendments contingent upon the application of the 14th amendment in order to be applicable to the states. Most have already been applied to the states. The 2nd amendment has not. It’s a simple fact.
Look up the Incorporation Doctrine, I beg of you.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 4:11 PM

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Here. Read up.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 4:13 PM

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Well, that’s it isn’t it. If we don’t like what is written down in actual black and white, why wait for the legislative process to repeal laws, or contitutional conventions to repeal or add amendments when we can just have an un-elected judge do it, right? That’s why your going to law school isn’t it, so that after you establish your practice for a few years you can be one of those judges that says what the constitution says isn’t really what it say? Just like you’re doing here on this post.

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 4:15 PM

crr6 is just to stupid to get the FACT that there are MILLIONS of us who have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from decrepit fools like him/her.

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Isn’t there a hunting season for trolls?

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Has anyone noticed that the very places that ban firearms end up being 3rd world shitholes? Why, in rural areas in the midwest, is there so little violent crime, because you will get you ass SHOT, that’s why.

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:22 PM

If we don’t like what is written down in actual black and white, why wait for the legislative process to repeal laws, or contitutional conventions to repeal or add amendments when we can just have an un-elected judge do it, right?

That’s actually what SCOTUS would be doing if the conservatives win in this case, not that you care. They’d be overturning the actions of a popularly elected legislature in Chicago.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 4:22 PM

By the way, has anyone else seen the USA Today poll? Over 3.8 million people surveyed and 97% believe the 2nd Amendment confirms the right for individuals to keep and bear arms. Idiots like crr6 are extremely in the minority, why? Because those people are too stupid to breathe.
my advice to the SCOTUS….you’d BETTER get this ruling right, there hasn’t been a SCOTUS Judge removed from the bench in U.S. History….YET.

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:26 PM

That’s actually what SCOTUS would be doing if the conservatives win in this case, not that you care. They’d be overturning the actions of a popularly elected legislature in Chicago.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Actually, the justices would be returning the Constitution to the original intent of our founding fathers. Read the quotes that nelsonknows printed out earlier in this thread. The right to keep and bear arms is an unalienable right, not to be taken away by any government.

CBP on October 1, 2009 at 4:28 PM

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 4:22 PM

GOOD, illegal actions SHOULD be overturned and those people put where they belong, under a jail.

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:28 PM

crr6,…..Here fishy, fishy, take the bait, doesn’t that bait look so good, I know you want to put that hook in your mouth.

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:30 PM

crr6, are you ready for some MORE quotes from our Founding Fathers confirming the intent of the 2nd Amendment or have you gagged on enough already?

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:32 PM

And I thought I made it clear that incorporation is unconstitutional and that one right applied to all citizens is not somehow contingent on the application of another amendment written years later. Where is the incorporation specifically listed in the constitution? This is just another trick used by statist judges to override any constitutional protections they don’t like, no wonder the bolshevik, Klansman Hugo Black supported it. The article you posted even makes reference to judges arguing over selective vs. total incorporation. They don’t get to decide whether rights granted to all people or the states in the constitution are selectively or totally applied after the fact, there job is to interpret what is already granted. YOu notice too that Black believed incorporation shouldn’t include the 9th and 10th amendments which apply to the states.

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 4:32 PM

my advice to the SCOTUS….you’d BETTER get this ruling right, there hasn’t been a SCOTUS Judge removed from the bench in U.S. History….YET.

Well, they could find (1) That the 2nd Amendment has been incorporated against the states. That would mean that states could not pass legislation that impedes the ownership of firearms, unless SCOTUS deems that regulation constitutionally acceptable. SCOTUS, in the future course of its caselaw, would rank “firearms ownership” as an individual right and assign a level of scruitiny to protect it, such as intermediate or strict sctrict scrutiny. That means that state and federal regulation would need to meet this level of scrutiny to be constitutionally acceptable. The SCOTUS would, in effect, define which gun control regulations are constitutionally acceptable for all 50 states.

OR,

(2) The 2nd Amendment is not incorporated against the states; which means that individual state legislatures are free to pass bans on guns, or to repeal restrictive gun laws. The 50 states retain control over gun regulation. Some states may ban firearms altogether–almost all however would not.

Which one do you believe to be the “Correct” ruling?

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 4:35 PM

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people’s liberty teeth keystone… the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable… more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour.”
-George Washington, 1st session of Congress
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.”ZACHARIA JOHNSON (delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention)

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:39 PM

My last post was directed at crr6,
I would also add that since he can’t win an argument based on the constitutionality of the 2nd amendment, he bases his conclusion on the unconstitutional, made up philosophy of activist judges who decided that they can pick and choose which rights-which were already plainly granted to every citizen-are now to be “incorporated” to the states by an amendment ratified 80 years after the original constitutional ratification which also refuses to “incorporate” amendments 9 and 10 which apply exclusively to the states. This is what our law schools are churning out these days.

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Well those statements aren’t in the Constitution either.

The bottom line is that the court is not going to invalidate over a century of its jurisprudence, eliminate the incorporation doctrine and adopt an ad hoc system of priority of individual rights based upon the quantity of extra-constitutional quotations from the founders. Not even a sympathetic, conservative court would do this. Certainly not a liberal court.

The choice remains–as a conservative who is in full favor of an individual right to own firearms–would you rather your state to be free to restrict, or expand firearms ownership, or would you rather the Supreme Court and other federal courts decide which regulations are constitutional, and which ones are not?

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 4:35 PM

There is ONLY ONE correct ruling and that is the intent of the Founders and Creators of the Constitution. That every citizens has the right to keep and bear arms equivalent to what a normal infantryman could carry on their persons, which is almost a direct quote from James Madison who authored both the Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:45 PM

My last post was directed at crr6,
I would also add that since he can’t win an argument based on the constitutionality of the 2nd amendment, he bases his conclusion on the unconstitutional, made up philosophy of activist judges who decided that they can pick and choose which rights-which were already plainly granted to every citizen-are now to be “incorporated” to the states by an amendment ratified 80 years after the original constitutional ratification which also refuses to “incorporate” amendments 9 and 10 which apply exclusively to the states. This is what our law schools are churning out these days.

We live with what we have. Our system has changed over the years–you won’t find the judicial review in Marbury v. Madison in the constitution either–but its been so well settled in the courts that the doctrine isn’t going away.

The law schools teach the doctrine because the doctrine is followed, or at least, is payed lip service.

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 4:48 PM

There is ONLY ONE correct ruling and that is the intent of the Founders and Creators of the Constitution. That every citizens has the right to keep and bear arms equivalent to what a normal infantryman could carry on their persons, which is almost a direct quote from James Madison who authored both the Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

Well, then I would prepare for dissapointment. You could have 9 Scalias on the bench, and they wouldn’t issue such an expansive ruling.

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 4:50 PM

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”– Thomas Jefferson
“While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny.”

- Rev. Nicholas Collin, Constitutional Ratifying Committee, North Carolina State Legislature, October 12, 1789

“As the military forces which must occasionally be raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article (of amendment) in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” — Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Then they must be removed, for they violate their oath to protect and defend our Constitution.

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:52 PM

“And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peacable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peacable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possesions.”

- Samuel Adams, Debates of the Massachusetts Convention of 1788
“… of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trail by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms…. If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny.”

- James Monroe
“… the loyalists in the beginning of the late war, who objected to associating, arming and fighting, in defense of our liberties, because these measures were not constitutional. A free people should always be left… with every possible power to promote their own happiness.”

- Pennsylvania Gazette, April 23, 1788

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 4:54 PM

If you knew anything about law, you’d know that nearly everything is subject to different interpretations. The law, like the world is rarely simply black and white.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM

You are telling me that I need to be a lawyer to understand what rights the Constitution other documents has to say.
I don’t have a large understanding of the law.
I do not have a large understanding of the justice system processes.
I have had my own experiences in family court.
That experience alone has taught me that the Constitution means nothing in regards to family law.
This is a huge problem.
Lawyers & the legal profession in general has entrenched itself so deep that it takes a lawyer to understand where you stand constitutionally.
And that is NOT what our founding fathers had in mind.
So while you spew forth all of your lofty legal notions, you miss the main point here:
the Constitution & Bill of Rights were originally meant to be clear & concise documents for everyone to clearly understand, law degree or no law degree.
What has happened is that those meanings have been hijacked by legal professionals to undermine the simplicity of this document by legal decisions made by unelected judges.
Now it has been muddled & confused to the point of being obsolete.
We need a cleansing.
And it starts with people who think like you.

Badger40 on October 1, 2009 at 5:04 PM

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Errr ok. Just because you don’t like the law doesn’t mean it’s not the law.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 5:05 PM

“…arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe…Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them.” Thomas Paine
“A people who mean to continue free must be prepared to meet danger in person…” REPRESENTATIVE JOHN RANDOLPH

“(The) People, who are free men, should be able to possess arms equal to which the ordinary infantryman could possess upon his person.” James Madison

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 5:06 PM

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 5:05 PM

Just because YOU like the law doesn’t mean that law is Constitutional.

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 5:07 PM

The law schools teach the doctrine because the doctrine is followed, or at least, is payed lip service.

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Refer to my last post.
You are indeed correct.
Wrong is wrong & they dress it up to be right bcs there was a ‘legal precedent’ they cry.
We need to purge this way of thinking.

Badger40 on October 1, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Just because YOU like the law doesn’t mean that law is Constitutional.

nelsonknows on October 1, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Right. That’s why I have over a hundred years of Supreme Court rulings to to back up my point.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Errr ok. Just because you don’t like the law doesn’t mean it’s not the law.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 5:05 PM

In science, if I am wrong, I can be disproven by the evidence.
In law, you can ‘interpret’ your way out of being wrong.And you will still be wrong.
Law should really be all about backing up the Constitution.
Not an unelected official’s interpretation of what they think it means.
The Consitution really is pretty absolute.
But mincing words about what “People” is-a militia or an individual is the kind of ‘interpretive license’ thinking that has poisoned our system.
You cannot call a spade something else & change what it is.
Sorry.
I don’t buy your mincing of words.

Badger40 on October 1, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Right. That’s why I have over a hundred years of Supreme Court rulings to to back up my point.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 5:09 PM

And in many of those rulings we have a shredding of the Constitution.
My friend-this is why we have junk science.
Scientists who constantly falsely manipulate data either intentionally or unintentionally.
And all it takes is someone to point out the obvious & all their conclusions are thrown in the toilet.
Unfortunately, myths die hard. So junk science continues to get propagated as the truth when it has been proven false.
I look at many of the past SCOTUS rulings in the same way-
Constitutional retards (I don’t care how smart they think they are-they were appointed by others, some lawyers & some not).
They are not infallible in their field.
This is why our system is failing:
judges making unconstitutional rulings that are held up as falsely constitutional.
Those who cry foul have not been heard & so the false myth prevails.

Badger40 on October 1, 2009 at 5:17 PM

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 5:05 PM

No thug, the law isn’t whatever you say it is.

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 5:18 PM

We need to purge this way of thinking.

What has happened is that those meanings have been hijacked by legal professionals to undermine the simplicity of this document by legal decisions made by unelected judges.
Now it has been muddled & confused to the point of being obsolete.
We need a cleansing.

Then they must be removed, for they violate their oath to protect and defend our Constitution.

Those are all valid points of view. The beauty of our system of government is that, with enough public support, these objectives can be accomplished. You need enough consistent public support to obtain specific amendments to the constitution, or to obtain a Supreme Court who would be willing to overturn centuries of jurisprudence, but it is possible.

I know that Clarence Thomas has indicated several times a willingness to re-evaluate the current interpretation of the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the 14th amendment. You would need more people on the bench who are willing to make such deep changes to the current jurisprudence to prevail.

The best that we can hope for from McDonald is an opinion which, over time, enhances and protects individual gun rights. Personally, I am not entirely certain whether that means the court should find the amendment incorporated, or not.

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 5:18 PM

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 5:05 PM

And BTW-Sir, our founding fathers did not want the burden placed upon the general public to be constitutional lawyers in order to understand their rights.
The document is written in plain & simple 18th century language.
If you can understand the way they wrote & what they meant by the way they wrote, then there is no interpretation necessary.
And that is our problem.
No one understand how people thought & wrote back then.
And so we make mountains out of molehills.
They really did write this stuff clearly.
We have muddied the waters through time.

Badger40 on October 1, 2009 at 5:20 PM

I know that Clarence Thomas has indicated several times a willingness to re-evaluate the current interpretation of the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the 14th amendment. You would need more people on the bench who are willing to make such deep changes to the current jurisprudence to prevail.

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Very few people are clear thinkers anymore.
And very few people are willing to turn all past stupid decisions upside down & around.
And so many of us parse over little victories, when in the larger scope of liberty, means nothing.
Without total change, we continue the erosion of liberty, brick by brick.

Badger40 on October 1, 2009 at 5:22 PM

As much as I’d prefer the ‘purity’ of the Court revisiting the doctrine of incorporation, I’ll concede Revenant is right, it ain’t gonna happen. So, the next best thing for 2nd A advocates is that the SCOTUS finds it to be a fundamental right applicable to the States.

It would be interesting though, in a parallel universe, to see what would happen if the doctrine were revisited or the 2nd A was not deemed fundamental. After liberal states inevitably legislate the right away, would we have a mass exodus of conservatives to gun-friendly states, leaving purple-blue states bluer and purple-red states redder?

Firefly_76 on October 1, 2009 at 5:26 PM

No thug, the law isn’t whatever you say it is.

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Thug? Alrighty then.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 5:29 PM

Thug? Alrighty then.

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 5:29 PM

When you run roughshod over people by citing how complicated something is and only you can understand & how stupid we are if we can’t grasp the complexity of the legal system & so that means that we cannot understand our Constitutional rights properly-I’m thinking thug is a rather polite term in this instance.

Badger40 on October 1, 2009 at 5:31 PM

It would be interesting though, in a parallel universe, to see what would happen if the doctrine were revisited or the 2nd A was not deemed fundamental. After liberal states inevitably legislate the right away, would we have a mass exodus of conservatives to gun-friendly states, leaving purple-blue states bluer and purple-red states redder?

Agreed. I am not sure which would be the better outcome for firearm rights. I think that SCOTUS will end up incorporating the right. But, I believe that a liberal, or even centrist SCOTUS will eventually find that intrusive state regulations in blue states are constitutionally acceptable.

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 5:37 PM

crr6 on October 1, 2009 at 5:29 PM

that’s right.

celtnik on October 1, 2009 at 5:45 PM

“But, I believe that a liberal, or even centrist SCOTUS will eventually find that intrusive state regulations in blue states are constitutionally acceptable.

Revenant on October 1, 2009 at 5:37 PM”

Concur, it is a significant danger. The constitutionally ‘acceptable’ level of regulation will only increase over time.

Firefly_76 on October 1, 2009 at 5:47 PM

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