Skip to comments.RESHAPING THE SUPREME COURT (2nd Amendment)
Posted on 06/25/2005 1:33:30 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan
RESHAPING THE SUPREME COURT
Now is the time for firearms owners to have their say on Americas highest court, which may be called upon in the future to pass final judgment on the Second Amendment..
by Sandra S. Froman, NRA President
Within a short few years, the meaning of the Second Amendment could well be decided by a final edict from nine men and women who situnelected and for life termson the United States Supreme Court.
Because of impending vacancies on the highest court in the land, firearms owners will soon have an historic opportunityour only opportunityto bring our voices to bear on the process of shaping the court.
Given what we can accomplish at the grassroots level in the coming months, the fate of the Second Amendment is in our hands as citizens, as voters.
In the normal career of federal judges, there is but one point when they can be held accountable to the peopleduring the nomination process. Under the Founders unique system of checks and balances, the president submits nominees to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent.
That means that 100 senatorselected officials with nothing less than their own political futures on the linemust answer to ordinary voters concerning who will sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.
In an October 2004 editorial observer column intended to turn out voters last November to defeat President George W. Bushs election to a second term, The New York Times warned:
If President Bush gets the chance to name three young justices who share the views of Justices Scalia and Thomas, it could fundamentally change America for decades.
The Times couldnt have said it better.
What is it about Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas that so frightens the left?
For one thing, both justices can surely be expected to support the Second Amendment as an individual right.
Justice Scalia has written, Dispassionate scholarship suggests quite strongly that the right of the people to keep and bear arms meant just that. There is no need to deceive ourselves as to what the original Second Amendment said and meant.
For his part, Justice Thomas raised his Second Amendment views in his June 27, 1997, concurring opinion upholding NRAs successful constitutional challenge striking down the Brady waiting period. Thomas wrote, The Second Amendment similarly appears to contain an express limitation on the governments authority. He also said, Perhaps, at some future date, this Court will have the opportunity to determine whether Justice Story was correct when he wrote that the right to bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic.
In addition to the Second Amendment, it is the judicial philosophy of the two justicestheir definition of the roles of judgesthat ignites hatred from the left, including the ban-the-guns crowd.
In terms of his judicial philosophy, Scalia is both an originalist and a textualist, as is Justice Thomas.
This means that Justice Scalia believes that the words of a text should not be interpreted strictly or liberally. He feels they should be given their ordinary meaning. That is to say, he believes words should be given the meaning that would have made most sense to the Framers, the legislatures that passed the law, and to the people who must obey it.
The New York Times pre-election editorial observer crystal ball gave a gloom and doom assessment for leftists if they lost their war to deny President Bush the White House:
It is quite possible that if Mr. Bush is re-elected, he will get three appointments, enough to forge a new majority that would turn the extreme Scalia-Thomas worldview into the law of the land.
On Dec. 10, 2003, the moderate majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against challenges (led by NRA) to the repressive strictures of the McCain-Feingold so-called campaign finance reform law. The court majority dictated that paid political speech by grassroots groups like nra could be outlawedas a federal criminal actduring blackout periods before elections if broadcasts were paid for by corporate funds not strictly regulated by federal overseers.
Nobody, not even the proponents of the broadcast speech gag, thought the Supreme Court would let it stand. The Courts decision goes to the core of the First Amendmentmuch to the delight of many in the national media, which were exempted as corporate entities from the restrictions on not-for-profit corporations like NRA.
Here is the so-called worldview of the gutting of the First Amend-ment as expressed by Justices Scalia and Thomas in their scathing dissents.
Justice Scalia wrote: This is a sad day for freedom of speech. Who could have imagined that the same Court which, within the past four years, has sternly disapproved restrictions upon sexually explicit cable programming would smile with favor upon a law that cuts to the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect: the right to criticize the government.
As for his worldview of free speech for Americans wishing to assemble their individual voices, Justice Thomas wrote:
The First Amendment provides that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech Nevertheless, the Court today upholds what can only be described as the most significant abridgment of the freedoms of speech and association since the Civil War. With breathtaking scope, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), directly targets and constricts core political speech, the primary object of First Amendment protection
The dissenting opinions were brilliantly written, clearly thought out, entirely reasonable. But dissenting opinions, no matter how well reasoned and true, are only dissents from what the majority has decided. In the Supreme Court, as with electoral politics or legislative bodies, the majority rules.
Yet, we now have an historic opportunity to put Justices Scalia and Thomas in the majority, on the winning side of Supreme Court opinions.
With the impending retirement of ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and speculation that as many as three other justices could retire during Mr. Bushs presidency, what will happen when the Senate exercises its advice and consent role in the nomination process to the Supreme Court will make any political battle in our nations history pale in significance.
Those who oppose our freedomthose like New York Sen. Charles Schumer and Mass. Sen. John Kerry, who would see the courts destroy the Second Amendmenthave vowed a firestorm if President Bush puts forth judicial candidates who actually believe in the Constitution as written.
Sen. Schumer, who would disarm peaceable Americans in a heartbeat, says, Ideology should be an explicit part of the (advice and consent) process
For new Supreme Court justices, or any new federal judges, Sen. Schumer and his fellow anti-Second Amendment senators on the left are demanding that nominees be moderate.
I personally look for moderate judges, he said. Sen. Schumer, like others who have done all they can to stop the presidents nominations to any level of the federal courts, demands balance. Of course, to Sen. Schumer, balance means keeping conservative judges in the minority writing only dissenting opinions.
The balance on Sen. Schumers scale of justice always bottoms out under the weight of judges who share his leftist ideology.
Moderate. The media uses that word a lot. It is a word that once had a meaning, but has been commandeered as more camouflage. If you wonder what moderate means to the far left and to the corporate media, look no further than Justice Scalias definition:
The moderate judge is the one who will devise the new constitution I think the very terminology suggests where we have arrived at the point of selecting people to write a constitution, rather than people to give us the fair meaning of one that has been democratically adopted.
Thats what Senators Schumer, Clinton, Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and failed presidential candidate John Kerry wantjudges who will write a new constitution, or who will erase parts that they find ideologically offensive, like the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Sen. Schumer has even said, One or two Scalias or Thomases is one thing. But a bench full of them would drive our courts way out of whack. And that is unacceptable.
But for usfor the 80 million peaceable Americans who own firearms and exercise the Second Amendmentthe courts have already strayed too far from the Constitution; especially the Supreme Court of the United States.
For us, it is already unacceptable. Years of Bill Clintons judicial appointments have stacked many of the federal courts with judges who believe their contemporary values have greater weight than the Bill of Rights. Our Founding Fathers would be outraged to know that an outright ban on free political speech has been upheld by the highest court in the land.
Its not just the ideological bent of a U.S. Supreme Court that presents a danger to our future liberty.
Given the way in which our courts have evolvedwhere judges can ignore the Constitution, re-write laws and erase our founding historya lone United States District Court judge can have more power than the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and the president of the United States combined, and nobody elects that judge.
If a judges political activism is matched by the ideology of the members of the federal appeals bench, and by the U.S. Supreme Court, our constitutional protections could vanish.
Noting that this dangerous trend has reached all the way to the Supreme Court and is affecting the very foundation upon which America was founded, Justice Scalia wrote:
I dont think this is an exaggeration, that the Court has essentially liberated itself from the text of the Constitution, from the text, and even from the traditions, of the American people.
He pointedly stated, The Constitution is not a living organism for Petes sake, its a legal document, and like all legal documents, it says some things, and it doesnt say other things.
When NRA members reflect on our legislative and political victories over the last 25 years, we can take extraordinary pride in having shaped an American history where Second Amendment freedom has been preserved, and where individual rightslike the Right-to-Carry and the right of self-defensehave been expanded. We have met the direst assaults on our liberty with victory, time and time again.
We are on the verge of seeing legislation enacted that will end years of abusive lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry and to destroy the source of firearms and ammunition for Americas peaceable gun owners. What will happen to that protection for our lawful commerce if globalist billionaire George Soros, Hillary Clinton and the national media determine who will constitute the majority on the Supreme Court?
In fact, all the good that nra has accomplished over all these yearseven at the state and local levelis subject to what has become a growing judicial tyranny marked by feel-good, relativistic social engineering.
If you havent read NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierres Standing Guard column in this issue (p. 8), please do so.
Wayne spells out the dangers of the current Supreme Court majoritys unprecedented reliance in opinions affecting our lives on the overwhelming weight of international opinion and on United Nations treaties never agreed to by the United States.
Justice Scalia, whom President Bush says is a model for those he wants on the federal bench, warns against the court being seduced by globalism:
The basic premise of the Courts argumentthat American law should conform to the laws of the rest of the worldought to be rejected out of hand.
Justice Scalias judicial philosophy is true to the oath of office taken by all Supreme Court justices when they are sworn in:
I, (name), do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (title) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God. (Emphasis added.)
The oath says nothing about international laws. It says nothing about the weight of global opinion. It says nothing about foreign treaties. It says, under the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Yet, if this globalist trend in our federal courts is not reversed, fealty to international opinion may well some day replace allegiance to our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The overwhelming weight of international opinion on banning private ownership of firearms threatens to replace the Second Amendmentunless we all take this opportunity to ensure that justices who fill vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming months and years are men and women who will take an originalist and textualist view of the oath of office itself.
Sen. Schumer has said, I have no problem voting in favor of right-wing nominees when there is balance on the other side.
Balance to Schumer, Kennedy, Clinton and Kerry means that judges in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas are crushed by the leftist majoritydoomed to always impart wisdom worthy of the Founders as dissent.
In the coming weeks and months, NRA members and our families, friends, neighbors and co-workersall who treasure the Right to Keep and Bear Armshave the opportunity to change the balance, to ensure that those globalist views and anti-Bill of Rights opinions of individual justices are in the minority, where they are relegated to writing only dissenting opinions.
We have this one opportunity to put the majority of the nine justices on our sideon the side of liberty, on the side of free speech, on the side of the Second Amendment as an individual right and on the side of our visionthe Founding Fathers visionof America.
Might have already been. Paging Henry Bowman...
Or if he nominates Gonzales, he's defeated. I would support a filibuster of that guy, whoever did it.
A position on the 2nd usually is a pretty good bellwether of a man's position on many other things, and Gonzales is a squish, with a great likelihood of being another Souter. He'd make all these 5-4 bad decisions 6-3 bad decisions.
The Constitution is more important than any one president, or that president's fave minority tokens.
I dunno if there is a Wesley College, but the college that Cruella attended was Wellesley.
The dalmatian population of east-central Massachusetts never recovered....
Criminal Number 18F
Update of Regulation Three-Oh-Three, I see.
It would make a good book.... (heh heh)
Criminal Number 18F
I can see you haven't been paying attention.
Just don't count on Republicans to thoroughly vet them - look whom they've given us on the current court. A mixed bag at the very least.
Even Scalia went power-mad regarding the Commerce Clause with the medicinal pot ruling.
Screw 'em all; live free of Big Stupid Government.
Too bad those old threads are locked in the archives -- reposting them might awaken a whole 'nother discussion.
Madison County in the Panhandle is a speed trap. Don't think that you're done when you see a traffic enforcement team; it's just the first! They are sneaky. It's the only county in the area that routinely monitors the interstate. Just set your cruise on 70 for about 45 minutes, get through Madison county and then zoom on your way.
Final judgment? Hardly. When, and if they 'decide' that although we have an individual Right to Keep and Bear [some] Arm's, - that it can be regulated/licensed to the point of prohibition; -- then the real judgment will fall to the people.
Within a short few years, the meaning of the Second Amendment could well be decided by a final edict from nine men and women who situnelected and for life termson the United States Supreme Court. -- In the normal career of federal judges, there is but one point when they can be held accountable to the people during the nomination process.
Not true. Under the Founders' unique system of checks and balances, either Congress or the President can refuse to uphold such 'edicts'.
-- And if both branches refuse their duty, the people in each State can also refuse to kowtow to edicts.
We will have recourse, or we will have revolution.
And it is long past overdue that the NRA stand firm on this issue, rather than elect presidents who believe judges can issue decisions & "final edicts" that must be obeyed.
Both judges & executives must be taught to obey our Constitution.
Hey DfM, I'm very afraid that judges will be the death of us. It seems almost impossible to get a real Constitutionalist mind onto the bench, so foreign decisions are going to become the basis for ruling on law. Bye bye, free, unique country...unless some of our elected Republicans grow some cajones!
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