John Paul Stevens helpfully rewrites the constitution for you

posted at 7:01 pm on April 12, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

This story already popped up in the headlines earlier today, but there are a number of other goodies in this particular package. In some coverage of former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ new book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, people were understandably focusing on his proposed change to the Second Amendment.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

This long discredited, but highly useful to the Left Wing interpretation of the Second Amendment would serve many purposes for those who would see American citizens disarmed. Such a change would essentially alter the foundation of the concept – as well as the vision of the Founders – to essentially declare that the right to bear arms was not only not an individual right, but would be specifically limited to those in military or law enforcement service, and even then, only under the strict supervision and with the permission of government agents. The fact that there are still more than a few people desirous of such a change is disturbing in the extreme. But it also serves as a reminder of what we are constantly fighting against.

As I mentioned above, though, Stevens doesn’t stop with his vision of a gun grabbing despotic central authority.He goes on to list five others, covered here by Josh Blackman, which are worth a brief look as well.

The “Anti-Commandeering Rule” (Amend the Supremacy Clause of Article VI) This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges and other public officials in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

This is the first of Stevens’ thinly – if at all – veiled efforts to prevent conservative, state level officials from arguing against constitutionally dubious commands from on high. In short, adding the phrase and other public officials to the Supremacy Clause would ensure that that all federal mandates could immediately be enacted by leashing state and local officials to their will, even if challenges to the ruling were in the offing.

Political Gerrymandering – Districts represented by members of Congress, or by members of any state legislative body, shall be compact and composed of contiguous territory. The state shall have the burden of justifying any departures from this requirement by reference to neutral criteria such as natural, political, or historical boundaries or demographic changes. The interest in enhancing or preserving the political power of the party in control of the state government is not such a neutral criterion.

This is one which, were it not for the general avarice of the federal government for power, I could almost get behind. Gerrymandering has led to numerous problems deriving from an entrenched class of permanent office holders. (And perhaps more importantly, their party machine bosses.) But the sort of mandate Stevens envisions here has two serious problems. First, it leaves itself open to wide interpretation which would lead to a logjam of court cases where the warring parties in each state would shut down the redistricting process entirely with a raft of constitutional challenges. Second, it seeks to once again usurp more power from the state and transfer it to Washington, which should be reason enough to oppose it in and of itself.

Campaign Finance – Neither the First Amendment nor any other provision of this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit the Congress or any state from imposing reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns.

This one is just a Democrat wish list item, plain and simple. I won’t waste any column space discussing why it has no place in the Constitution.

Sovereign Immunity – Neither the Tenth Amendment, the Eleventh Amendment, nor any other provision of this Constitution, shall be construed to provide any state, state agency, or state officer with an immunity from liability for violating any act of Congress, or any provision of this Constitution

I’m not sure why this was included, since it’s really just a rehash of the first item on the list. This is more of an effort to put a boot on the throat of state and local governments – and the people of the many states who elect them – to ensure that no pesky group of citizens can question the authority of Washington in any matter whatsoever.

Death Penalty- (Amend the 8th Amendment) Excessive Bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments such as the death penalty inflicted.

This is the only one of the bunch which, while I disagree with it personally, I could see as being valid to put to a vote on a national level. While I see the deterrent value in a carefully monitored, reviewed and administered death penalty, I understand that many people do not. If a significant enough portion of the population of enough states wanted to amend the constitution to expand “cruel and unusual” to include the death penalty, it would be a valid exercise of the amendment process and not really do anything else to deflate the remainder of the founding documents.

All in all, a better title for this book would be, Six Reasons You Should Thank God I’m Not on the Bench Anymore. Even if Stevens’ replacement wasn’t any better, this is a prime example of the kinds of “thinking” which will be in favor when the court sees a solid majority of such “thinkers” at SCOTUS. The sub-title for the book could have read, “My plan to finally edit that pesky Constitution and remake America the way I think it should be.”

I open the floor to an evening of discussion on Stevens’ various proposals.


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Hey Stevens, those guns we won’t give up are the main thing stopping this country from going full-on commie. So go pound sand.

8 weight on April 12, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Time for senile old progressive commie prune to retire.

katy on April 12, 2014 at 7:07 PM

5 words to add to the 2nd amendment, “Never, ever trust the Government.”

lonestar1 on April 12, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Of course pretty much every adult is part of the militia:

10 US Code s311

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

And as they need to be familiar with the common weapons of the organized militia (as they did with the musket back in the day), maybe we should require them to own an M-16. But I’ll bend over backwards in reasonableness and drop the select fire 3 shots per trigger pull and go simply with semi-automatic.

And requiring them to turn in once they hit 45, that is simply illegal age discrimination. And it should extend to women as well — no sex discrimination either.

rbj on April 12, 2014 at 7:12 PM

If it was just meant for government agents, why would they need an amendment for that? What would be the point of putting that in the Bill of Rights? Just say you want to repeal the whole damn thing and shut up.

iwasbornwithit on April 12, 2014 at 7:14 PM

He’s just a garden variety liberal nitwit, and has been for decades. One of the worst and most damaging Republican appointments in American history. May he pass more quietly into his full senility and convalescence.

Jaibones on April 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

John Paul Stevens – Gerry Ford’s biggest mistake.

The last Democrat who screwed up and appointed a conservative was Kennedy (Whizzer White). Republicans have appointed Warren, Brennan, Blackmum, Stevens,O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter and Roberts.

bw222 on April 12, 2014 at 7:23 PM

What an a$$hole.

Lanceman on April 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Why have a constitution if all the power is given to the state? That’s what he’s really going for. Never trust a lawyer or a judge to do what’s right for the people. They are power mad asks wagons who are too chicken sh*t to run for election.

john1schn on April 12, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Stevens like to harp on ‘the fraud’ being perpetrated by the NRA.

I would submit that if any “fraud” is being committed, it’s by Stevens.

GarandFan on April 12, 2014 at 7:36 PM

“I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

- George Mason, co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …”

- Richard Henry Lee, writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.

“The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.”

- Zachariah Johnson, Elliot’s Debates, Vol. 3 “The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution.”

“… the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms”

- Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 18 June 1789, Pg. 2, Col. 2 Article on the Bill of Rights

“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 peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; …”

- Samuel Adams, Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 20 August 1789, “Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State”

“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 ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”

- George Washington, First President of the United States

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”

- Richard Henry Lee, American Statesman, 1788

“The great object is that every man be armed.” and “Everyone who is able may have a gun.”

- Patrick Henry, American Patriot

“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, American Patriot

“Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not.”

- Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States

“The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; … “

- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Justice John Cartwright, 5 June 1824. ME 16:45

“The best we can help for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”

- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8

“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 your constant companion of your walks.

- Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson

“One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.”

- Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson

“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 to John Cartwright, 1824

“No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

- Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.

Gun control advocates always point to the word “militia” in the Second Amendment as proof that the Founders would support gun control laws. That contention is not supported by the historical documents. As the Founders continually acknowledged, A MILITIA IS THE WHOLE OF THE PEOPLE. In fact, in the Second MILITIA Act of 1792, ALL able-bodied, white men over the age of 18 were required to possess a gun.

William Rawle, authored “A View of the Constitution of the United States of America” in 1829. His work was adopted as a constitutional law textbook at West Point and other institutions. In Chapter 10, he describes the scope of the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms:

“The prohibition is general. No clause in the constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.”

Chief Justice Story (appointed to the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice by James Madison in 1811), wrote a constitutional commentary in 1833 (“Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States”). Regarding the Second Amendment, he wrote:

The next amendment is: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a 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.”

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Political Gerrymandering – Districts represented by members of Congress, or by members of any state legislative body, shall be compact and composed of contiguous territory. The state shall have the burden of justifying any departures from this requirement by reference to neutral criteria such as natural, political, or historical boundaries or demographic changes. The interest in enhancing or preserving the political power of the party in control of the state government is not such a neutral criterion.

Doesn’t seem to include racist gerrymandering which the very court Stevens sat on has forced on the nation.

slickwillie2001 on April 12, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Just some old fart who has eaten more than his fair share of baked beans…

ladyingray on April 12, 2014 at 7:40 PM

For more on the subject, especially the meaning of ‘arms,’ ‘bare arms,’ ‘well-regulated,’ and how Progressives have been pulling a sleight-of-hand on the Second Amendment for a very long time – using punctuation that is unsubstantiated by the original, ratified, and authenticated by Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, read:

Senator Dianne Feinstein: “I’m Not a Sixth Grader”

A taste:

According to both the Library of Congress and the Government Printing Office, the Second Amendment, as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, only had one comma and reads as follows:

“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

“Well-regulated” modifies the word “militia.” It doesn’t apply to arms. The “right” of people to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.”

I wrote this piece in response to the stupid Dianne Feinstein.

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 7:40 PM

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

How convenient, especially since we have no “militia” as the Founders conceived and this would effectively ban guns from private civilian ownership.

But this language makes no sense. The Founders wrote the “right of the people”; not the right of the Militia or members of the Militia. And in their time, the Militia were the people.

Another black-robed elitist contemptuous of the citizenry over which he wishes to lord.

rrpjr on April 12, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Stevens is simply wrong on the history.

From “The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania to their Constituents. December 12, 1787:”

7. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil powers.

It is very easy to see this passage as being the source of the Second Amendment, allowing for some condensation in the interest of brevity. The seminal nature of the “Reasons of Dissent” is shown by its Fourth proposal being adopted almost word-for-word as the Eighth Amendment.

PersonFromPorlock on April 12, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 7:38 PM

I knew long before getting to the end of your post that it was from you. You always amaze me when you post. Thanks for all you do.

rottenrobbie on April 12, 2014 at 7:44 PM

second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms.

Except for the FACT that people like you have embraced the Doctrine of Incorporation through the 14th Amendment, which applies to Bill of Rights to the states. Should we abandon the Doctrine of Incorporation, Mississippi can establish an official state church, if it wants, just as Massachusetts had until 1833.

I’m sure you’ll be OK with that, right?

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 7:45 PM

It boggles the mind to see how a gun-grabbing, Constitution killing Prog revisionist can make his ‘arguments’ sound so ‘reasonable’ and Constitutional. I believe he has, inadvertently, defined modern day fascists as those who seek ‘common sense’ solutions to straw man arguments, the destruction of individual freedoms and the furtherance of problems of their own making. This tool’s definition of the Constitution is one of a ‘living document’ subject to change and interpretation as dictated only by those of his ilk. He seems to say that pistols are NOT military weapons in common use and, therefore, should not be available to the Public. Tell that to every soldier, Marine, Airman, et al. Should we disarm them, as well? Tench Coxe taught whole generations the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. He is well worth personal study. This tool is well worth personal disgust.

vnvet on April 12, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Breyer added a new one:

Congress shall make all law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances and in the event Congress shall not so act the executive shall be authorized the same.

pat on April 12, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Useless, un-American moron.

Warner Todd Huston on April 12, 2014 at 7:52 PM

As noted previously, there was no need for a amendment to the Constitution to allow an army or state militia to have weapons, and this was never the Founder’s intention.

Whether they envisioned the entire male citizenry being part of the potential Militia or not, they were certainly wise enough to know that the King’s guns or the President’s guns, however licit, could also be turned against the populace.

As we have seen happen more than once in this country.

Pless1foEngrish on April 12, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Lousy old treasonous bastard belongs in hell.

S. D. on April 12, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 7:38 PM

When I grow up, I want to be just like you!

Newtie and the Beauty on April 12, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Got to ask. How did someone who does not believe in our laws as written in the Constitution ever get nominated and confirmed to the U.S. Supreme court. This man belongs in prison not on the bench.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on April 12, 2014 at 8:03 PM

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

Gee, I wonder why the Founding Fathers Fathers didn’t put that in.

Must have slipped their minds, or something.

Reichsfuhrer Stevens apparently knows better. The people should only be armed in the service of the state. Otherwise, they must be disarmed.

farsighted on April 12, 2014 at 8:07 PM

“Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not.”

For this and your entire post, ‘Resist We Much‘: I salute you, sir.
Well done. Well done, indeed.

orangemtl on April 12, 2014 at 8:09 PM

The standoff at the Bundy Ranch in southern Nevada ended peacefully today. I suggest that user Steven’s version of the second amendment the outcome would have been quite different.

AtTheRubicon on April 12, 2014 at 8:09 PM

With a little tweeking I might get behind some of these amendments. Tweeking like this.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of Individual citizens to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” In addition no employee of the Federal Government, excepting members of the armed forces, may bear arms while in the performance of their duties. All Federal police forces may act only in an advisory capacity to the various state agencies and only at their request. All Federal laws concerning firearms are now null and void.

Death Penalty- (Amend the 8th Amendment) Excessive Bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments such as the death penalty inflicted. Any federal official elected, appointed or employed convicted of violating or seeking to violate the second amendment rights of any individual citizen(s) or group of citizens shall be subject to the death penalty.

And finally

All federal, state and local elected or appointed office holders shall be required to calculate and file their own tax liability including correct, complete and accurate completion of all required forms without any assistance from any outside source including family members, friends or agents. Failure to do this will result in the immediate removal from office and said individual shall be forbidden from running for any elected office or being employed or appointed to any government position for the rest of their life.

Oldnuke on April 12, 2014 at 8:10 PM

The Second Amendment, indeed the Constitution in its entirety, was written to protect us from people like John Paul Stevens.

We need to stop pretending that our Constitutional rights are something that is granted us by SCOTUS by their decisions. They are but human beings, just as capable of error as any of us.

When we allow them to dictate to us what the Constitution says, like priests who used to read the Bible in Latin, they, not we, hold the power. It is our document, not theirs.

turfmann on April 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Treason

mankai on April 12, 2014 at 8:12 PM

I just ordered 500 rounds of ammunition online, and identified an additional firearm that I plan to buy next week.
In honor of Justice Stevens.

Because **** you, sir. Doddering old fool.

orangemtl on April 12, 2014 at 8:13 PM

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

So, according to Big Bro Stevens, “the people” should only have this “right” when “serving” the State.

farsighted on April 12, 2014 at 8:13 PM

When Stevens founds his own country, he can put whatever he wants in his constitution. As for the U.S. Constitution, he has no power to change it and his opinion on the subject is worth about what I paid for it (not being a purchaser of his book).

One additional factor is telling, with respect to Stevens’ point of view. He writes of his “changes” as if he never left the elevated bench of the SCOTUS. Were he a commoner being oppressed by an over-reaching government, he might not write the same book, or the same constitution.

IndieDogg on April 12, 2014 at 8:14 PM

The argument will be: what constitutes a militia? Does militia connote government approval? In America, aren’t we all in the militia (yes, see below)? If we were invaded, or attacked internally, wouldn’t it be our obligation to act? His re-writing of the Second Amendment, as disturbing as the intent may be, in no way weakens the right to bear arms as we, as Americans, are always serving in the militia…in my opinion.

From the OED:

(In the US) all able-bodied civilians eligible by law for military service.

allstonian on April 12, 2014 at 8:17 PM

PS – There is NO re-writing Founding Documents. I wanted to add that in case anyone thought I might be in favor of this desecration of the Amendments.

allstonian on April 12, 2014 at 8:19 PM

@former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens :
.
You have disqualified your citizenship … get the hell outta’ the U.S.

listens2glenn on April 12, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Whats truly offensive about this pseudo intellectual jerk store is his complete and total arrogance.

Arrogance that makes him believe he is smarter than the whole of the founding fathers.

I mean, screw historical evidence, screw slavery and the oppressive traditions of powerful central governments…right? Im John Paul George and Ringo Stevens, and i dont care a lick about freedom because in my elite status those mere trifles are below my station.

Im so tired of these people who have not lived among “the people” for the whole of their existence, telling us why liberty and its protection by the emphasis of local government, are wrong.

Let them live under a tyrannical federal authority and suffer and starve with the “masses” of Venezuela or Cuba for a few years (pfffffft they wouldnt make it a few days before the begging and crying set in).

You disgust me John Paul Stevens. You served no one but yourself while on the bench and mock the Constitution you swore to uphold. Its your exact brand of ceaseless peer reviewed stupidity that has cost millions their lives in communist and socialist hell holes throughout history and now threatens the greatest country the world has ever known.

The destruction of individual liberty for the glorification of men like yourself is one of the truest evils people are capable of, and it is now obvious you are proud of your place among that vicious and vile gang.

alecj on April 12, 2014 at 8:23 PM

After this week’s latest lies and racebaiting concerning voter ID by Obama, Holder, Sharpton, and Bertha Lewis (who claimed that those that support support such laws want to turn the US into Apartheid South Africa*, as well as all those that parroting them, I will take this opportunity to thank Stevens for this from his opinion for the majority in Crawford v Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008) (It’s a great bullet to have in the chamber when the Left starts screaming that those that support, which is the overwhelming majority of the country, by the way, are racists):

The relevant burdens here are those imposed on eligible voters who lack photo identification cards that comply with SEA 483.[2] Because Indiana’s cards are free, the inconvenience of going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, gathering required documents, and posing for a photograph does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters’ right to vote, or represent a significant increase over the usual burdens of voting. The severity of the somewhat heavier burden that may be placed on a limited number of persons—e.g., elderly persons born out-of-state, who may have difficulty obtaining a birth certificate—is mitigated by the fact that eligible voters without photo identification may cast provisional ballots that will be counted if they execute the required affidavit at the circuit court clerk’s office. Even assuming that the burden may not be justified as to a few voters, that conclusion is by no means sufficient to establish petitioners’ right to the relief they seek.

Kaboom!

Stevens also wrote a separate dissent in Texas v Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989) wherein he argued that flag burning was NOT protected under the First Amendment. So, that’s some more ammo to use when the Left praises Stevens.


* Hey, Bertha! Guess who supported voter identification laws? You’d better sit down. Oh, my!

_______________________

Thanks, Newtie. :-)

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 8:24 PM

A few more slight edits:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof unless such exercise annoys some of the people; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press inside a duly established zone; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble to support the State, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances as long as enough compensation is made to the State.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed regulated as specified by the Attorney General.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house owned by a member of the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial Branch, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person self-affirmed member of a liberal ideology shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence. This right is specifically withheld from individuals at the discretion of the Attorney General

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

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 shall be assumed to be given to the Executive.

BobMbx on April 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM

For this and your entire post, ‘Resist We Much‘: I salute you, sir.
Well done. Well done, indeed.

orangemtl on April 12, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Thank you.

[I'm a girl, btw]

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM

BobMbx on April 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM

You’ve been sniffing tritium again, haven’t you?

Oldnuke on April 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

[I'm a girl, btw]

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Nah, you’re a woman and from what I can tell a damned fine one.

Oldnuke on April 12, 2014 at 8:32 PM

You’ve been sniffing tritium again, haven’t you?

Oldnuke on April 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Wrong again, snipe! Its monoethylamine or nothing at all.

BobMbx on April 12, 2014 at 8:33 PM

The left always wants to make the Second a ‘collective’ Amendment. It would be akin to arguing that no individual has freedom of speech, but the state can confer the same on a selected group of its employees or agents.

I highly recommend reading this:

A Daily Kooks Writer Argues: ‘Why Liberals Should Love The Second Amendment’??? You Betcha!

She was right on and the Left hated it.

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 8:33 PM

He’s gone, and let’s have no more of him – or his ilk.

Another Drew on April 12, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Wrong again, snipe! Its monoethylamine or nothing at all.

BobMbx on April 12, 2014 at 8:33 PM

I call bullsiht! It’s really xenon poisoning. I’m very familiar with the symptoms. You should go immediately into a high neutron flux generator and burn that stuff outta you system.

Oldnuke on April 12, 2014 at 8:37 PM

For this and your entire post, ‘Resist We Much‘: I salute you, sir.
Well done. Well done, indeed.

orangemtl on April 12, 2014 at 8:09 PM

I second that.

Mimzey on April 12, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Oldnuke on April 12, 2014 at 8:37 PM

I’ll give it a shot. But always remember, MTs have bigger missiles.

BobMbx on April 12, 2014 at 8:44 PM

[I'm a girl, btw]

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Nah, you’re a woman and from what I can tell a damned fine one.

Oldnuke on April 12, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Thank you, my friend.

You, too, Mimzey!

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 8:45 PM

He’s just a garden variety liberal nitwit, and has been for decades. One of the worst and most damaging Republican appointments in American history. May he pass more quietly into his full senility and convalescence.

Jaibones on April 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

May he quickly pass to his eternal judgement so that smirk will be removed and his butt will rot for eternity

cp3984 on April 12, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Oldnuke on April 12, 2014 at 8:37 PM

I’ll give it a shot. But always remember, MTs have bigger missiles.

BobMbx on April 12, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Yeah, but they have trouble getting them up….

Oldnuke on April 12, 2014 at 8:46 PM

The title of the book should be…

“Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Start a Civil War”

I think that would be a better title, more to the point, and prepares the reader for what the result of those changes would mean.

It always amazes me how progressives are so clueless what their need to fundamentally change the constitution, and in some cases do away with the entire constitution, would mean. I know some conservatives think they realize this, and this are already planning for this. I disagree with this analysis. Of course some progressives do realize this, but not many.

Progressives are a people who think if you just give speeches, make fun of your opponents, and do some Saul Alinsky magic tricks, bingo their goals will be achieved. After all it worked for gay marriage and abortion, but abortion and gay marriage, as controversial as those issues are, don’t affect the liberties of most living Americans. They are small in scale compared to major constitutional rights. This is why those tactics have not worked very well to attack gun rights, at least in red states, but in fact seems to have fortified those beliefs.

So if you are interested in how to cause a civil war in a constitutional republic…I am sure it is a good read.

William Eaton on April 12, 2014 at 8:48 PM

How on God’s green Earth does a Supreme Court justice not know the meaning and definition of a militia?

Am I living in Bizarro World?

Riposte on April 12, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Also progressives, who want to disarm people, never seem to understand that the government people with the guns, the military and veterans, tend to side with the very people they don’t like.

There is a greater chance of a conservative general, annoyed with some crazed leftwing politicians running the country, doing a Caesar than the other way around. Most American progressives and leftist avoid military service.

You would think they of all people would be for the 2nd amendment…but like their curious affinity for Islam, and support of abortion policies which reduce the size of the minority populations, they clearly lack the common-sense self preservation gene.

William Eaton on April 12, 2014 at 8:59 PM

I’ll bet the old buzzard packs heat.

TimBuk3 on April 12, 2014 at 9:05 PM

I’ll bet the old buzzard packs heat.

TimBuk3 on April 12, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Probably has armed bodyguards.

Oldnuke on April 12, 2014 at 9:10 PM

The man’s a coward. He doesn’t believe in an individual right to bear arms. So just come out and say it! Tell us we don’t need a Second Amendment, period.

The way he’s re-written it would only create more confusion because (1) the Court would have to interpret what “serving in the militia” means and (2) how can you go on militia duty if you don’t have a weapon to begin with? It’s a civilian army, so you bring your own.

Erich66 on April 12, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Dear mr Stevens- you only exist because of the constitution. Freedom is not given to to the citizens by the government. I’m constantly amazed at the liberals hell fascination with taking guns away. Without firearms we would not be a free society. It is the ultimate freedom. Firearms in the hands of citizens is the check and balance outside of the three branches of government. If mr Stevens does not like it then tough crap, try being a justice in Mao’s society or pol pots society. ESAD.

jaywemm on April 12, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Who are the real lovers of authority?

CW on April 12, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Bring it on, my bet is it doesn’t make out of this Senate. What an old fool.

hpk1942 on April 12, 2014 at 9:38 PM

I’ve always wondered why no one has introduced into the discussion of the word “state” in the 2nd ammendment. Liberals seem to feel that this indicated the founders meant it was a territory, that state of Virginia ect. I’ve always thought it was meant to be a personal point of being, ie, freedom. We have firearms therefore we are in the state of freedom….sort of like a scared person person being in a state of panic. Hard to explain but simple to understand. Would like to hear from others to see if they can explain better

jaywemm on April 12, 2014 at 9:45 PM

[I'm a girl, btw]

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Yes, Ma’am. You are a very smart, strong conservative patriot. All things despised by the left. Being despised by the despicable is a resume’ enhancing attribute to me. Good on ya.

ghostwalker1 on April 12, 2014 at 9:50 PM

How on God’s green Earth does a Supreme Court justice not know the meaning and definition of a militia?

Am I living in Bizarro World?

Riposte on April 12, 2014 at 8:52 PM

If this isn’t the clearest indication that the states should start nullifying unconstitutional federal law and refusing to recognize the authority of federal courts in enforcing that law, then I don’t know how else to make the case.

gryphon202 on April 12, 2014 at 9:50 PM

It’s so easy to make such suggestions when one is a member of the political or economic elite that live in guarded and gated communities and can afford armed body guards and who are offered preferential treatment by the police and the courts.

Wallythedog on April 12, 2014 at 9:53 PM

…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.

Considering Obama’s penchant for dismissing the military, that would work well for the leftards.

Willys on April 12, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Thank god for John Paul Stevens!!

He has admitted in writing that the 2nd Amendment includes an individual right to bear arms and needs to be modified to eliminate it…

rock the casbah on April 12, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.”

Flagitious? D*mn that is a totally cool word.

I’m using it starting tomorrow.

“….Eric Holder’s flagitious attempts to disarm the American People.”

KirknBurker on April 12, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Thank god for John Paul Stevens!!

He has admitted in writing that the 2nd Amendment includes an individual right to bear arms and needs to be modified to eliminate it…

rock the casbah on April 12, 2014 at 10:02 PM

I’m okay with putting that to a vote…in the ratification process. No way in hell would you get 38 states to ratify something like that. Bring on the Article V, b!tches!

gryphon202 on April 12, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Thank you.

[I'm a girl, btw]

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Well. That was certainly restrained. ;-)

Solaratov on April 12, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Resist We Much – Thank You

I’ve admired your work for quite some time now.

Today’s posts & links were… so freaking inspirational!

Most appreciated.

PermanentWaves on April 12, 2014 at 10:34 PM

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Great points. I have heard more than one lib try to state that “militias” were supposed to be organized armies. I have had to explain to each of them that “militia” is merely individual citizens who keep watch to prevent tyranny from our government. We ARE the militia. We are needed to protect each other from lesser men who choose to hold high office. Kind of like what they learned by fighting a revolution with an empire.

Of course these Obamabots stare blankly because they don’t understand how King Barack would seen as tyrannical, or how the government looks to enslave them, the fools.

goflyers on April 12, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Slap him until he wets his pants.

Mason on April 12, 2014 at 11:37 PM

Just changing a few words here or there can’t hurt anything. It just clarifies the issues.

/Animal Farm

mankai on April 12, 2014 at 11:42 PM

[I'm a girl, btw]

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Noted and corrected, madam. Thank you for the correction.

orangemtl on April 13, 2014 at 12:13 AM

Stevens was an awful Justice, but his appellate court record showed no signs of the activism he would practice on the high court. Ford was influenced by his Attorney General Levi, who knew Stevens from Chicago.

Robert Bork would have been the easy choice, but he had just been the man to fire Archibald Cox as Special Prosecutor and although that was not a wrong thing (both served at the pleasure of the President), both Richardson and Ruckelshaus had resigned rather than obey the order in the infamous Saturday Night Massacre. So he was tainted by that and not seriously considered by Ford, who was struggling in the office anyway.

There was a conservative alternative on the DC Circuit, Arlin Adams, who could have made Teddy K and the liberals look stupid in the confirmation hearings, and Ford also considered Cornelia Kennedy (later also a finalist when Reagan picked Sandra Day O’Connor), but in the end he listened to Levi.

╠╣├╢╟┤

Stevens didn’t have the kind of conservative paper trail that the Democrats could attack. He was much like David Souter in that respect: an enigmatic choice backed strongly by a close adviser.

I’m very glad he retired. Now just shut up, you old fool.

Adjoran on April 13, 2014 at 1:21 AM

Question: Which former justice stated that the individual-right interpretation of the second amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud—I repeat the word ‘fraud’—on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime”?

Answer: Probably not who you might think.

jd3181 on April 13, 2014 at 2:04 AM

Thanks for sharing, “Gerald Ford’s Worst Appointment Ever.” Asking for repudiation of this line of “reasoning” should go into the list of questions that any future Republican Senator directs at any Supreme Court nominee.

M. Scott Eiland on April 13, 2014 at 3:33 AM

Time to dump the unelected leftwing frauds in the Supreme Court and hand more power back to the states

Plus this old clown can ESAD

TexasJew on April 13, 2014 at 6:07 AM

It’s telling that so many professed ‘liberals’ have recently dropped their masks and proudly revealed their totalitarian natures. It’s a harbinger of the future. Our republic is nothing more than a façade.

zoyclem on April 13, 2014 at 6:53 AM

I do love it when lawyers and others are to stupid to even read the laws they propose to change. Stevens wants to change the Constitution so that only members of the militia can carry? Learn to love the mess you create when Timmy is packing his senior year.

10 U.S. Code § 311 – Militia: composition and classes
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

How about we change the Constitution to limit Federal judges to 30 years of service. That way we can avoid that pesky problem of senility on the bench.

LincolntheHun on April 13, 2014 at 7:02 AM

Liberal justices operate on a very simple principle: the bill of rights is a check on government power so it must be reinterpreted to demand government power.

gwelf on April 13, 2014 at 7:24 AM

Proposed:

Anyone who claims that “big government” is the way to go is given a one way ticket to North Korea. If that’s the way they want to play, I’m for tit-for-tat at this time.

Where is John Galt?

ProfShadow on April 13, 2014 at 7:25 AM

Go screw yourself stevens.

TX-96 on April 13, 2014 at 7:34 AM

Liberals have always interpreted the constitution as it would have read, if they had written it. As our President has said, there are too many negatives in there for liberals to handle so they have to twist the English language to try to make them read differently.

What I find really funny, when arguing with liberals about the constitution, is how they avoid the one elephant in the room. The founders knew it wasn’t a perfect document and allowed for it to be amended. They also allowed for a Constitutional Convention to change it, so there is a process to change it. However, liberals know, deep down, their policies aren’t popular and couldn’t win a vote, which is why they’re so inventive when it comes to rigging the vote.

bflat879 on April 13, 2014 at 7:57 AM

That Stephens wish list includes repealing the 2nd amendment should not surprise anyone. His and other attacks on the first amendment by the political class should be conclusive evidence that it is the only thing that restrains many of our elected and appointed representatives in their desires for absolute power over every aspect of our lives.

Armed citizens could obviously not prevail if US military forces were used against them but the political class isn’t entirely sure that the military would obey such orders, which probably has something to do with the increasingly militaristic nature of law enforcement agencies.

Nomas on April 13, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Stevens construct is unwittingly telling in what it does admit on the converse. That is, any movement from The Second Amendments true intent, which is clearly to allow the “bearing of arms” by all citizens, unencumbered by restrictions or unreasonable measures, is unconstitutional.

If Justice Stevens is seeking clarity on that point in particular, then he feels such authority does not exist. So we should roll back such measures as they are unconstitutional. Accordingly, similar intrusions should also face a much higher test.

Measures such as the wrongly named NY SAFE Act fail that test completely. Their ultimate affect is to infringe upon that rights of legal gun owners by attacking the operating nuances of the most popular rifle in use today. Clearly, that is an arbitrary and capricious subterfuge that should be struck down.

Marcus Traianus on April 13, 2014 at 8:08 AM

For every Stevens we know about, there are dozens we don’t, sitting in federal courthouses and agency offices all over this country. This is what Dingy the Koch Head’s nuke option is really all about, skating new social score settlers through on 50 votes, after which they do a lifetime of damage. If Scott Brown and Tom Cotton are not part of a new bulwark in January, Barry will send some wackos up there that will make Stevens look like James Madison.

cosifantutte on April 13, 2014 at 8:10 AM

I wrote this piece in response to the stupid Dianne Feinstein.

Resist We Much on April 12, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Brilliant. Thanks again.

Midas on April 13, 2014 at 9:51 AM

….THIS is what Evil Looks Like……jackassery….

williamg on April 13, 2014 at 10:26 AM

So I guess Stevens agrees that the soldiers at Fort Hood should be allowed to carry firearms on post.

Bitter Clinger on April 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM

he can try to re-write whatever he likes.

we armed citizens still get a vote, either from the ballot boxes or the rooftops.

warhorse_03826 on April 13, 2014 at 11:02 AM

What a pile of that stuff cows excrete that the EPA wants to “regulate”, and that Democrats consider a platform (as Reagan would joke about).

And this guy was a Supreme Court Justice? What a tone deaf interpretation of the Constitution. I prefer the Amendments Jason Lewis has developed in his book and radio show respectively better:

“Except where expressly stated, nothing in this Constitution or its Amendments shall grant to the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the federal government jurisdiction over the several states.

This prohibition of federal interference extends to but is not limited to all matters in the nature and substance of state legislation, providing such law affords its protection equally to all citizens and whose implementation is consistent with common law procedures of “due process.”

The general welfare clause in the preamble and in Article 1, Section 8, of this Constitution shall not be construed to grant the federal branches of government
any extended powers not previously or subsequently and specifically enumerated in this Constitution.

This Amendment also defines commerce among the states as only those economic transactions conducted between two or more states, and not those transactions conducted by parties or entities residing in the same state regardless of their impact upon commerce among the states. Furthermore, regulating commerce among
the states may be used only to ensure the free flow of commercial transactions voluntarily established among the several states; it does not include the requirement or the elimination of economic transactions without further Amendments to this Constitution.

It is also hereby established that any state whose inhabitants desire through legal means and in accordance with state law to leave this union of the the several states shall not be forcibly refrained from doing so by the federal government of these United States.”

“Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States .”

ptcamn on April 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

So much for defending The Constitution or even trying to uphold or define it. This “justice” sees fit to just place his own beliefs above the law and given a chance would change the basis upon which this country was founded. What is it they call this? Progressive perhaps?

Pardonme on April 13, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Incidentally, those who find infinite significance in the placement of constitutional commas may be interested to know that Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 states that no one now alive is eligible to become president. ;^)

PersonFromPorlock on April 13, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Gee! A Supreme Court Justice rewriting the Constitution… Who’d ah thunk it.

WestTexasBirdDog on April 13, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Incidentally, those who find infinite significance in the placement of constitutional commas may be interested to know that Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 states that no one now alive is eligible to become president. ;^)

PersonFromPorlock on April 13, 2014 at 12:38 PM

?

or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution

Definition of orused to link alternatives.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

sharrukin on April 13, 2014 at 1:07 PM

I’m pretty sure that whole point was put in there because the Crown had wanted the American Colonists unarmed so they couldn’t fight back… so a militia under government control was not the kind of right that the Constitution was protecting.

Protecting people from the government is the whole reason for the Document.

petunia on April 13, 2014 at 2:01 PM

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