Skip to comments.Samuel Alito on Second Amendment
Posted on 10/31/2005 8:22:54 AM PST by Dan from Michigan
Second Amendment Tea Leaves for Corrigan, Sykes, Luttig and Alito:
In Re Four Possible Supreme Court Nominees. In the case of Love v. Pepersack, Judge Luttig concurred in an opinion rejecting a section 1983 claim for an erroneous denial of a handgun license by the state of Maryland. Judge Luttig's concurrence stated, in its entirity: "I concur only in the judgment reached by the majority, and I do so only because Gardner v. Baltimore Mayor and City Council, 969 F.2d 63 (4th Cir. 1992), is the law of the circuit." The Gardner case involved a narrow interpretation of substantive due process.
In United States v. Rybar, Judge Alito wrote a blistering dissent from the majority opinion which held that, notwithstanding United States v. Lopez, Congress had the power to use the Interstate Commerce power to prohibit the mere possession of machine guns manufactured after May 1986, even though Congress had made no findings about the effect of such machine guns on interstate commerce. Judge Alito's dissent did not address the majority's assertion that Rybar had no Second Amendment rights because Rybar was not a member of the militia.
Neither case clearly shows Judges Luttig or Alito to support or oppose the Standard Model of the Second Amendment. However, I believe that both opinions suggest that judges Luttig and Alito are, at the least, not hostile to the Second Amendment. Moreover, a generous reading of the Fourteenth Amendment, and a willingness to take Lopez seriously are in themselves good signs for persons who support judicial enforcement of the right to keep and bear arms.
UPDATE: I haven't found anything yet on Karen Williams.
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan has three notable gun cases, but none sheds direct light on her RKBA views. In a 2004 case, she wrote the majority opinion in a 5-2 decision creating a "good faith" exception to Michigan's exclusionary rule. The case involved a home search that discovered a firearm and marijuana. A robust Fourth Amendment is an important secondary protection for Second Amendment rights, and the Fourth Amendment has been devastated by "good faith" loophole for the exclusionary rule, as I detail in an Akron Law Review article.
Also in 2004, Justice Corrigan joined a majority opinion reversing the conviction of a longtime Michigan gun rights activist who had sold a firearm to undercover police officers in a sting operation. Justice Corrigan agreed that because the defendant had complied with Michigan's laws regarding handgun sales, his actions were not illegal. The decision bodes well for her attitude towards some of the law enforcement abuses and aggressive interpretation of gun control statutes which have too often characterized the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In 2001, Justice Corrigan was part of 4-3 majority which applied a "strict textualist" interpretation to the Michigan Constitution, thereby negating an attempting to prevent Michigan's Shall Issue concealed handgun licensing law from going into effect. The Michigan Constitution allows petitioners to stop a new statute from going into effect by gathering sufficient petitions to put the statute to a popular vote in a general election. However, the Constitution forbids delaying the implementation of a new statute which has an appropriation therein, and the Michigan licensing law included a one million dollar appropriation for county licensing boards. As Justice Corrigan pointed out, anti-gun advocates still could have petitioned for an initiative to overturn the licensing statute; they were simply barred from preventing the statute from going into effect in the period before the next election.
It's a good start.
Alito is no Janice Rogers Brown, but then again he's no Alberto Gonzales, either.
Joe, thanks for the ping as always.
'Machine Gun Sammy,' a Perfect Halloween Pick, Says Brady Campaign
10/31/2005 11:15:00 AM
To: National Desk, Supreme Court Reporter
Contact: Peter Hamm of Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, 202-898-0792
WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released today by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court:
How could it have gone in any other direction, from a White House that just gave blanket immunity to the gun industry, which refuses to bar terrorists from buying guns, that broke a campaign promise and put Uzis and AK-47s back on America's city streets, and insisted that records of gun purchases be destroyed before the sun sets on them twice?
It had to be a Supreme Court pick that favors legal machine guns.
In 1996, Judge Samuel Alito was the sole judge who dissented from his Third Circuit Court of Appeals colleagues when they upheld the authority of Congress to ban fully automatic machine guns.
"Earth to Sammy -- who needs legal machine guns?" asked Jim Brady, chair of the Brady Campaign. "The Chicago mobsters of the 1930s would be giddy. But the man I worked for, who gave us Sandra Day O'Connor and signed the 1986 machine gun ban, would be shaking his head."
"Judge Alito's ludicrous machine gun decision is bad enough. But it also indicates that a Justice Alito would attempt to prevent Congress from passing other laws to protect Americans from gun violence," said Michael D. Barnes, president of the Brady Campaign. "If Judge Alito had his way, the federal machine gun ban would have been struck down as unconstitutional, and the private possession of these weapons would have become legal."
SNIP - ALITO DISSENTING OPINION
Maj. Op. at ----. In other words, the majority argues in effect that the private, purely intrastate possession of machine guns has a substantial effect on the interstate machine gun market.
This theory, if accepted, would go far toward converting Congress's authority to regulate interstate commerce into "a plenary police power." Lopez, --- U.S. at ----, 115 S.Ct. at 1633. If there is any sort of interstate market for a commodity--and I think that it is safe to assume that there is some sort of interstate market for practically everything--then the purely intrastate possession of that item will have an effect on that market, and outlawing private possession of the item will presumably have a substantial effect. Consequently, the majority's theory leads to the conclusion that Congress may ban the purely intrastate possession of just about anything. But if Lopez means anything, it is that Congress's power under the Commerce Clause must have some limits. Cf. Charles Fried, Foreword: Revolutions?, 109 HARV.L.REV. 13, 36-37 (1995).
"Justice Corrigan agreed that because the defendant had complied with Michigan's laws regarding handgun sales, his actions were not illegal."
Kind of makes you wonder how it got that far in the first place.
I think this was a 2-1 decision. They make it sound as if he were the only one out of 25 or something.
Post a picture of him under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Post a picture of him with the front range of the Rockies in the background. Post a picture of him with the Golden Gate. Post a picture of him in Hawaii or Alaska.
Roger that ~ I agree with you 100%!
Thank the Ku Klux Klan. Literally. Michigan's gun laws were from the 1920's.
The guy is from one of the worst smelling parts of the country and acts like anything but an elitist.
Strange thing, he likes to eat at ethnic restaurants.....in Jersey.
Out west, there are only 2 types of ethnic restaurants: Mexican and Chinese.
The man's a liberal.