Today’s ruling by SCOTUS on same sex marriage has the left jumping for joy and many on the right disparaging the Court. People of the gun should take solace in today’s ruling. Today, all 50 states must allow for the legal marriage of two individuals of the same sex. They must also recognize those marriages that were performed outside their state. While the opinion tries to zero in on the Court’s previous discussions of the issue, it seems they spent much more time looking at marriage than the Second Amendment over the years, they have given us some nuggets to pull from . . .
An individual can invoke a right to constitutional protection when he or she is harmed, even if the broader public disagrees and even if the legislature refuses to act. The idea of the Constitution “was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.” West Virginia Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U. S. 624, 638 (1943).This is why “fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
‘Fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote’. That’s heartening. And we should now take the opportunity to remind the courts at every turn of Justice Kennedy’s words. As they dovetail nicely with this passage from Heller:
We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad. We would not apply an “interest-balancing” approach to the prohibition of a peaceful neo-Nazi march through Skokie. See National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie, 432 U. S. 43 (1977). The First Amendment contains the freedom-of-speech guarantee that the people ratified, which included exceptions for obscenity, libel, and disclosure of state secrets, but not for the expression of extremely unpopular and wrong-headed views. The Second Amendment is no different. Like the First, it is the very product of an interest-balancing by the people—which JUSTICE BREYER would now conduct for them anew. And whatever else it leaves to future evaluation, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.
It’s a safe bet that Ladd Everitt and the gun haters are dancing a liberal jig today. Really they should be very afraid of where today’s decision takes the whole debate.
People of the gun won on another front as it if liberals, which an overwhelming majority of the gun haters are, want the decision on SSM to be respected, then they have to quit cherry picking the parts of the bill of rights they like and support.
Today the court reaffirmed the Bill of rights when it said:
Under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, no State shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The fundamental liberties protected by this Clause include most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
Some will argue the “most” clause in the above passage will give them wiggle room. But it would more aptly apply to the 3rd Amendments quartering of soldiers, 7th Amendment about civil suits and 8th Amendment about cruel and unusual punishment. The First, Second, Fourth and Fifth are deemed to be more of the fundamental nature as applied to individuals.
So today we have gained even more intellectual high ground on the gun haters. The “swing” Justice of SCOTUS said these things are not to be put to the vote of the mob. And they must either accept rights or be called out for the statists they are where some animals are more equal than others. It also is going to force to have some more liberal courts do some legal judo to try and say why an enumerated fundamental right in the Second Amendment should be treated less than the right recognized by the court today. Can’t wait to read those opinions.