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While the questions and comments made by Justices of the Supreme Court during oral arguments in Washington D.C. vs. Heller are not necessarily conclusive as to how they will vote, the lasting impression that any fair minded — and reasonably alert — observer would draw from today’s pageant, is that under the 2nd Amendment, the right to keep arms is constitutionally protected. That would also be my conclusion, and, after all, in addition to being fair, and reasonably alert, I was also present in the Court.
Part of my premise is based on the good lawyering skills of Alan Gura, a young, and hitherto untried attorney, who was arguing his first case before the Supremes, although he has worked on this case for five years as it worked its way through the lower Federal courts. Peppered with questions, in particular by Justices Stevens, Breyer and Ginsburg, Gura more than held his own, and repeatedly demonstrated that the right of an individual to keep arms, and the right to bear arms in a state militia, were not coupled, something that the judicial triumvirate sought to establish.
But from the opening question by Chief Justice Roberts, and the follow up inquiries by Justices Kennedy and Scalia, and, occasionally, Justice Alito, to the Washington D.C. government’s advocate, former Acting Solicitor General, Walter E. Dellinger, it became evident that the D.C. law that banned, not as Mr. VerBruggen incorrectly states, “virtually banned,” all handguns, would be examined under the “strict scrutiny,” something Dellinger and his bidders knew would not allow the total ban to stand.
Another impressive advocate was the current Solicitor General, Paul Clement, a former law clerk of Justice Scalia, who was in the unenviable position of asking the Justices to rule against the Circuit Court’s decision that the D.C. ban was totally unconstitutional because it was too broad a judgment. Obviously, the Bush team was not reading from the same script on this matter: Vice President Cheney, in a gesture that I’ve never heard of before, filed a separate amicus curiae (friend of the Court) petition saying that the D.C. ban should be struck down… period!p>Clearly, there is more to be said on this matter, but in the last analysis I believe that there may be more of a consensus on the 2nd Amendment constitutionally protected right to keep arms than was previously thought possible. As Justice Scalia pointed out, even the right of free speech is limited, by libel laws, for example, and so may be gun possession, such as licensing, but, in my opinion, the overarching question of the inherent right of an individual, under the U.S. Constitution too keep firearms, was affirmed. Allow me one more observation: today was a good day for the conservative cause. br> — Vincent Chiarello br> Reston, Virginia /p>
The language that is both frightening and foreboding is this: “the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state regulated militia.”
The words of the issue usually foreshadow the result, or at the very least, the language of the result. The issue as stated can easily limit the decision around “state regulated” militia. Not a good result.
The very meaning of “militia” refers to persons who are not “affiliated” at all. By its definition, a militia comes into being only when it is called to service, with no-one “affiliated” with it until then. They used to call the militia “Minute Men” because in a minute they turned from farmer/laborer/merchant to soldier. They were not in the National Guard or Army Reserve or any other such already-formed unit, as there were no such things — just ordinary citizens, ready to defend and armed to do so.
I can see the result being that Second Amendment rights belong only to persons who are affiliated with a state-regulated militia [even though such a notion was not contemplated by the Framers] and a militia does not exist until a state forms one. No state-regulated militia, no right to keep and bear arms.p>If that’s the result, we can toll the bell the Liberty Bell [for this purpose appropriately cracked] for a precious right dead and buried. br> — A. C. Santore /p> p> WRIGHT TO WONDER br> Re: George Neumayr’s Wrighting Dirty : /p>
George Neumayr is correct to be concerned about Barack Obama’s attendance for 20 years in Jeremiah Wright’s church. But conservatives should all be equally concerned about Hillary Clinton too. Neumayr asks, “And why would Americans want to turn their country over to a candidate who attends a straightforwardly separatist church that views America with suspicion if not contempt?”
It is a valid question but it is also somewhat rhetorical. Conservatives are reacting as if the revelation of Wright’s preachings are new. We’ve all known for some time that many in the Democrat Party leadership and mainstream media and Hollywood believe in and espouse pretty much the same thing as Wright. The only difference is that they layer on more polish than Wright does. Wright seems actually more straightforward and honest in his thoughts and preachings, troubling though they may be.p>And, in her own way, Hillary Clinton is just as far out as Wright or Obama or many of the other leaders on the left. So, why get tied up in knots over Obama and Wright? We will get the same whether he wins or she wins. br> — Steve Cade br> Astoria, Oregon /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?