Thursday, June 26, 2008

Court Finally Gets One Right

I have been fairly critical of the United States Supreme Court in recent days, especially since they have shown no respect for legislative process. However, events this morning have caused a need for some kudos, after they finally got a judgement correct. According to Reuters news service, the Supreme Court struck down the Washington, D.C gun ban, in Heller v. the District of Columbia, declaring that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution does indeed guarantee an individual right to own guns.

According to Reuters,
In the majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia said the Second Amendment protected an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

Although an individual now has a constitutional right to own guns, that new right is not unlimited, wrote Scalia, a hunter.

He said the ruling should not be taken to cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill or on laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in places like schools and government buildings or laws imposing conditions on gun sales.

Honestly, this should have been an easy call. The Second Amendment is one of the shortest and clearest parts of the entire document. As quoted from the National Archives it says,
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.

While liberals try to obfuscate the issues with the explanation of the Amendments that mentions the need for a militia, the basic text states "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." This is pretty blunt, and unlike some Supreme Court decisions (Boumediene and Kelo come to mind, not even mentioning Roe) is completely supported by the Constitution's text itself. No foreign law, no waffling from leftists trying to disarm Americans so as to more easily impose their own brand of Communism. It is almost impossible to misconstrue the meaning of the Second Amendment and I am delighted to see that five justices actually had no problem understanding the clear meaning of the actual text itself.

Of course, we should worry that four justices (Ginsburg, Souter, Stevens and Breyer) somehow cannot understand the plain language of the Amendment. They are capable of inventing new rights out of thin air for unlawful combatants, and rewriting parts of the Constitution with which they disagree (Kelo), yet when it comes to one of the clearest parts of the actual Constitution, they are unable to understand its clear import.

This ultimately, is why elections matter. Since Congress has abrogated its Constitutional role of judicial oversight, the only way to guarantee that the Constitution is upheld is to appoint strict constructionists, and the only party that shows any signs of doing that is the Republican Party- the Democrats prefer to appoint people who want to change the Constitution- not uphold it. So to all my conservative and libertarian friends whoa re considering sitting out the 2008 Presidential election, i say that although John McCain is not perhaps the candidate we would prefer, he is infinitely preferable to Barack Obama.

No comments: