Tue, 29 Jun 2010 23:54:17 +0000
By now, no doubt you’ve heard/read the news that, yesterday, June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled that the Second Amendment provides Americans a fundamental right to bear arms that cannot be violated by state and local governments.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the ruling was a 5 to 4 decision, which means that 4 SCOTUS Justices (John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor) are hostile to a fundamental right and freedom provided in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Elena Kagan undoubtedly will be confirmed because the Demonrats have the majority vote in the Senate. Liberal Kagan will replace retiring liberal Stevens. If the Sociopath in the White House gets another or, God forbid, two more chances to nominate candidates to SCOTUS, then our goose is cooked.
Below are excerpts of a Washington Post article by Robert Barnes and Dan Eggen, “Supreme Court affirms fundamental right to bear arms,” June 29, 2010. For the whole article, CLICK HERE.
The Second Amendment provides Americans a fundamental right to bear arms that cannot be violated by state and local governments, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in a long-sought victory for gun rights advocates.
The 5 to 4 decision does not strike down any gun-control laws, nor does it elaborate on what kind of laws would offend the Constitution. One justice predicted that an “avalanche” of lawsuits would be filed across the country asking federal judges to define the boundaries of gun ownership and government regulation.
But Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who wrote the opinion for the court’s dominant conservatives, said: “It is clear that the Framers . . . counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.”
The decision extended the court’s 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller that “the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home.” That decision applied only to federal laws and federal enclaves such as Washington; it was the first time the court had said there was an individual right to gun ownership rather than one related to military service.
…Those who have fought for years for such an interpretation of the Second Amendment were ecstatic. The decision was “a great moment in American history,” said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, marking the occasion when “the Second Amendment becomes a real part of constitutional law.”
…The court’s gun decision in McDonald v. Chicago divided the nine justices just as the Heller case had done almost exactly two years earlier. Roberts and Alito were in the majority with Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. Stevens and Ginsburg dissented, along with Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, who was marking her first term replacing David H. Souter.
States and cities have a variety of laws that restrict gun ownership, such as requiring mental health background checks or waiting periods before purchases. And the court’s designation of gun ownership as a fundamental right, like freedom of speech, will provide a tool for those who want to challenge restrictive local laws. Subsequent legal battles may set national guidelines on restrictions on who can own guns, what kind of firearms and whether weapons can be carried outside the home.
…Although it might seem unsurprising to most that the Bill of Rights applies to states and cities, it was conceived as a restriction on the federal government. In the past century, the court has said most amendments also apply to state and local governments. Until Monday, the court had not extended the Second Amendment, which holds that “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.”
Four members of the majority said the amendment was “incorporated” through the 14th Amendment’s guarantee that the states may not “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Thomas agreed with the outcome of the case but said the right was more correctly located elsewhere in the 14th Amendment, in a clause that forbids laws that abridge “the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”