What SCOTUSCare Means for Second Amendment Supporters

On June 25th, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that a law’s language doesn’t matter. What matters: what the Justices want the law to say. We have seen this break-down in the rule of law before. The Warren Court was famous for it. During the so-called Roosevelt revolution of the 1930’s, the Supreme Court went down the same path. There was a brief period in the early 2000s when the Court applied the Constitution to questions of constitutionality. The left labeled this a “radically conservative court” but it was merely a tendency to follow law and truth, rather than rubber-stamping “progressive” ideology . . .

It’s obvious that the Supreme Court has now become “pragmatic.” When a law doesn’t support “important” legislation the Court carefully crafts an opinion to support the administration’s agenda which, by extension, they support. A penalty is not a tax. Obamacare is saved. A state mandate isn’t a state mandate. Obamacare is saved again. Marriage is a Constitutionally protected right. The administration’s newfound enthusiasm for “marriage equality” is the law of the land.

The only hope for a return to Constitutional restraints: an end to the current administration. It’s not a hope that a future can be built upon. After the SCOTUSCare decision, we can no longer depend on the Supreme Court to protect Second Amendment-protected rights. The Obama administration will bring whatever pressure it can against the Justices to insure that they do not strike down the “may issue” concealed carry statutes imprisoning gun rights throughout the land.

Which is why the Court hasn’t accepted any Second Amendment cases since McDonald. The conservative Justices are afraid that a wavering Justice, typically Justice Kennedy, will vote against them, gutting Heller and McDonald. The “progressive” Justices are afraid of the exact same thing, in reverse. They don’t want a ruling that confirms and expands gun rights. Stalemate. At best.

Again this isn’t new. The Supreme Court failed to protect the Second Amendment from 1935 through 2005. It only started to recognize the individual right to keep and bear arms after Second Amendment activists organized and won legislative battles, educated greater and greater numbers of the public, and pushed the Court to rule properly.

Second Amendment activists will have to use their existing organizations, communications ability, and all their remaining protections under the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to hold on to the restoration of freedoms that have been won in the last 20 years. Legislatively, they may be able to do more.

In State and Federal legislatures, they can win back what the Courts are refusing to protect. The Obama administration will not be in power forever. There will be a backlash. It may happen that a Justice or Justices on the Supreme Court will find the ability to act ethically after the abuses of this administration end.

For the next year and a half, don’t expect the Supreme Court to protect American gun rights. Second Amendment supporters should be glad that the Court has not taken important Second Amendment cases. If my analysis is correct, the next year and a half is a very dangerous time for gun right in America. Keep your powder dry.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    The SCOTUS has dropped all pretenses of caring about the Constitution, or even the black-and-white statute law. They are little more than an unelected, extra-legal legislature, operating on their own biases and prejudices.

    As such, they should be held politically accountable, and suffer the indignities of elections, as well as the consequences of political retribution by the populace. This cabal of Harvard and Yale graduates must be made to suffer for their actions.

    1. avatar doesky2 says:

      Limiting SCOTUS terms would require a constitutional amendment (meaning impossible).

      However, a Repub congress and president can……
      1) eliminate filibuster
      then
      2) pack the court with 4 (or any number) of additional justices.

      Just saying.
      The Left and the MFM (i repeat myself) do not fight fair…..why should we?

      The only problem with this plan is that the majority of Repubs have no balls…oh well.

      H/T => http://acecomments.mu.nu/?post=357579

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        Not true at all.

        Article Three Section Two specifically grants congress the authority to restrict what the courts may rule on:
        In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellateJurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

        Also, the idea that the supreme court has the authority to interpret law is nowhere in the Constitution. It’s something Marshall made up centuries ago, and no congress has had the spine to stand up to the court since.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Thank you.

          I was hoping someone else here had actually read the US Constitution.

          The Congress can make life truly miserable for the SCOTUS. I’m writing my Congressman (who is in fact a woman, BTW, who calls herself “Congressman” and has more balls than the GOP leadership taken together) and recommending that at the very least, Congress slash the pay and budget for the SCOTUS. If they want to make extra-constitutional law, then the court can do so as paupers.

        2. avatar CCDWGuy says:

          Just reading the book “The Constitution: An Introduction by Michael Stokes Paulsen and Luke Paulsen.

          Just read a section on the Supreme Court and the Constitution states that their salary cannot be reduced by Congress or the Executive Branch. Budgets get no comment.

          It also says that the Framer’s felt the Court the least effective in changing anything unless they started interpreting instead of ruling based on the Constitution that is the Supreme Law of the United States.

        3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Article III, Section I says:

          “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”

          The compensation of the SCOTUS justices can be reduced – just not for the sitting justices.

          Their budget for the salaries of their clerks, etc are utterly fair game.

          But back to the above point: If the SCOTUS isn’t going to adhere to the Constitution, then why should Congress? The Congress can slash the SCOTUS’ budget to a tuppence, and though it might be viewed as unconstitutional by the court (being that some of these Ivy League graduates seem obsessed with making money, if only to keep pace with their classmates of old), what can the court do about it? They cannot vote themselves more money. They have no checkbook of their own. They have no way to enforce their will. These exist at the leisure of the other two branches, one of which commands the armed forces and the other who controls the purse. The SCOTUS has no organic power of their own, save for the respect for the Constitution and law. Once the SCOTUS decided to ignore and belittle these, they sowed the wind…

        4. avatar Joe R. says:

          ^ ‘If SCOTUS chucks the Constitution, why shouldn’t Congress?’

          Now you’re getting it. Together w/the prez. these yahoo a-holes are still just your a-hole neighbors needing jobs. So why don’t you just chuck the Constitution? Because that might just be what they’re after. Push comes to shove, and the Contitution’s chucked, all bets are off except for my $ on cannibalism.

        5. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

          Except that this would be a case of Comfress exercising its enumerated powers and providing an appropriate check on the Court.

          The reality is that by the Constititikn Congress and ultimately the States are the final authority on the Constitution. There’s good reason to be cautious in its excercisr, but the power rests in them.

          It is they that can regulate SCOTUS. It is they that can remove a justice. It is they that can bless or remove a president for not complying. It is they that decides if the Court has the money to even operate.

        6. avatar ThomasR says:

          I believe the reason the Congress has not challenged the un-constitutional authority of the USSC to interpret constitutional law is because it specifically circumvents the will of the people.

          As someone here posted, “State has gotta state”.

  2. avatar Jason says:

    It is now clear to me that the Supreme Court has become a set of 9 unelected, unaccountable Royals.

    They make proclamations and, whether they should or ought to have power to do so, the proclamation is made and heeded.

    The rule of law is over.

    We are ruled by the whim of 9.

    1. avatar blahpony says:

      The nine rings of power for man?

      1. avatar notalima says:

        Thanks, you just made my day.

        The justices as the Nazgûl is a great comment!

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Well, you know, SOMEBODY has to do it. SOMEBODY has to be the final arbiter of the meaning of laws. SOMEONE has to have the power to finally conclude disputes, whether of fact or of law. So bitch all you want, you are entitled to your opinion, but the system demands that we have such men and women, and no, they are not gods, and we cannot not expect of them perfection, any more than we expect perfection of anyone. Just look at Dred Scott or the Slaughterhouse Cases–the latter of which concluded that certain provisions of the 14th Amendment cannot be enforced by individuals–still stands, and realize that nine justices long ago decided cases that no one agrees with today. Oh well. Too bad, so sad.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        The Dred Scott decision, while contemptible in outcome, was fully supported in case law and precedent. It was a legally sound opinion.

        Since Roe v. Wade, however, the SCOTUS has decided to reach further and further beyond the boundaries of statue, case and constitutional law to support their desired outcomes. Roe v. Wade should have been simply adjudicated as thus:

        – either pushed back upon the states and the restraint given as the 10th Amendment, or
        – supported fully and completely upon the 9th Amendment.

        It should not have needed any fevered and tortured twaddle as “penumbras and emanations” of other Amendments.

      2. avatar rlc2 says:

        After the teeth-gnashing, maybe we POTG can remember who nominates and who confirms SCOTUS Justices.
        Nov 2016 is just around the corner, in terms of voter registration and money-raising. If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem.

  3. avatar nynemillameetuh says:

    The Law follows Power and not the other way around.

  4. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

    Until we get another conservative justice, the risk is just too great to bring another major 2nd Amendment case to the Supreme Court. As it stands, Kennedy probably wouldn’t support requiring the strict scrutiny standard that applies to every other fundamental right (Heller likely didn’t specify a standard in order to get his fifth vote). Lucky, so long as we don’t bring these cases, a liberal Court can’t rule on the issue and undermine the 2nd Amendment.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      Conservative like Bush’s appointee John Roberts?
      Conservatives are just statists who worship the other face of big government.

      1. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

        They’re not all bad. Conservative justices (the ones who claim to exercise “judicial restraint”) tend to fall into two camps: those who exercise judicial “constraint” and those who exercise judicial “deference.”

        Scalia, Alito and Thomas (more than anyone) follow the judicial constraint philosophy. They limit themselves to the Constitution as written and as understood by the people at the time of the founding. Read their resent dissents, and you’ll see they are not statists.

        Roberts is the type of conservative justice who focuses on judicial deference, as in the Court showing deference to the Legislature (i.e. the democratically elected branch), unless the law is clearly unconstitutional (e.g. Heller). This means that Roberts will do anything he can to save a law like Obamacare but will oppose Court mandated same-sex marriage because he thinks the people should decide the issue. Bush chose Roberts because he wanted, above all else, someone who would vote to uphold his various terrorism related legislation, like the Patriot Act.

        1. avatar Unknown Prosecutor says:

          I think you and I read the same article today on the Volokh Conspiracy…

        2. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

          Indeed, although the concepts are hardly new. I did, however, like his two labels, and the article was well timed for this discussion.

      2. avatar Kyle says:

        Totally agree.

        As I often say, To expect government to allow arms to people that could be used against them, is illogical.

        Want to turn this around?… eliminate all Police and bodyguard exemptions.

        1. avatar ThomasR says:

          Hitler agrees with your assessment.

  5. avatar Clark says:

    2016 will be huge. We need to get a REAL 2nd amendment supporter in the oval office. Can’t see Ginsburg making it through another administration so her seat will likely be up….

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      She will likely choose to retire before Obama leaves office so he can replace her.

      1. avatar michael nieto says:

        wouldnt that be highly out of the ordinary?

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          No. It is actually quite common for retiring justices to try to arrange their retirement dates to occur during the presidency of a member of their party. But it is actually unlikely happen for two reasons: 1) Ginsburg has been gently pressured to retire for years and she refuses (probably knowing she’ll be dead of boredom in months when she does), and 2) if she were going to do so, it would have to occur very soon or the nomination of her successor is likely to be tied up in the Senate until after the election.

      2. avatar pwrserge says:

        She can try. A GOP senate can refuse to confirm any new justice until the new president is sworn in.

      3. avatar Robert W. says:

        If the writing is on the wall for a Republican president to win, Ginsberg retires, Obama attempts to nominate a new appointee. Then, the Republican led congress shuts down all his appointees until the Republican President is put in office.

        Replacing Ginsberg only would work if congress were democrat led.

    2. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      Good luck with that. Who do you think is a true Second Amendment supporter amongst the current field? You can forget about Cruz and Rand Paul. While they may appeal to the base and get the nomination, they’ll be killed in the General Election by the vast majority of Americans who see themselves as moderate middle grounders and look at people like Cruz and Rand Paul as extremest whackjobs.

      A more moderate Republican is going to be a statist and will certainly not support the Second Amendment.

      1. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

        I think Walker would be a good choice. He would not only result stopping the descent, he will be most likely to reverse some of the progressive trends even in spite of a shaky legislature.

        Where I’ve had the most concern with him is on immigration. In his defense, I’m willing to give him the shadow of the doubt when he claims his position has shifted as he’s dug more into the issue. He has a reputation of doing what he says, so I’m willing to take a chance with him in that regard.

        What matters most, though, is that illegal immigration is a symptom of the disease and I’m confident that he will work on the disease of Progressivism in a fundamental way.

      2. avatar michael nieto says:

        walker rubio is a winning ticket walker is really good on 2a and rubio is hispanic and good looking enough

      3. avatar JasonM says:

        Huh?

        Head to head polling between the various republican hopefuls and Hillary Clinton shows Rand Paul trouncing her in all the swing states (and overall). And he does better against her than any other republican. Apparently his crazy ideas about making the government respect the rights of the people, enforcing fiscal responsibility on the government, and cutting income taxes are popular with Americans.

        His biggest challenge will be getting past the warmongers and Wall Street sycophants within the republican party establishment and republican influencing media (e.g. Fox “News”).

        1. avatar int19h says:

          Rand has the best chances in the general election, as he will attract the libertarian base that is normally split between the parties depending on where one is on other issues (though I still think he’d lose to Hillary). Problem is, he won’t ever get out of the primaries – he’ll be sunk by the coalition of mainstream Republicans and social conservatives, since he is a nemesis to both.

  6. avatar H says:

    Thing is we are off kilter when we accept that Presidents get to select justices to push their or their party’s agenda. Shouldn’t they be above that?

    Shouldn’t they be the best at law or do we want a prom committee that chooses based on popularity? Don’t you want great wisdom made manifest? Why? Because sometimes and it seems often the people don’t know best. This because their vision is limited by their own experience, adherence to their own clan’s needs or values. We aren’t homogenous small nomadic groups who can exist this way.

    So we keep getting what we want then we like it for awhile then we don’t. In a Justice I want someone who knows the law. Knows history and has a long term vision. Someone who while religious uses his spiritual life to effect personal inner change but refuses to impose that on others.

    In this country we could have that. It was the goal of the founding fathers.

  7. avatar Hannibal says:

    It means nothing unless 5 black-robe wearing lawyers decide they want it to mean something.

  8. avatar Joe R. says:

    Get yourselves a gavel and a black robe, it’s Pronouncements Time! Make any ruling you would like, it will carry more weight in whatever eventuality you care to create, but whatever that is, it will carry more weight than this crap.

    KEEP YOUR GUNS FOR THE END OF AMERICA. You’ll want a vote in what comes next. (Also)

    F .E . E .L .F .R .E .E

    To Abuse the Abusers on their way out.

    I’LL WATCH YOUR SIX.

  9. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

    SCOTUS has done perhaps irreparable harm to itself in the course of its decisions last week.
    I posted on some thoughts elsewhere, but think they might be of interest in this particular topic.

    There is a possibility that the other branches simply begin ignoring the courts. Congress could regulate the court’s activity and scope as it’s empowered to do under Article III, Section 2. Wonder what would happen in SCOTUS subsequently ruled those congressional restrictions unconstitutional.

    It’s certainly too much to hope for that Congress would exercise its impeachment powers and remove judicial activists. It seems that the Congress is hell-bent on abdicating as many of its powers and responsibilities as possible.

    Any way it goes, the first step is getting the idea of across that SCOTUS is not the final say in such matters.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The other branches are, in fact, free to ignore the courts. The executive branch has been ignoring the courts (NB plural) for years now.

      If the SCOTUS doesn’t like being ignored, what can they do? They command no armed forces, and they have no power of spending or taxation. They’re utterly impotent in the face of people who want to rebuke them.

      This is what lawyers constantly forget: that whole “rule of law” thing works for only so long as everyone agrees to respect the law. When one side doesn’t, then there’s no point in anyone respecting the “rule of law.” And after that, we pretty quickly spiral downhill until society starts using things like “Rule .308” to settle political disputes.

      I’ve had to explain this to several lawyers now, including a couple who have very impressive CV’s from Harvard. The expressions on their faces are downright precious when I patiently explain how laws are just blathering of lawyers recorded for posterity on paper. When people cease to believe what is on the paper, or cease respecting the intent of the words on the paper, lawyers have no way to persuade people to obey.

      1. avatar CCDWGuy says:

        Reading a book that says exactly that…Congress and the Executive Branch don’t have to pay any attention to what the Supreme Court rules. They can choose to ignore it.

      2. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

        You have just summarized the article on Conervative Lefty that I had linked.

        And as I point out there, it’s not without precedent.

      3. avatar Biff says:

        I hope you’re not suggesting that would be a good thing.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          I’m not suggesting that it is a good thing.

          But I will posit that it is the natural and inevitable outcome of:

          a) electing a third world man to run a first world nation, who then
          b) imports a very large number of fellow third worlders with the intent of giving them voting rights to tilt elections away from the existing civic culture and political foundation towards a third world mindset of entitlement and mob rule.

          Look, I’m going to be brutally honest and blunt here. The American system of government was an outgrowth of white, Protestant men who were influenced and informed by the thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment. There were only two Catholic signatories to the Declaration of Independence, and no Jews.

          Today, this Protestant cohort of the population is no longer in control of the government; the SCOTUS is now controlled by only Catholics and Jews, and the DNC over-represents both Catholics and Jews in their elected officeholders. The epistemological differences between Protestants and Catholics/Jews is wide enough to cause a collapse in the ideas of limited government and the rule of law.

          If you want to see where our future leads, look to central and south America. Look at the instability of their governments, budgets and banking systems, how their citizens view the law, their courts and their governments. As you’re looking southwards, be happy that Obama will be term limited and forced out of office in 2016, because his worldview is much more like that of Robert Mugabe, and if you look at the last 20 years of Zimbabwe, you’ll see what sort of “fundamental change” Obama would probably prefer if he had the time in office to effect it.

        2. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

          I don’t think either he or I are suggesting it is a good thing. However, that is quite different than it possibly becoming a necessary thing.

          Congress actually has the power to regulate the scope of SCOTUS per Atricle III, Sec. 2. This does not require the President’s signature.

  10. avatar Marc1980 says:

    This is just a thought….IF the gay marriage ruling has the same effect on concealed carry licenses as it would on marriage licenses, then perhaps SOMEONE (Kennedy, i would presume) knows EXACTLY what they are doing. It was smart to reject a gun case until AFTER the gay marriage ruling. That way, they have precedent set that applies the 14th amendment to a person’s individual rights, enumerated or imagined. This will prevent them from being wishy washy when a case comes before them now about reciprocity. I suspect that Kennedy likes guns just as much as he does gay people and has cleverly and stealthily made both camps happy.

    1. avatar Kelly in GA says:

      This was my reaction hearing the heads read bits of the ruling on the radio

    2. avatar LKB says:

      We can hope so, but betting anything on Kennedy these days is playing with fire. He is notoriously unpredictable, and as his opinion Friday proves his vision of the Constitution is unmoored from history, precedent, logic, or anything other than himself.

      There are four justices (Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagen, Sotomayor) who will do anything to overturn Heller/MacDonald. Do not think for a moment things like intellectual consistency, stare decisis, respect for the court, or logic will restrain them from that quest: they are all about reaching results and the means they have to use to get there do not matter. The best you can hope for is that Breyer and possibly Ginsburg might *say* that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, but their next sentence will be “except when it doesn’t.” (Kagen and Sotomayor won’t even go that far.)

      There are four justices (Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Alito) who will reliably support Heller/MacDonald, and I suspect would expand it. Scalia is probably the weakest link here — he would never even consider, for instance, that the NFA might be unconstitutional, and I have my doubts that he’d vote against an “assault weapon” ban.

      Kennedy is thus exactly where he likes to be — the literal center of attention. While his reinvigoration of substantive due process should mean, if he’s in the mood to be intellectually honest, that the fundamental Second Amendment right recognized in Heller must be given the same broad protections as the right to gay marriage that he just discovered, there’s no question that he has drifted leftward over the past 30 years. I suspect that he’s fallen prey to the Beltway Effect, and thus in the end won’t do something that the Washington press corps and the Georgetown cocktail party crowd might find too icky.

      Best to keep our powder dry and work for a GOP president and Senate in 2016.

  11. avatar BDub says:

    Fairly solid observations, but lumping Marriage equality in there is disingenuous at best, and is not proof of a “break from Constitutional restraint”, but an overdue correction of injustice.

    Marriage is at its core is a contract – freedom of association and to contract being at the core of Constitutionally protected liberty. Further more, It is now a contract with many associated legal protections and privileges attached to it, and so to arbitrarily restrict a class of people for forming such a contract, and to deny them those protections and privileges is an affront to personal liberty as it is understood in the Constitution.

    Do all of us and yourself the respect of sticking to the relevant topic.

    1. avatar Grindstone says:

      But not being able to force my religious views upon the citizens is a violation of my religious freedom!!!111

    2. Marriage is a sort of contract, but it has always been defined as between a man and a woman or women. To redefine it as applying to any two adults is judicial activism at its height. Words mean things. If they can be arbitrarily changed, as in this case, the Constitution means nothing.

      There were already contractual, legal arrangements for same sex couples, called civil unions.

      Perhaps we should simply get the government out of marriage altogether.

      1. avatar Publius says:

        but it has always been defined as between a man and a woman or women.

        Bull. Your book of fairy tales that you think should rule our lives quite clearly allows one man to have many wives as well as deeming it perfectly moral for said man to cheat on his wive(s).

        1. avatar Propatriamori says:

          Please cite chapter and verse.

      2. avatar Grindstone says:

        but it has always been defined as between a man and a woman or women.

        Or between a man and his property. Or between a man and the father of the bride in exchange for political alliance. Or between a white man and a white woman, but blacks not allowed. The definition has been constantly in flux. We cast aside slavery and Jim Crow oppression, redefining many “traditional” things along the way. This is what freedom is. It’s not giving a right to one group of people while denying it to others because of the dictates of your personal religion. That is the absolute opposite of freedom.

        There were already contractual, legal arrangements for same sex couples, called civil unions.

        Not in every state there weren’t. Further, ever hear the phrase “separate but equal”? Recall, it used to be illegal for even straight black couples to marry. All the same arguments are being recycled again and again by those who want to oppress minority groups.

        1. avatar Biff says:

          Well said.

        2. avatar Grindstone says:

          I just marathoned Back to the Future this weekend, your name is messing with me.

  12. avatar mark s. says:

    It is absolutely tragic what these last two rulings have done to the America we had before Barry and company took power . We’ve seen a speedy departure from established norms that has happened so fast you can barely wrap your mind around one thing before the next one falls . Started long ago for sure but hit overdrive after 9-11 and Bush nominating Kennedy was a proverbial coffin nail . The NSA and the progressives either have some career ending and life altering information on Kennedy or he is just another Progressive anti constitutionalist working to totally transform this great nation , either way , freedom loses . Americans had the RIGHT to purchase heath care before Barry and gay Americans had a right to marry each other also , before Barry , This is about completely different matters than what the John Stewart generation is told it is . You can bet your life this bunch in Washington are coming after our guns and the second amendment particularly now they feel the momentum is on their side and Kennedy is on the bench . They will change the meaning of words and interpret the constitution how they need to get their agenda through and I for see our heads spinning again . Barry is successful in all his endeavors . It is predicted . Problems lay ahead . Keep our uniformed on our side and stay tuned .

  13. avatar TT says:

    Someone is eating the sun! Again!

  14. avatar koolaidguzzler says:

    I realize that everyone on the internet is a constitutional scholar, but it’s a red herring to think this decision means the 14A will create a gunowners’ heaven. The 14th is traditionally used for oppressed minorities who enjoy their rights in other states. Gunowners, despite our misplaced martyr wishful thinking, and despite what the NRA and GOA tries to convince us otherwise, are not an oppressed minority.

    This is like all the gum flapping by internet lawyers over “shall not be infringed.” It’s ignorant, ill informed, and a waste of digital energy. Courts have upheld the govt’s right to regulate firearms since our nation’s inception.

    Next red herring, coming up!

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Oh really? Is that why there was no ruling on point for about 150 years?

  15. avatar Ken Bach says:

    “I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.” — Judge Learned Hand, 1944

    Part of the problem that the American right has, is that it’s been losing the culture war badly, and has ceded education and the media to progressives while retreating back into government institutions in the hope that it can hold onto power there. It’s a losing strategy. Look, if the government institutions get taken over, but the culture still believes in freedom, the people that took over the institutions will be thrown out, maybe through elections, maybe through revolution. The point is that when you have the foundation, you can rebuild the structure. But if you lose the culture and keep the institutions, the institutions are either going to be powerless or will be taken over soon enough. And then you no longer have a foundation to rebuild liberty on.

    On guns specifically, we’re actually doing better than in other areas of politics–“gun culture 2.0” booming and all, and with people’s attitudes towards gun control titling in our favor over the last decade or so. The problem is the main function of gun rights is to guard the others, and if the trends continue there might not be anything left to protect. We are on track to find ourselves steeped in a culture that no longer gives a damn about freedom of speech, privacy, religious freedom, economic freedom, etc. etc. And those of us left that DO care will be so hopelessly outnumbered that our arms could only provide us with a last stand rather than the “RESET” the founders intended.

    1. avatar TT says:

      Exactly! This is why a lot of the gun rights supporters who also happen to dislike the idea of gay marriage need to unwad their panties, realize this decision has nothing to do with gun rights one way or the other, and move on.

      Was today’s EPA decision a win for gun rights or a loss? Keep your issues straight (pun intended).

    2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      The problem is, coordinating philosophically “right” is like herding cats, whether it be politics or culture. Coordination among the “left” is like herding lemmings. It’s much easier to ferment perpetual revolutions than to defend existing ideals.

      1. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

        That’s because the former only requires compliance whilst the latter demands Readon.

  16. avatar AndyNC says:

    Stay scared.

  17. avatar pod says:

    It’s a small thing but I’m hoping that since the left got their way with regards to marriage this year, they may decide to sit the election out next year. Hillary is actively courting marriage equality supporters. They got what they wanted even before the election. Now, a lot of those people are one-issue voters and may decide to vote another way, or stay home.

    Something small, but it’s a theory.

    In all honesty, marriage should not be in the purview of the government. Draft up a document with your partner outlining terms, notarize, have a party, done and done.

    Yes I realize a notary is licensed by the government…

    1. avatar Raul says:

      That’s not going to happen. Rather than sit out the election they are going to be energized by the possibility of victory of their agenda.

      Their successes are more tenuous than most realize and Progressive leadership knows this. If you don’t reinforce won territory you will quickly lose it.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        More so given that this ruling is on shaky ground and a GOP Congress with a GOP president is quite likely to fight the SCotUS on this. Somehow I don’t see the activist judges winning that particular fight.

        1. avatar Publius says:

          How is the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment “shakey ground”?

  18. avatar Sock Monkey says:

    The same could be said of the marriage decision. The justices ignored the meaning of that word as well.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Really? What does “marriage” mean? Oh, that’s right, you are going to spew some legally incorrect Judeo-Christian definition that has nothing to do with the legal definition and purpose of the state of marriage. A marriage, in law, is a civil (not religious) union between two people. Full stop. If you want to get married, can you go to a priest and say, “marry us” (like Romeo and Juliet)? Nope, doesn’t work that way. Your selected religious person will ask, “Do you have a license?” And if you don’t, he will tell you to come back when you do, since no service he could perform would have any legal significance or binding effect without it, no matter its religious significance to you.
      You do remember the First Amendment, yes? The one that provides for a separation of church and state? Well, as long as we are going to go down that road, a civil union must treat all comers equally. Or would you prefer to pick and chose your Constitutional rights? The Supreme Court did not recognize that there was a “right” to gay marriage under the Constitution, what it recognized was a right to equal treatment under the law with respect to civil rights and remedies accorded by law. Marriage is a civil right or remedy over which the government has EXCLUSIVE control, and your religious organization of choice can mind its religious business and leave the government and its laws alone.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Another way to put it: You can get married without religion being involved. I did. My marriage will also not produce children. How is it any different from a same-sex marriage?

        1. avatar foggy says:

          Who did you marry, your dog?

      2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        “You do remember the First Amendment, yes? The one that provides for a separation of church and state?”

        You must be reading from another Constitution, because the U.S. Constitution does not have that phrase in the first amendment.

        I will go one step further than Grind and say you can get married without either the Government or Religious institutions involved. Had an acquaintance who got married but did not get a marriage license from the State, nor did they file taxes as a married couple. It was a man and woman couple, both didn’t feel it was most people’s business to know about it. It wasn’t a shame thing or anything, they were both just very private individuals. The couple also did not get married in any church, and for the most, only let it be known they were married to close friends, families and co-workers. They also had one child.

  19. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Gee I guess it DOES matter who is president. I know what I’ll get with the dumbocrats-keep your powder dry as kennedy and the commie ginsburg slide into senility…

  20. avatar Roymond says:

    There’s no way to return to a constitutional court unless and until we get rid of both of the Big Two parties, because neither gives a hoot about anything in the Constitution except the parts they like. There are morons on both sides of the SCOTUS divide, not just the Left. Scalia, for example, is an ignorant bigot who makes up “facts” to support his views. And there is anti-freedom ideology on both sides — or we never would have gotten the idiotic declaration in Citizens United that inanimate entities have free speech.

    In a constitutional SCOTUS, the smallest case about the “Patriot Act” would lead to sweeping overturning of every law in the land that lets the government peek, probe, pry and otherwise spy on citizens, because the Court would unanimously say that the Fourth Amendment means what it says and that slicing it to death with a thousand cuts is not permissible, and thus the first cut is impermissible.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Scalia is an ignorant bigot? Hahahahahahahahahahah! Stop it, man, you’re killing me! You’re too fvcking funny!

      I’m going to be chuckling about that one for days.

      1. avatar int19h says:

        He is, actually, very much so. Go read his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, for example, or Hudson v. Michigan.

  21. avatar DOnald123 says:

    The second amendment and gun owners are screwed. The welfare leeches and progresses will elect Hillary who will probably end up replacing at least one conservative Supreme Court Justice. As soon as the Liberals have a solid majority on the court, look for them to take every gun case possible, and they will gut the second amendment and private ownership of firearms.

  22. avatar gsnyder says:

    I have no registered firearms. They will never take any of them. The left won’t be happy until we are fully socialized, something between China and Nazi.

    1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      If that happens, it will be worse, because we won’t have the growth potential of Communist controlled China, or the “efficiencies” of the Nazis. We will end up something akin to present day Venezuela, just a bigger basket case.

  23. avatar Publius says:

    Really, Dean? You’re whining about gay marriage? SCOTUS didn’t “invent” anything there – the 14th amendment has been around for roughly 150 years. Given the existence of the 14th amendment stating that all citizens get equal treatment by the government, it was a guarantee that they would rule in favor of striking down bans on gay marriage, just as they would (and I’m sure, did in the past) strike down bans on interracial marriage.

    I pointed out to my friends right after the ruling that Republicans could hang themselves with this. Forty years after Roe v Wade and Republicans still harp on about abortion every damn election (even though nothing but another Supreme Court ruling can overturn it) and Republicans will still continue to kick and scream about “them queerosexuals!” getting married every damn election, even though nothing but another Supreme Court case can overturn it (not that they’d have any Constitutional ground for such discrimination). If you guys don’t learn to pull the Bible out of your ass REALLY damn quick and stop spewing bigotry, you’re guaranteeing a Democrat will win next fall.

    1. avatar Grindstone says:

      just as they would (and I’m sure, did in the past) strike down bans on interracial marriage.

      Believe me, these a-holes are just recycling the same arguments they made (or would’ve made) in 1964 for Loving v. Virginia.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Agreed.

    3. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      You can support the “right” to access for abortion, but still criticize the Roe vs Wade ruling, particularly the way the SCOTUS ruled on that decision. So of course that issue will never go away, despite your desire to end the debate on it. A side note, despite that ruling, it hasn’t made the act of abortion any more acceptable among Americans.

      I don’t understand why the liberal left keeps screaming about interracial marriage. Best to my knowledge, that specific issue was never brought up and decided by SCOTUS. It was eventually resolved on it’s own, as race relations got better over the years (although has gotten worse in recent years, in part to the current demagogic POTUS). If anything, interracial marriage should be used as an example how society and laws can be changed naturally, not artificially by the top-down Federal government and SCOTUS.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Your knowledge isn’t the best. Look up Loving v. Virginia.

  24. avatar Mark N. says:

    What does the interpretation of a statute have to do with the Constitution? Nada. Why does recognizing a right to equal protection under the law of a civil right–and no matter the religious history and overtones, marriage is a CIVIL union under the law, not a religious one–threaten the Second amendment? it doesn’t; it strengthens it. I think people have to understand that the gay marriage decision did not recognize a “new” right, rather it recognized that a civil union, for which a license is required and issued by a governmental entity and performed by an agent of the state (and yes that includes all the priests, pastors, rabbis and mullahs who have to have a license to perform a marriage ceremony) is entirely a creature of the state, not the church, and to which well recognized principles of equal and due process protections attach. And yeah, this works exactly the same way as the ultimately declared unconstitutional bans on interracial marriages. To argue otherwise is to argue that “Separate but Equal” was a constitutionally valid exercise of state authority. And indeed there are abundant legal and policy reasons to subject “gay” marriages to the same rights and remedies available on death, divorce, and the birth of children a are available to all other married persons. Again, marriage had massive civil law impacts, and to deny recognition takes a whole host of legal issues that need to be addressed formally and finally out of the judicial arena. When it comes to ownership of property, inheritance rights, division of property on dissolution, and the care and raising of children, all of which have been recognized as imbued with an overwhelming public interest, the law is colorblind and gender blind. (Didn’t always used to be that way, but it is now.) So get over it.

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      Yep. If you agree with a decision, you can find every logical and legal reason to support it. If you don’t, you can find every logical and legal reason to resist it.

      Hence, the split decisions about gun rights, abortion, government intrusion in our privacy, Obama Care, NDAA, ad nauseum.

      The bible really shows what happens when a people decides to follow it’s own laws rather than G-d’s laws.

      And so what was once right is now wrong, what was wrong is now right, and the worship of all the frailties, weaknesses and licenses of the human spirit is now classified as a “right”.

      The bible and our Founding Fathers are also very clear what happens to a society that worships at the foot of licenciousness.

      But this is all prophesized, we can see the unfolding of the down ward spiral as our society abandons all sense of right and wrong and embraces “if it feels good, just do it” .

      The problem being, that being bad, can feel really good.

      What is also prophesized is also just the logical extension of G-ds law of evolution and the survival of the fittest. Those people that follow the “traditional” ways of our Christian heritage will survive and prosper in the coming chaos because their “traditional” life style, in following G-d’s laws, are practicing societal norms that nurture and grows a society.

      Those in rebellion to G-ds laws, living “alternative” ( which means non-traditional) lifestyles, are in violation of all methods that human society found works to keep a culture strong and vibrant, thus, they will inevidably collapse.

      So like the Dodo Bird and the dinosaurs, the worshipers of humanism will simply be another foot note in the fossil record of another failed experiment in species diversification.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        I like how your god is going to destroy a country for providing more freedom for individuals, yet was perfectly A-OK with slavery.

  25. avatar Mark N. says:

    The only thing that Dean gets right is that the Supreme Court is a “results oriented” organization. Of course, it always has been, and a very political one at that. Dred Scott, upholding the Fugitive Slave Act (requiring free states to return the escaped “property” of slave owners) was a racist and politically motivated decision, and as repugnant as it is to us today, may have simply reflected the belief of the chief Justice (a racist to be sure) that to decide otherwise would trigger a Civil War, and he was not going to take on that dire responsibility. The Slaughterhouse Cases, which gutted the 14th amendment (until a later court found an end run without actually overruling a case no jurist today would argue is correct), was a political attempt to reign in the effects of emancipation and Reconstruction. While taking Con Law in law school, I came to the unshakeable conclusion that the Supreme Court decide what result it desired,and then fashioned a standard of review that would assure that result–and it is no different today than it has been for over two centuries. Just look at how the Courts of Appeals int he second, third, fourth and ninth circuits have interpreted Heller’s demand for heightened scrutiny into something that smacks of nothing but a rubber stamp of government policy.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      I came to the unshakeable conclusion that the Supreme Court decide what result it desired,and then fashioned a standard of review that would assure that result–and it is no different today than it has been for over two centuries.
      Bingo! We have a winner here today!

  26. avatar Joe R. says:

    Like the line from “The Fifth Element”
    “If evil stands there…”

  27. avatar Mad Max says:

    When a sitting Supreme Court Justice publicly states that the death penalty may be unconstitutional, he clearly hasn’t read the 5th Amendment.

    Is this good behaviour?

  28. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    The only hope for a return to Constitutional restraints: an end to the current administration. I think this has been going on much longer than just with Team Obozo.

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