Friday, March 14, 2008

Countdown Continues...

Good information today on the next week's Oral Arguments from Jim Shepherd on the SHOOTING WIRE, also now available — we're proud to announce! — on DRTV:
As the clock counts down to the Supreme Court hearing on the District of Columbia’s gun ban, we can’t stop wondering if there’s not a change afoot in the “official” government position regarding the District’s longstanding total ban on handguns and regulations that make long guns somewhat less than useless.

That’s because pundits around Washington (that includes virtually everyone from the columnist to the cabdriver) are starting to offer up the possibility that Solicitor General Paul Clement may, in fact, have the last laugh on career bureaucrats in his office. One former colleague of mine (still probably the best wired man in Washington on either side of the party) says Clement’s opinion was shaped – if not dictated – by career lawyers in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. They are, putting it kindly, opposed to individual gun rights. Clement’s arguments before the Supreme Court on Tuesday may, in fact, all but reverse that position.

That internal insurrection theory could explain Vice President Dick Cheney’s signing on with 55 Senators and 250 House members in a brief supporting Senior Judge Laurence Silberman’s ruling on the unconstitutionality of the District’s gun ban.

If that’s the case, Cheney wasn’t going against the wishes of his boss. He was actually voting for the administration while his boss was trying to placate the Democrats. Don’t get me started on the fact that with only a few months left in what has become one of the lamest of lame-duck presidencies, George Bush is still trying to stay in the good graces of the Democrats. But that’s another theory being proffered.

Makes sense. Clement is (or was) presumed to be a conservative- he clerked for Silberman and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. This may be yet another instance of the career bureaucrats not giving a continental damn what their bosses wanted- especially since they’re figuring these bosses are headed out the door in January.

If that does turn out to be the case, it may make for some interesting arguments on Tuesday. It’s darned difficult to refute someone who is no longer arguing against you.
Read the whole thing...I'm sure by now most of you have seen the U.S. News & World Report cover package on guns this week...all in all, it's not too bad. I would have liked for us to be able to make our case, but at least the reporter wasn't wildly out of balance.

If you want to see an overt piece of biased coverage, here's a news release from the University of Colorado the in the People's Republic of Boulder, quoting law prefessor Scott Morris:
But, according to Moss, the case also implicates broader fundamental questions, including:

• Should constitutional rights be interpreted as they were originally intended in the 1700s -- when widespread gun ownership arguably was key to security and order -- or in light of modern social circumstances -- when limiting gun access arguably is key to security and order?

• Will Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, both still new enough to the court to be question marks on many issues, side with Justice Thomas’s view that the Second Amendment calls into question much modern gun control legislation?

• Will the court “duck” the hard call, as it did in refusing to decide the constitutionality of public school recitations of the pledge of allegiance, by deciding the case on a technicality?

Because this case implicates so many unknowns, said Moss, oral argument, often a formality in Supreme Court cases, may be unusually illuminating, especially if any of the Justices make their views clear through their questioning of the attorneys.
Note the first bullet point..."Should constitutional rights be interpreted as they were originally intended in the 1700s -- when widespread gun ownership arguably was key to security and order -- or in light of modern social circumstances -- when limiting gun access arguably is key to security and order?" [emphasis mine]. "Limiting gun access arguably is the key to security and order?" Says WHO? I would arge that limiting gun access is opening the door to criminal anarchy and, ulitmately, governmental genocide. SHOW ME WHERE limiting gun access has been the key to security and order...England? Nope, that didn't work. Australia? Another failure. Rwanda? The Warsaw Ghetto? China? The USSR? Hell...California? Washington D.C.? New York City?

Maybe the good professor could take his thoughts up with the Pink Pistols, the largest gay self-defense group, who have filed an amicus brief with SCOTUS. Here's a quick summary from R. Daniel Blatt on Pajamas Media:
There is no evidence that hate crime statutes prevent hate crimes. At the same time, there is evidence that increased levels of gun ownership reduces crime.
If gay activists see hate crimes as a pressing problem in our community, they might better be served not by laws which single out gay people for protection, but by laws which benefit all citizens.
Restrictive gun laws, like the statute at issue in D.C. v. Heller, prevent all law-abiding citizens, including gay men and lesbians, from protecting themselves in their own homes. For the sake of gay Americans — and all Americans — it’s time to repeal restrictive gun control laws and adopt ones which allow citizens to own firearms and use them responsibly.
And BTW, here's a really slick video from MTV:

I can't comment any better than Tam over at Books Bikes & Boomsticks:
Effin'-A right.

How shocked they'd be to find that on so many issues we're on the same page. The difference between us is that I plan on using something more, ummm... authoritative than an iPod to keep from being shoved into the cattle car.



What was the video?

Anonymous said...

which is why we support JPFO!!! dmd

Anonymous said...

Y'know.....from time to time the idea of term limits for elected offices comes up, gets batted around a bit, then recedes. I've never been a great fan of them because I think the ultimate authority should reside in the hands of the voters rather than in some iron-clad bureaucratic procedure.

I've reached the point, however, where I'm willing to support term limits on government employment. How about "no person shall be employed in any non-elected capacity by, or receive compensation in any form from the federal government for a period longer than 7 years, with the exception of active duty and reserve military."

Seven years means a three-term Congressman has to cycle his office staff at least once before election #4, a two-term Senator doesn't get to keep the same critters, and the White House staff changes at least once every two terms. If people knew the federal trough wasn't they might either seek gainful elsewhere, or serve just a few years to create a line item on their resume. At the very least we wouldn't have an entrenched core of bureaucrats generating an endless series of regulations against the masses.

And, yes, the seven years includes those in federal law enforcement.