Skip to comments.DC v. Heller - Montana prepares to secede
Posted on 02/19/2008 7:35:11 PM PST by djf
Secy of State Brad Johnson of Montana delivered a letter to the Washington Times about possible outcomes of the Heller decision.
Second Amendment an individual right
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide D.C. v. Heller, the first case in more than 60 years in which the court will confront the meaning of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Although Heller is about the constitutionality of the D.C. handgun ban, the court's decision will have an impact far beyond the District ("Promises breached," Op-Ed, Thursday).
The court must decide in Heller whether the Second Amendment secures a right for individuals to keep and bear arms or merely grants states the power to arm their militias, the National Guard. This latter view is called the "collective rights" theory.
A collective rights decision by the court would violate the contract by which Montana entered into statehood, called the Compact With the United States and archived at Article I of the Montana Constitution. When Montana and the United States entered into this bilateral contract in 1889, the U.S. approved the right to bear arms in the Montana Constitution, guaranteeing the right of "any person" to bear arms, clearly an individual right.
There was no assertion in 1889 that the Second Amendment was susceptible to a collective rights interpretation, and the parties to the contract understood the Second Amendment to be consistent with the declared Montana constitutional right of "any person" to bear arms.
As a bedrock principle of law, a contract must be honored so as to give effect to the intent of the contracting parties. A collective rights decision by the court in Heller would invoke an era of unilaterally revisable contracts by violating the statehood contract between the United States and Montana, and many other states.
Numerous Montana lawmakers have concurred in a resolution raising this contract-violation issue. It's posted at progunleaders.org. The United States would do well to keep its contractual promise to the states that the Second Amendment secures an individual right now as it did upon execution of the statehood contract.
BRAD JOHNSON Montana secretary of state Helena, Mont. Montana, the Second Amendment and D.C. v. Heller
I guess we can all learn how to herd sheep or somethin!
Really, though, I’m digital now, and if I could get broadband in a cave somewhere, I could still work.
But it is nice to have things like kitchens and showers!
Hope 2008 finds you well and happy!
IOW, Property values there would soar.
“Dont mess with Montana.”
Good idea. Montanans own, on average, eight guns per household.
Skiing is great at Bridger! I’ve often thought it was cold but that just keeps the snow from getting sloppy...
I’ll help build “THE FENCE”. Let me know when it warms up a bit.
I hope they make a LOT more noise about this.
I'd drive to Montana and line up with them (the people of Montana that is).
John Bingham, the main author of Sec. 1 of the 14th A., included the 2nd A. when he referenced the first eight amendments as examples of constitutional statutes containing privileges and immunities that the 14th A. applied to the states. So there is no doubt in my mind that the 2nd and 14th Amendments protect the personal right to keep and bear arms from both the federal and state governments as much as any other constitutional privilege and immunity protects other personal rights.
See the 2nd A. in the middle column of the following page from the Congressional Globe, a precursor to the Congressional Record.
So bear in mind that what DC v Heller is essentially testing is how corrupt the Supreme Court is.
So the Court can ignore the amended Constitution as they ignore the present version. Seems a lot of bother for very little result. Especially, as you say, when there is a big downside risk to the process.
Worry not. There are safeguards. Read the essay I wrote that was vetted by "Congressman Billybob", a constitutional lawwyer.
Rather than seceding, if the Court rules the wrong way and says that the 2nd is a “collective” right, then the legislature there should declare each person between the ages of 16 and 80 to be members of the state militia, subject to annual call-up. They should be required to show up bearing their own personal M4, M16, M14 or M249 (all full auto weapons). When the governor signs the bill, you now would have a few hundred thousand people eligible to purchase brand-new full autos.
So what's that make, about 8,000 guns in the whole state?
We Texans have fewer guns per household (reportedly about 2), but that makes for about 45 million guns - and that's probably low.
Not only that, but when you throw the Posse Comitatus Act into the fray, it would have the potential to be a very mixed-up ball of wax. For DC, anyway -- sounds like Montana has this situation understood quite well.
It would be great if MT Sec'y Johnson filed an additional amicus curiae, regarding the Compact, to supplement the arguments made in the brief initiated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Thanks! That was an excellent and quite inspiring article.
Montana (and I have a business there) brings to mind the phrase: “a whole lot of nothing”.
It’s definitely an option. Depending on the outcome, I may move there too.
OK! Just let our part of California (The High Sierra) re-join Nevada.
If something like this were to happen it would be fascinating to watch how many corporations move their legal incorporation from Delaware to Montana.