25 March 2008

Barely has the dust settled...

And SCOTUS is going to hear its first felon in possession case. well, actually it's a challenge to the West Virginia domestic violence statute, but it's the opening salvo in a barrage that will seem like the Battle of the Somme fought with hydrogen bombs.

The problem is that changing the status quo regarding the Second Amendment, especially by setting up some sort of standard of review, will place this issue into a state of flux. I am not sure of where the Court will go in regard to the issue of whether self-defence should be added to the Second Amendment. Justice Roberts did make this comment:

Well, these various phrases under the different standards that are proposed, "compelling interest," "significant interest," "narrowly tailored," none of them appear in the Constitution; and I wonder why in this case we have to articulate an all-encompassing standard. Isn't it enough to determine the scope of the existing right that the amendment refers to, look at the various regulations that were available at the time, including you can't take the gun to the marketplace and all that, and determine how these -- how this restriction and the scope of this right looks in relation to those?
I'm not sure why we have to articulate some very intricate standard.

CJ Roberts makes a comment a little later on about the First Amendment picking up baggage over time. Now, adding concepts to the Second Amendment which aren't there and announcing standards will indeed create baggage. Highly unnecessary baggage as far as public safety is concerned. And while the Constitution didn't mention self-defence it did mention insuring domestic tranquility and promoting the general welfare, which means it would be against the Constitution to find an individual right to firearms given the cost to society.

At this point, I plan on using the individual right to keep and bear arms in my criminal practise. Mr. Mohammad, my AK-47 toting client may benefit from this sort of decision. As will other criminals, which explains why the NRA, while urging Second Amendment strict scrutiny, thinks Martha Stewart and Lewis Libby have no gun rights. Of course, I agree with Douglas Berman that an individual right means that criminals and terrorists are entitled to guns.

After all, I consider Washington, Hamilton, and the rest of that pack of traitors to be terrorists. They terrorised law abiding British American citizens to either leave home or support their treachery.

So, indeed, Al-queda is entitled to arms whether that be a handgun or a weapon of mass destruction if there is an individual right to keep and bear arms under the Constitution.