20 July 2009

More Heller Wanking

For some reason, I keep rereading J. Stevens's dissent and wishing that it had been the unanimous opinion of the court. I keep wanting to write J. Stevens and ask him if he knew my Uncle from the ABA and would go out for a beer with me at the Brickskeller.

But that isn't really my point here. My point is that the decision was crap for various reasons and doesn't satisfy either side. The starting point being the Simple Justice blog piece I mentioned in an earlier post. Here is another post. And this one from Lew Rockwell is a real doozy!

Here is another post which reiterates the Simple Justice comment. I have seen other blogs where the posters have realised that Scalia hasn't said all firearms regulations are suspect.

The best post is this one from Slate. The writer points out that if someone replaces Justices Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, Alito, or Kennedy (Thomas specifically), they could decide that Stevens's dissent made better legal sense.

Stevens ends his dissent with the following two paragraphs:

I do not know whether today’s decision will increase the labor of federal judges to the “breaking point” envisioned by Justice Cardozo (in Mitchell v. W. T. Grant Co., 416 U. S. 600, 636 (1974)), but it will surely give rise to a far more active judicial role in making vitally important national policy decisions than was envisioned at any time in the 18th, 19th, or 20th centuries.
The Court properly disclaims any interest in evaluating the wisdom of the specific policy choice challenged in this case, but it fails to pay heed to a far more important policy choice—the choice made by the Framers themselves. The Court would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons, and to authorize this Court to use the common-law process of case-by-case judicial lawmaking to define the contours of acceptable gun control policy. Absent compelling evidence that is nowhere to be found in the Court’sopinion, I could not possibly conclude that the Framers made such a choice.

Another thing I said in an earlier post was that if the court didn't want to burden the Second Amendment with baggage, and by further implication the Constitution: the should have used stare decisis and produced J. Stevens dissent as the unanimous opinion of the court. But no, they had to come up with some political puffery.

Stevens points out that the position he advocates does not affect civilian firearms ownership, other than to take it from being a right.

On the other hand, while stating there is some sort of right, Scalia's position doesn't define this right. A conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right. In fact, it is the best gift for the "gun grabbers" as there is no way that a law can ban the lawful ownership of firearms by law abiding citizens from what little Scalia says. When people realise that was the meaning of all of Scalia's blather, then the Heller decision is decidedly firing blanks.

Or as one commentator I mention above says "Second Amendment Sharpshooter Scalia Shoots Self In Foot".