When you shine the light on these people they suddenly become reluctant to own up to the opinions they push so vigorously while under their rocks. A bit of John Yoo being questioned by John Conyers. Loathsome is the word. If Yoo tried this in a courtroom he’d be found in contempt for refusing to answer the questions (via TPM):
Meanwhile, in other law related news, the Supreme Court has overturned its settled precedent to declare that individuals have a right to own guns. Here let us pause for an observation: Three times is the charm for Barack Obama. This week he has backtracked on FISA, declared his support for executing rapists, and now sided with the Neanderthal faction on the court. (I know, that’s unfair to Neanderthals). If he keeps this up he’ll have us pining for Hillary by the time he’s elected, and he may have shed so many of his earlier supporters that the McCain-Lieberman ticket will squeak by him.
Back to the gun decision. I’ve been wondering about this expected decision. It came out of the District of Columbia, which is not a state. As my lawyer readers will remember from law school, the Bill of Rights did not originally constrain the states. The protections of the Bill or Rights were, one by one, “incorporated” into the 14th Amendment, and applied to the states. Unless I’m very much mistaken, the court has never incorporated the Second Amendment. And, lo and behold, after a quick trip to the google, I find thataccording to Wikipedia, the court has actually declined to incorporate the Second Amendment in 1894. Will the court toss that precedent as well? The court should not have reached the issue in the case decided today, since it is irrelevant to a case involving the District. Again according to Wiki, more vital provisions of the Bill of Rights (to a sane person) have not been incorporated. One fairly important protection, the right to a jury trial in civil cases, has been held not incorporated. So it is not impossible that the court will back down a bit. I can’t recall the many cases I read in law school, and the standards that were applied, but yet again according to Wiki, the Court appears to have adopted Felix Frankfurter’s view that only those rights are protected “whose abridgment would ‘shock the conscience’”. In a country where torture no longer shocks the conscience, it’s hard to see why limiting gun ownership should do so. But of course, I dream. This is not a court that is interested in legal consistency. It is a political court with a political agenda, and they will inflict this decision on the states at the earliest opportunity.