Thursday, June 26, 2008

Breyer's Dissent in Heller

Well, Justice Breyer tried to do a little number.

His suggestion is that the Court should apply an "interest-balancing" standard of review in determining the Constitutionality of firearms restrictions.

He equates such a standard with the way the "strict scrutiny" standard is often applied, except that, throughout his analysis, he gives all deference to the statute (and the state's interest) instead of the right it infringes (instead of the interests of the right-holder).

He says of less-restrictive alternatives, "Here I see none." He says this, not because none were shown, but because none were asked for. Despite his insistence that "policy" judgments are better made by legislators, he goes on to determine that no alternatives exist short of complete bans. And to support this,... wait for it... he shows that other cities have instituted complete bans.


I'll leave you with a sentence I think is particularly indicative of Breyer's nanny-state mentality:

"If a resident has a handgun in the home that he can use for self-defense, then he has a handgun in the home that he can use to commit suicide or engage in acts of domestic violence."

Breyer apparently likes the idea of abolishing the presumption of innocence, as well.

Okay, here's more.

Just started Breyer's dissent. I'm wondering if, in his and Stevens' dabblings in historical textualism, he would be interested to learn that the term "well regulated," as used in colonial times, overwhelmingly meant "in proper working order," and was not a reference to restrictions.

Re-reading the sentence above, I also wonder what his views are on run-on sentences.

Regarding Heller:

I've finished reading the majority opinion and Justice Stevens' dissent.

Scalia's opinion is quite an interesting history lesson (if you haven't already read the history on the subject exhaustively). It is, quite plainly, an adequate discussion of both the structure of the Second Amendment and also the history surrounding it.

What it doesn't do (and here I agree with Justice Breyer, albeit for different reasons) is set out a Constitutional standard by which firearms restrictions may be judged. It affirms that the Second Amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms unconnected with military service; but it does not yet (as it should) afford that right the same Constitutional protections as other specifically enumerated rights.

Stevens' dissent, if you focus solely upon his attempts at textualism, reads like a pretty compelling argument to overturn Roe v. Wade, which I thought was particularly ironic.

Maybe more to come, maybe not.

Heller Is Affirmed!

I'm reading the opinion now, so I'll have more later, but Heller was affirmed today by the Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote.

Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Thomas, Alito, Kennedy, and the Chief Justice joined.

Justice Stevens filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Ginsburg, Souter, and Breyer; and Justice Breyer filed a dissent joined by Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg.

Held: The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

Heller Decision Today

I must apologize in advance to all 3 of my readers. Due to a scheduled court hearing, I will not be able to blog immediately following the release of the opinion today in D.C. v. Heller.

I will, however, read the opinion as soon as I return from the Courthouse, and will have something for you then.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Four Cases Decided Today -- Heller Decision Tomorrow

The Supreme Court issued four opinions today out of the 7 it had remaining.

Links go to SCOTUSWiki

Giles v. California (Justice Scalia writing for a 6-3 majority)

Exxon v. Baker (Justice Souter writing for a 8-0 Court, Alito took no part)

Kennedy v. Lousiana (Justice Kennedy writing for a 5-4 majority)

Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land and Cattle (Chief Justice Roberts writing for a 5-4 majority)

For the best commentary on the decisions above, keep a close eye on SCOTUSBlog and SCOTUSWiki.

And, tune in tomorrow to SCOTUSBlog's live blog coverage as the Supreme Court issues its opinion in D.C. v. Heller.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Obama's Birth Certificate -- Shocking Revelation!

Okay, by now you've all seen that Barack Obama has released his birth certificate in response to the rumor floating around about him not being an American citizen. He did so on his "fight the smears" website, which he started for the purpose of, well, fighting smears.

Here's a picture of the document I got from DailyKos:

Aside from the fact that it's obviously not genuine (I mean, c'mon. Look at the black bar next to "Certificate no." Mine doesn't have that bar.), I have more news regarding this obvious sham that I'd like to discuss...

Here it comes...

Prepare yourselves...

It's a fake.

I personally spoke with my next-door neighbor the other day. He told me that his cousin's girlfriend's best-friend's half-brother said that Barack Obama is...

An alien.

Yes, you heard me right. I said an alien. And I don't mean your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill undocumented immigrant, either.

No, Barack Obama is really from the planet Zoltar (hang a right at Alpha Centauri, and straight on till morning).

I know. Shocking, isn't it? See, my next door neighbor's cousin's girlfriend's best friend's half-brother said that he himself is also from Zoltar (his name is Kragnor, btw). Kragnor said that he grew up with Barack (real name: Baracknor), and that they were actually squeezed from the same bio-pod.

So, by our reckoning, Kragnor and Baracknor are actually brothers, although they don't reckon biological relationships the same way we do here.

Since this information has come to light, there are some "hard questions" I'd like Baracknor to answer:

1. Why wouldn't you embrace your heritage instead of trying to pass off an obviously fraudulent birth certificate? You could have simply given us your Men-In-Black issued alien identification documents, and we'd have called it a day. Shame on you, Mr. Senator (or Senatnor).

2. Now that this information is public, are you going to own up, or will you continue to assert that you were born in "Hawaii," which we all know is a made-up place anyway?


3. If you are elected President, will you do whatever is within your considerable Superman-like powers to make sure our lives are made easier through the application of alien technologies?

Thank you in advance, Baracknor, for just answering the questions instead of putting my post on your "fight the smears" website. It'll be refreshing to hear a presidential candidate actually address the concerns of the earth-born public, even if he's not technically one of them.