At his confirmation hearing today, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch declared that D.C. v. Heller was the law of the land and that he would apply and enforce that decision if confirmed.

“Whatever’s in Heller is the law,” he replied to questions about the Second Amendment from Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) “And my job is to apply and enforce the law.”

Senator Feinstein, who has a rather restrictive view of enumerated rights such as freedom of the press and the right to keep and bear arms, tried to bait Judge Gorsuch into supporting her agenda. The Judge, however, didn’t play along.

The dialogue quoted below illustrates this, and is notable for two reasons–one amusing, one not.

SEN FEINSTEIN: In D.C. v. Heller, the majority opinion written by Justice Scalia recognized that — and I’m quoting — of course the Second Amendment is not unlimited,” Justice Scalia wrote, for example, laws restricting access to guns by the mentally ill or laws forbidding gun possession in schools were consistent with the limited nature of the Second Amendment.

Justice Scalia also wrote that weapons most useful in military service, M-16 rifles and the like, may be banned without infringing on the Second Amendment. Do you agree with that statement, that under the Second Amendment, weapons that are most useful in military service, M16 rifles and the like, may be banned?

JUDGE GORSUCH: Heller makes clear the standard we judges are supposed to apply. The question is whether it’s a gun in common use for self-defense, and that may be subject to reasonable regulation. That’s the test as I understand it. There’s lots of ongoing litigation about which weapons qualify on those standards.

Whatever’s in Heller is the law. And I follow the law.

SEN FEINSTEIN: Do you agree [OVERLAPPING TALK]–

JUDGE GORSUCH: It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, respectfully, Senator, it’s a matter of it being the law. And my job is to apply and enforce the law.

On the funny side, Sen. Feinstein’s endorsement of the dicta from the Heller decision regarding full-auto M-16s undermines something she’s (allegedly) averred: that the bit in the Second Amendment concerning the militia (“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State….”) limits Americans’ right to keep and bear arms in any significant sense.

The part of Heller she lovingly quotes explicitly states that the right to keep and bear arms does not, in fact, depend on actual service in the militia at all. It’s good to see Sen. Feinstein willing to walk that back in public.

On the less-funny side, Judge Gorsuch mis-stated the rule from Heller. At no point did the majority hold that firearms are subject to “reasonable regulation.” As scholar David Kopel pointed out in an article for the Volokh Conspiracy in 2010:

Heller never adopted a “reasonable regulation” standard. Heller allows for machine gun bans under [the] theory that they are not part of the Second Amendment (that is, they are not Second Amendment “arms”).

Restrictions on gun carrying in “sensitive places” are not explained doctrinally, but they are easily comparable to First Amendment “time, place, and manner” rules. Heller says that concealed carry may be banned; in the states, the dominant theory for this restriction was that concealed carry was not part of the right.

Finally, Heller’s allowance for conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of guns was expressed without being described as part of some kind of “reasonableness” test.

In the case Mr. Kopel referenced, McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court majority went out of its way to denigrate the notion made by the city of Chicago’s attorney in oral arguments that states and municipalities could “enact any gun control law that they deem to be reasonable, including a complete ban on the possession of handguns in the home for self-defense.”

Of course, testimony before Congress has about the same precedental value as the Heller dicta about M-16s that Sen. Feinstein quoted: i.e. none whatsoever. And a clever jurist like Judge Gorsuch, who repeatedly stressed that the role of judges was to enforce the law, not legislate from the bench, knows that all too well.

Perhaps Judge Gorsuch was just planting a nice sound-bite for the evening news that also allowed him to control the conversation with the senior Senator from California.

As far as that goes, the Judge sure did look polished, confident, and pleasant, in contrast to his inquisitors, who seemed angry, petty, and tendentious. Certainly, he stayed on the message he laid out in his opening statement, that the role of the judiciary is to apply and enforce the law, and not legislate it from the bench:

When I put on the robe, I’m also reminded that under our Constitution it’s for this body — the people’s representatives — to make new laws, for the executive to make sure those laws are faithfully executed, and for neutral and independent judges to apply the law in the people’s disputes.

If judges were just secret legislators, declaring not what the law is but they would like it to be, the very idea of government by the people and for the people would be at risk. And those who came before the court would live in fear, never sure exactly what the law requires of it except for the judge’s will.

We’ll keep listening for more Second Amendment questions as the hearings continue tomorrow.

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96 Responses to Gorsuch to Feinstein: Heller is the Law of the Land

  1. So Supreme Court decisions mean that the matter is settled and the law is the law of the land.

    Someone should tell all of the people harassing innocent women outside of clinics.

    • Was that really necessary? But, since you brought it up perhaps you could explain something for me. Why are you not declared legally dead until your heart stops beating, yet supporters of abortion want to believe a baby is not alive when it starts? BTW, this is a site about guns. I’m sure planned parenthood has a website you can visit.

      • Ahem. “It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, respectfully, Senator, it’s a matter of it being the law. “

      • You are 100% wrong.

        Death is about the cessation of brain activity not cardiac output. You can have your heart restarted and go on to live an otherwise normal life after that point without being decleared dead (or accused of being a zombie) but if your brain function ceases then you are dead. That being said you can be declared dead after having zero cardiac output for 5 minutes but that is based on the fact the brain is dead at that point and it is cheaper to listen to your chest for 5 min with a stethoscope than to run an EEG on every person that dies.

        You can be declared dead based on an absence of brain function. There was a case a few years back about a family with a child that was declared dead but still had a pulse and was hooked up to a ventilator etc. as he was dead the hospital applied for a court order to shut off the devices as they weren’t being paid after the patient was declared dead to keep blood flowing in a corpse. It was a huge shitfight and I’m not sure what happened (other than the family transferring the corpse to a private facility to keep the blood pumping.

        • Here is the problem with using the argument from brain activity to defend what is in fact killing unborn human beings. Suppose there was some kind of disease that stopped all brain function, but then in 99% of the cases of those afflicted with the disease brain function started up again after 2 minutes with no adverse mental or physical consequences to the patient. Would it be moral, and should it be legal, to incinerate the person during those 2 minutes if the parents wanted to do so for whatever reason? You know that at the moment there is 0 brain function, but you know that there will be very soon.

    • Just because it’s the law doesn’t mean everyone agrees with it. This is America….still….I think. So given that I can disagree with murder of the unborn since that’s what it is.

      • Technically speaking if murder is a defined criminal act (which it is) and abortion is legal then by definition it cannot be considered murder. You can consider it amoral, evil, abhorrent or even ungodly but that still doesn’t make it murder.

        • Nice mental and linguistic gymnastics but no….if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck…it’s a duck. Good try though.

        • It most certainly can be considered murder, and is by millions.
          I think what you are trying to say is that depriving an unborn person life isn’t considered murder by the legal system.
          But you’d be wrong there, too. Several people have been convicted of wrongly depriving an unborn person of life. When, for example, a pregnant woman is killed, a second charge is often brought for the death of the unborn baby, with such charges often resulting in conviction.

    • You know what else is law…silencers require a $200 tax stamp, a loooong delay, and a paperwork snarl. And that isn’t going to go away. Trump ain’t doing nothing for you. Nothing.

      • Trump is letting us keep the semi-automatic and pump guns that Hillary was going to round up.
        That is all he needed to do in my opinion. I am happy if he doesn’t do anything else.
        Had Hillary been elected, the round up would be getting started and her SCOTUS would uphold it.

        • What you said about the differences between Hillary and Trump are correct and disconcerting at the same time. Gun rights advocates should never resign to the “not taking is giving” political shell game.

        • Forgive me if i’m wrong here but it isn’t just up to trump to decide if we can purchase suppressors without the $200 tax stamp.. I own 1 and they do Not make a gun shot silent, they quiet it down some and depending on what caliber. Trump is president now and not able the her do things as he wish’s. Do I believe that the law should be changed for them, yes I do! However they should be handled and subject the hero therefore criminal background check the handguns are subject too.. I’mean from indiana and we theheooheooake our laws seriously, Some of theheooheooake her common mistakes that the left subject aye like we are able to buy any type of gun online and have a background check done is total BullShit!!! When buying online you must provide a completely legal FFL dealers licence # and the gun/guns purchase MUST be shipped to a licensed dealer, who in turn MUST have you fill out ALL fed background application and they call in and have the background check done right there on the spot and you must pass it!! If you do not pass you do not get the firearm!!! I just wish people would actually look into the laws and ” understand” them before spouting off about criminals being able to buy guns online with no check done!!!!! These so called common sense laws that democrat’s carry on about are just blowing smoke up the assessment of people who have no idea what gun laws actually are. Still understand that criminals do NOT go by nor do they care what the legal gun laws are, the do not get them legally ever!! Outlawing guns has no effect on criminals at all!!! Unless EVERY SINGLE gun in a country are destroyed they would still find a weapon to use. Be smart read the actual gun laws in you state and actual skin questions about them to dealers who do this every single day!!

    • Really? Harassment? What kindve snowflake you must be. I like how when conservatives protest it’s harassment, because you lUberal mellenials break down and run to your safe space after being triggered by someone holding a sign that merely disagrees with your opinion. But when you statist left wing nut jobs block traffic and turn cars over, attack the occupants, then steal en masse from any nearby store, it’s “peaceful protest.” Yeah go back to your Hillary cry in because you STILL can’t handle that Trump put her back in her place.

      • What a twisted place, the liberal mind. Doing mental gymnastics 24/7 to try and make some sense of the tangled mass of wiring in their brains. A mental disorder, indeed.

    • Maybe someone should tell you about another law of the land: The first amendment.
      OK, I will: The first amendment allows us to say what we want to say. If that happens to include demonstrations in front of Planned Parenthood facilities, so be it. Just as if that happens to include people (peacefully) protesting Trump’s presidency.
      I will suggest that it may not be wise to claim the first amendment doesn’t actually allow freedom of speech, even that speech you don’t like.

      • Demonstrating peacefully is 1 thing, but the protests and rioting of left democrat’s about trump is a whole a other thing!! If any of us republicans had done a fraction of what you snowflake crybaby especially have and are doing we’d all be arrested and in jail!! It is such a sad state this country is in after obama that i can hardly recognize it.. Because of the last 8 years is why all of the SNOWFLAKE CRYBIES are getting away with the rioting during trumps inauguration and the unpeacefull demonstrations they have done!!! I’m afraid it is already too late to save us.. If you don’t like guns then don’t buy 1. If you want to live in a society that can not have guns then move to California and make your own country with hilary as your president!!! Hell i’ll get some friends and help you all move!!!!

        • I was replying to the comment about HARASSMENT at Planned Parenthood clinics. I was pointing out that such activities are legal.
          I agree with your assessment of the current crop of “protestors” who seem to think that acting like lawless thugs is protected speech; it isn’t.

    • So if one day the Democrats are able to stack the bench and actually have the Supreme Court declare anything not a musket can be prohibited, you will then post here that we should follow your example and just pipe down and accept it because after all, “it’s now the law of the land”?

  2. Watching the mental gymnastics from Feinstein and Leahy over the last two days was just nauseating. My favorite line of BS thus far was Feinstein trying make herself out to be some sort of champion for women’s “privacy rights”.

  3. If he truly ascribes to the philosophy that judges apply the law there is, rather than the law they would like, that’s great right up to the SC level.

    At the SC level, however, the judges are sometimes tasked with figuring out how the law should be applied to things that didn’t exist when the law was written. So at some point they are forced to consider intent as well as stated law.

    Given his attitude, I am reasonably comfortable with his being a SC justice. Much better than the alternative.

    • They all say that. From John Robert’s im 2005:

      “A judge is to decide the case before them, they’re not to legislate, they’re not to execute the law……There will be times when either the executive branch or the legislative branch exceeds the limits of their powere under the Constitution or trangresses one of the provisions of the Bill of Rights, and then it is emphatically the obligation of the courts to step uo and say what the Constitution provides, and to strike down either unconstitutional legislation or unconstitutional Executive action”

      Then that SOB turned around, once confirmed, and rules in favor of the flagrantly unconstitutional Obamacare.

      I trust none of what these people say, and only about half of what they’ve done in the past as predictor of the future.

      Is Gorsuch better than anyone Hillary or Obama would have installed? Yes, by far, but he’s nowhere near the constitutional Paladin of some people’s hopes and dreams, either.

      • I agree with you completely, you can’to believe half. And yes he will definitely be better that any obama or clinton picks! Lets hope we are able to drop/loose 1 or even better 2 more left scotus’s and replace them with pro constutional pro 2nd amendment judges to save my grandchildren’s rights to own my guns without fear of loosing family heirlooms!!!! And the ability to protect themselves and others from all enemy’s both foreign and domestic!!!

  4. If we don’t get back to the limitations which place restrictions on each branch of government, the past centuries will have been for nothing. Millions will have died for nothing. I greatly doubt the Founders would have desired such an end to what they created.

      • “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn”

        This should have been the legal basis for Obamacare: Congress CAN, via the commerce clause force people to participate in commerce because refusing to commerce with the rest of the nation has an impact on commerce itself.

        • Everyone, including SCOTUS knows how far they have pushed the commerce clause. If they can avoid it under any condition, they will. Why do you think you will never see the safe school act make it back to the bench.

        • I would like to see a case brought where the SC declares that the commerce clause is superior to any other provision of the constitution, or its amendments. Such is what the founders feared would develop, even though they eventually accepted the necessity to keep the colonies/states from waging economic war on each other.

        • “This should have been the legal basis for Obamacare: Congress CAN, via the commerce clause force people to participate in commerce because refusing to commerce with the rest of the nation has an impact on commerce itself.”

          I can’t agree.
          If congress can force commerce (as opposed to allowing or even encouraging), where does that stop? There is no limitation on that in the constitution at all, because that’s not what the constitution’s writers intended. What the commerce clause intended (and contemporary writing back this idea up) is that the feds can stop states from levying tariffs or otherwise hindering free trade from one state to the next. And even this isn’t working quite as intended; auto insurance, for example, may only be sold in-state, not inter-state, as each state has determined.
          So, if the feds can require us to purchase health insurance, why not homeowner or renter insurance? How about a phone? Or a phone for your 10-year-old?

        • “If congress can force commerce (as opposed to allowing or even encouraging), where does that stop? ”

          Precisely the concern of the founders when debating the commerce clause. Point is, the SC declared not commercing is interfering with interstate commerce. Such position is now “settled law”, even Scalia noted it so, with the side note that there actually IS some limit to commerce clause power that has not yet been reached. It is not a matter of whether the people “agree” with the notion that Congress has virtually unlimited power to regulate whatever they decide is “commerce”, but a matter of law that we should understand, and the implications we should fear.

    • They did foresee it. They wrote a whole book about it and what we can and should do.

      Those who sacrificed for this nation will not have done so in vain. They did not purchase the future for their blood as we would all like. They purchased the present.

    • Oh, I do indeed agree! Do to long term public ineptitude, government has obviously gotten so big that We the People are begging our “representatives” NOT to “take away our Constitutional-Bill of Rights!?!” These politicians no longer fear their constituency, and along with their collaborators will continue to dismantle any American Freedoms they deem necessary…It’s just the divide and conquer game…We the People, MUST FIGHT THE FUTURE!!! Or your Civil Rights will be trampled under a paramilitary police jackboot, along with any ” US Sovereign Citizen..”

  5. We should not expect nominees for judgeships, including SCOTUS, will tip their hats in Senate Judiciary hearings.

    We need 2 good appointments to SCOTUS in the long run; however, this alone is not enough. Likely, it’s not THE one thing that will protect the 2A. It is at least as important to tip the balance of judges in the Federal District and Circuit courts. No case is likely to make it to SCOTUS unless there is a “circuit-split”; and that means we have to win in at least 1 Circuit. As a practical matter, we ought to be more concerned about winning cases at the Circuit, District and even the State levels.

    Yet, even these advances are not enough. We need legislators to repeal/pass/reform laws that protect the 2A. We need Presidents and Governors to sign bills; and appoint judges.

    Underlying all these measures is getting voters to vigorously support the 2A; or, at least, acquiesce to the role of guns in our American civilian society. Our most important mission must be to continue to convert our fellow voters to support the 2A. If-and-ONLY-IF the 2A enjoys a strong majority of voter support will our gun rights be safe.

  6. “Perhaps Judge Gorsuch was just planting a nice sound-bite for the evening news that also allowed him to control the conversation with the senior Senator from California.”

    I would suspect this to be the case. One of the things we need to keep in the back of our minds here is that this appointment, like it or not, is political in nature. Mr. Gorsuch has been seriously preparing for this hearing with preparations that include creating a mock up of the room with people who ask questions in the same manner as he’s expected to face and even going so far as to pick people who look and sound like the actual people he will face.

    Part of this is getting the guy confirmed. Another part of it is political theater to make the opposition look as bad as possible. To that end, the guy has been hitting the books with a bunch of people who are pros at this kind of examination prep with an eye to making him look absolutely sterling to the point that many members of the public who are engaged would ask “How can you possibly oppose this guy’s confirmation?”.

    The Democrats are “out in the wilderness” after the last election and people like Steve Bannon aim to keep them there by presenting them a series of impossible choices. They either enrage their base or they look bad to the majority of the public, hopefully saying things that can be “soundbited” later on for ads to be run against them. This is a small cog in that machine but nonetheless, that’s what it is. Bannon spent a lot of time with Andrew Breitbart and AB was all about WAR against the Left.

  7. “At no point did the majority hold that firearms are subject to “reasonable regulation.”

    Scalia did state such, concurring in the majority opinion. Such ancillary opinions form the basis for new laws that are then appealable through the courts. This is also why Ginsburg (in an entirely different case) included a necessity to consider foreign laws when deciding matters of our own constitution. She was planting seeds for moving the law that direction. Once courts and jurists begin equivocating, there is no barrier to further erosion of our rights.

    Heller did not state whether government could establish “reasonable restrictions”, nor did it prohibit them. Coupled with lower courts defying Heller and McDonald, the issue remains very much in doubt. The SC does not see the second amendment as an absolute, desirable means of preventing a tyrannical government. The founders were clear about the matter.

  8. The idea that something can be banned because it’s useful to the military is straight-up bonkers. We don’t ban gore-tex, or preserved food. Why should this or that rifle be different?

    • And how does such a concept square with Miller? In that case, they said “the Court cannot take judicial notice that a shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches long has today any reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, and therefore cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees to the citizen the right to keep and bear such a weapon”.

      That court seemed to be saying that the Second Amendment only guarantees (to the citizen!) the right to keep and bear arms that are used by the military. Exactly the opposite of what Feinstein was saying.

        • Scalia’s opinion in Heller did not contradict Miller. He discussed Miller extensively. He said that Miller’s “ordinary military equipment” must be read in tandem with “in common use at the time”. Scalia went on to say “[w]e therefore read Miller to say only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns.”

          Do law-abiding citizens typically possess M-16 or other select-fire weapons for lawful purposes? Do the half-million referenced in the TTAG article linked below count as “typically”?
          http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/03/daniel-zimmerman/atf-reveals-the-number-of-registered-machine-guns/

        • “The Second Amendment protects only the ownership of military-type weapons appropriate for use in an organized militia.” that is a key tenant of the Miller opinion. Scalia’s opinion in Heller and Frienstiens statement is contrary to the Miller finding.

        • If Scalia wanted to follow Miller to the logical conclusion of military weapons being what’s protected under the 2nd and therefore military weapons in “common usage.” M16s would be included as a rifle in common usage and appropriate for use in a militia. As the M16 is the most commonly used military weapon for US soldiers.

        • If you listen to the oral arguments from the 7th Circuit case Friedman v. Highland Park, you’ll hear one of the judges (Easterbrook, I think) comment on how the “in common use” description lends itself to circular application:

          If the gov’t bans a weapon, then that weapon will no longer be in common use for lawful purposes, and therefore it is not protected by he 2A. Perhaps machine guns and bazookas would be in common use if they weren’t already banned. So it seems that the legislature can effectively decide which weapons are “in common use” for lawful purposes.

      • The fun part of Miller is that were Miller to have had the money for a decent lawyer (or lived), or if the justices were even slightly informed, they would have been aware that short-barreled shotguns were indeed in military usage, and were in fact, issued by the Army.

        • I have speculated that if Miller had been in unlawful possession of a BAR or a Tommy Gun, the Court would not have homed in on “what kind of weapon is protected by the 2nd Amendment”. The sawed-off shotgun, combined with the lack of military weapon knowledge among the Justices, and (of course) the total lack of any representation for the defense, gave them the opportunity to kick the question of “military usefulness” of a short-barreled shotgun back to the lower Court for argument there.

  9. I am favourably impressed. If DICK Durbin,Stewart Smalley and the evil 81year old hag hassle you-you’re alright! Now if Donnie would quit pushing his inept health care “plan”…

  10. Let me translate what happened in the first half:

    Senator Hag: “do you agree that we should ban guns from people based simply upon how they look, because that’s what Scalia said we can do?”

    Judge Gorsuch: *Metaphorical bitch slap*

  11. When I listened it seemed to me he believes whatever firearms are in common usage are legal and cannot be banned. Yes felons can’t own them and background checks for new purchases at licensed dealers would be reasonable restrictions. I’m not saying I believe those to be reasonable.

    In my opinion firearms civilian police use are firearms in common usage among citizens as police are not the military. Police should not be using arms which are only suitable for the military. Based on that ARs and the like are protected firearms under the second. M16s and other select fire guns are not suitable for civilian police or other citizens only for the military fighting foreigners on foreign soil. As our military cannot constitutionally operate against US citizens on US soil. So police cannot legal be part of the military.

  12. What bites my butt more than anything is the never-ending sneaky and untruthful attempts by the anti-gunners to establish equivalence between M-16’s and commercially available AR’s in the minds of people who know nothing about the real difference. They call them “military weapons”; they call them “automatic weapons”; they call them “weapons of war.” Maybe in WWII, but certainly not for the last half-century. I would like to send them to the battlefield with commercial AR’s to fight against AK-47-equipped enemies and see just how many of them came back.

    Come to think of it, . . .

    • Are you really that stupid. Full auto fire is this side of useless. The only thing it is good for is suppressive fire. And even then it is of dubious advantage. One “advantage” of military rifles is that they are typically constructed with higher quality material, but anyone who is willing to pay $2000 for a AR-15 can buy a “military” quality firearm just lacking an auto sear. Also, our military did engage AK armed groups with semi-automatic firearms in Vietnam. I don’t think they felt under armed with the M14. The real problem was that the M14 was just too much gun for jungle fighting.

      • “Full auto fire is this side of useless. The only thing it is good for is suppressive fire.”

        There are a lot of people (both those who own full-auto weapons, and those who would like to) who will disagree with you.
        Automatic shooting isn’t just used in the military. It’s also used by civilians for recreational shooting.
        If, in your mind, recreation is “useless,” and should therefore be banned… well, what do you do for recreation?

  13. I love how these people require items to be “in common use” to be legally defensible, some 80+ years after such items were effectively banned through an unconstitutional tax on ‘regulated’ firearms. If full auto machineguns were available for the same cost as their effectively identical semi-auto counterparts, you can guarantee such items would be “in common use”.

    Why wasn’t “in common use” a bar that tax-funded green energy projects had to clear?

    Why wouldn’t the presence and use of machineguns (carrying anyways) every day in practically every medium/large city by non-military personnel meet the requirement of common use? Sure those civilians may have a badge on their shirt, but they are still non-military just like the rest of us.

  14. Here’s the problem with SCOTUS rulings and ‘precedent’, I don’t give a flying F if you want to enumerate all the ways that you / they were previously wrong, they can pack their sh_t and go home.

    This country (U.S.) was founded upon certain principal beliefs that are not included in the U.S. Constitution. They are enumerated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence (which cannot be repealed, and cannot be superseded except by a new Declaration, and you will all be liable for your pelt before that ever achieves a warrantable state.)

    It’s a simple matter “We hold these truths to be self evident. . .” we enact and engross a Constitution to provide mutual respect and protection for those things (in our Declaration). Whatever failings of the Constitution there are we fall back upon the mutual INDIVIDUAL right (and responsibility) TO FING CHUCK THE WHOLE SHMEAR [VIOLENTLY IF NECESSARY] and start again (to again seek to achieve the upholding of what we stand for and find so indelible as recited in our Declaration).

    Our Declaration starts out “When (in the course of human events)” and continues “that whenever. . .”. Therefore it is plain, to all those not ignorant on purpose, that this is an ONGOING process and consideration. The one single mutual concession is the right to the continued means to ACT on the infringement or decrepitude of our POS neighbors who do not, or do no longer uphold what brought us here, and enables them to have a varied opinion. Your government, consisting of your ahole neighbors who needed a job, cannot prevent you from obtaining or possessing the means (“ARMS”) of abolishing it, if you so choose, and if your government attempts to, it has already moved against you, and against your unalienable rights.

    Any slight purport that such previous tolerance of this encroachment constitutes NEW CONSENT, or NEW GROUNDS for agreement ARE BOTH F’D AND DAMMNED, and all such reliance should be abandoned, because we are all constitute of the form and realm of human beings, and it takes time to ball up a fist, and that any hope of keeping current levels of burgeoning governmental authority un-parred by civilian means to overturn it WILL ONLY BE BURIED VERY VIOLENTLY IN A MORE LITTERED EVENTUALITY.

    There is NO evidence in human nature or human history to the contrary, and not even the beauty, bounty, ‘peace’, or prosperity of our great land UNDER GOD will keep us permanently slaked from the satisfaction under our Declaration.

    • This country (U.S.) was founded upon certain principal beliefs that are not included in the U.S. Constitution.

      Absolutely correct. For example we operate under Common Law. That isn’t defined in the U.S. Constitution. But it is FACT.

      • The “rule of law” rests on the bedrock of Society [not the other way around], which exists without it, or by logic, human nature could not coalesce enough around an idea to create [a] law, much less codify it, further less to record it anywhere. Common Law is only supported between each of a pair of every two persons constituting a “Society” (two being the maximum number of possible participants to a “Society” and the groupings of Societies). “Remove all of the aforementioned exhibition of what law is, and the pressure of societal agreement will remain to build the next incarnation of law upon.” [J.M. Thomas R., TERMS, 2012, P. 37]

  15. “And my job is to apply and enforce the law.” — U.S. Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch

    No, your job is to apply JUDGEMENT to ensure JUSTICE and protect our rights!!! If fedzilla or a state government passes a law that requires the death penalty if you are caught wearing a pink shirt, is your job to uphold the conviction and ensuing execution?

    Judges are supposed to be yet another hedge against government gone wrong.

    • “Judges are supposed to be yet another hedge against government gone wrong.”

      And therein lies the justification for all judicial activism.

      • Supreme Court judges are supposed to rule on the constitutionality of law. Not enforce the law. They decide if a law is constitutional and should be enforced or if it’s unconstitutional and therefore can’t even be a law.

        • “Not enforce the law.”

          You may have intended to respond to someone else. We completely agree on enforcement.

        • Maybe I have it all wrong (it’s happened before), but it would seem that judges do indeed enforce the law.
          Judges are the ones who apply punishments upon conviction, am I right? Who else does that?
          Judges are part of the judicial system. At least that’s what I was taught. The legislature doesn’t enforce the law, it writes the law. The administrative branch doesn’t enforce the law.
          Even the police aren’t supposed to enforce the law; their job is to keep the peace, and investigate possible criminal acts.
          So if judges don’t enforce the law, who does?

        • Big Bill, it’s probably semantics that have confused the issue. The legislature makes/writes the law. The executive executes/enforces the law. That’s why police are called law enforcement. The judiciary interprets and applies the law.

          For example, the legislature writes a law against burglary defined as the breaking and entering of a dwelling of another with the intent to commit a felony therein (that’s the common law definition). The police (executive) arrest you in your neighbor’s fenced in yard taking all his jewels (he has lots of jewels). The gate has been kicked in. The prosecutor (executive) charges you with burglary. The prosecutor presents evidence only of what is stated above.

          The judge applies the evidence to the case. Is there evidence you broke and entered? Yeah, the gate was kicked in. Was it the dwelling of another? Yeah, it is your neighbor’s house and courts have interpreted inside the fenced in portion of a house to be part of the curtilage which is part of the dwelling. Was there evidence of intent to commit a felony withing? Yeah, you had all the jewels, and taking all those jewels is a felony in your jurisdiction. Was it at night? The prosecutor didn’t give any evidence on that, case dismissed.

          Let’s say there was evidence on that point. The cops arrested you at midnight. Then the judge let’s the jury decide the facts. They decide you’re guilty, and you get sentenced to prison. Then the prison system (the executive) brings you to jail, you get transferred to prison and serve your sentence.

          Here the court interpreted and applied the law to your case, and the executive enforced it. Could you, in plain English, call what the court did enforcing the law? Yes. Are people going to give you shit over it? Yes.

          Check out the maybe apocryphal quote by Andrew Jackson “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!” on why we say that the courts don’t enforce the law. Courts don’t actually enforce any of their decisions (and therefore the law). They just make them and the parties and/or executive usually just comply.

  16. Maybe they should ban rope manufactures when people hang themselves or knife companies when there is a stabbing . Oh better yet ban cars when there is an accident all you fucks get your heads out of your asses grow a set because guns don’t kill people , PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE . So if there’s a wack job that has a gun well you all know where this is going if you idiots have a brain. So all my guns are coming after me tonight because I wrote this OH GOD. Oh wait, how can they they need a hand to fire them. The point I’m trying to make is people kill people doesn’t matter what they use whether it’s a knife ,rope , cars , or whatever the world is filled with wackos your not going to change it by banning stuff!!!!!!!

  17. “Whatever’s in Heller is the law. And I follow the law.”
    “Whatever’s in Dred Scott is the law. And I follow the law.”

    What a load of crap. I’ll give Gorsuch props for successfully evading Feinwitch’s question. As a judge in an inferior court, he has to follow the law, including that law crafted from the bowels of the Supreme Court.

    But as a SCOTUS Justice, he is no more bound to abide by Heller than he is to abide by Dred Scott.

    • He would follow Dredd Scott because slavery was legal, not prohibited by the constitution. Dredd Scott was set aside, and lost as a precedent. That is how it works. Judges should apply law with no regard for outcomes. Outcomes are the territory of the legislature. Thus, the inescapable fact is that if the constitution were amended to permit slavery, slavery would be the law. Courts would have no legal authority to overturn (unless they attempted the hilarious venture of declaring a proper constitutional amendment to be unconstitutional). There is not cosmic moral arbiter. If society, through legal influence, causes their representatives to make distasteful law, that is the way it works. If the distasteful law is determined to be within the authorities of the constitution, the law remains. Can’t have it both ways, activist judges when it suits, otherwise not. When judges decide a law “just isn’t right”, representative government is done.

  18. “Heller allows for machine gun bans under [the] theory that they are not part of the Second Amendment (that is, they are not Second Amendment “arms”)”

    Which, of course, makes no real sense and just shows that Heller was a deeply flawed (in legal theory) compromise.

    There was a time when nominees actually answered questions like those asked today. It didn’t mean they were promising to follow one way or another and it wasn’t a violation of separation of powers as is now claimed; it was just a way to judge how someone you are nominating would actually carry out the job. We are lesser for not being able to do that. I would love to see the senate, as a whole, declare that anyone who doesn’t answer simple legal opinion questions from the body would not be confirmed.

    It’s not gonna happen, but I think we would be much better off. As it is we’re throwing dice every time.

    • ” I would love to see the senate, as a whole, declare that anyone who doesn’t answer simple legal opinion questions from the body would not be confirmed. ”

      I would love to see a Senate Rule that declares any appointment nominee who does not agree with any Senator, on any issue, will not be confirmed.

      Asking a court nominee how they would rule on a hypothetical is no different.

  19. You guys are missing WHY Feinstein was asking about the “M16s and the like” part of Heller…..

    Because THAT is the part of Heller that the 4th circuit just relied upon to affirm the assault weapons ban in Maryland. They equated AR15s to M16s and quoted Heller, which leads to …voile! the conclusion that it must be OK to ban ar15s.

    • Exactly.
      The decision written by Judge King can only be an intentional misreading of “–M-16 rifles and the like–“, which Justice Scalia used in reference to his deduced finding that MILLER contained the intent that “machineguns” can be banned. The good Justice found that MILLER not only requires that a firearm be “useful in warfare”, but ALSO be “in common use for lawful purposes” to be protected by the 2nd Amendment. Justice Scalia was referring to REAL “assault rifles” (M-16 and others, e.g. AK-47) with full-auto (“machinegun”) capability in that remark.
      If this perversion of Justice Scalia’s remark is to be taken as justification for a ban on semi-auto rifles similar in appearance to the M-16, then either Judge King and all who join in his decision are illiterate fools, or they think themselves clever, and are only “playing dumb”.
      Since all the members of that Court joining in the King decision are well-educated, and extremely qualified in the field of Law, it is safe to assume they are not stupid, but merely “playing dumb”.
      What they fail to consider is that in “playing dumb” they cannot avoid “looking stupid”. I am most happy to make them pay dearly for their ruse in “playing dumb”, by showing exactly how stupid they have made themselves appear. I can only hope that SCOTUS will review this incredibly poor decision, and verbally excoriate all who joined in this sophomoric idiocy.

  20. “JUDGE GORSUCH: Heller makes clear the standard we judges are supposed to apply. The question is whether it’s a gun in common use for self-defense, and that may be subject to reasonable regulation. That’s the test as I understand it. There’s lots of ongoing litigation about which weapons qualify on those standards.”

    There you have it; he will uphold assault weapon bans. He probably won’t like it, but that is most certainly supported by Heller, and the anti-gunners have been busily assembling a warchest of lower-court precedent in their favorable districts in advance of the opportunity while pro-gun efforts have languished or not occurred in our favorable courts. This quote just affirmed that militia/national defense use is no criteria for determining RKBA protection, nor is whether existing bans/prohibitions can be struck down based on banning an entire class of weapons (e.g. machineguns or new guns never allowed to be sold in CA, and therefore not in common use). The use of ‘reasonable’ is telling also, as it indicates a rational basis threshold of judgment vs. strict scrutiny.

    Heller is the law of the land, indeed, and traded inevitable NFA repeal for…handguns (in the home). It sucks, but I suppose Gorsuch is the best we can muster the votes for, but there’s hardly anyone better at this point the nation/legal system is so far gone. Sad how a long-shot last-chance hail-Mary election that miraculously results in an authoritative win is quickly being revealed as a nothing-burger for gun owners. At least we get to keep our guns another 4-8 years longer, I guess. Remains to be seen if civil war will get us before the Democrats, though.

    • All the 2A entertainment may lie ahead, with the second SC nominee from Trump. Or maybe it will be just general entertainment. Either way, it will be popcorn and beer time.

  21. Following precedent is all good and fine for lower courts, but for courts of final review, it institutionalizes wrong decisions.

    Blindly following precedent just because the decision was made previously is stupid, especially in all the 5-4 decisions. I would never describe an issue that has always been narrowly decided as settled law. I get being cautious about overturning a 9-0 decision that the law has been based around for decades. I disagree with following precedent when the decision is completely wrong. Didn’t everyone’s mama teach that two wrongs don’t make a right?

      • Following precedent from a higher court is a judge’s job.

        When there isn’t a higher court, a judge’s job is to respect precedent so as not to create uncertainty in the law. Respecting precedent isn’t the same thing as blindly following precedent that is clearly wrong. If precedent was so important, why did Roe v. Wade go against what Griswold clearly said. That creating a privacy right out of whole cloth did not extend to abortion. Also every abortion decision at the Supreme Court in some way overruled the one before it. Roe v. Wade is not even close to the law of the land anymore other than there is a constitutional right to abortion.

  22. Feindstein twice repeated the HELLER phrase “–M16 rifles and the like–“, and willfully joined with Judge King of the 4th Circuit in perverting that phrase as a rationalization of a “semi-auto assault weapon” [sic] ban.
    That Federal Appeals Court has issued an opinion that is a disgrace to the judiciary. It is almost as absurd a ruling as saying that the 2nd Amendment allows no one but the Militia to have arms. All others must have at least one arm amputated.
    Judge King, writing the opinion for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals:

    “We conclude — contrary to the now vacated decision of our prior panel — that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment. That is, we are convinced that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among those arms that are “like” “M-16 rifles” — “weapons that are most useful in military service” — which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment’s reach. See 554 U.S. at 627 (rejecting the notion that the Second Amendment safeguards “M-16 rifles and the like”). Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage.”

    The line of reasoning that leads to this conclusion is:

    — the HELLER decision specifically excluded “M-16 rifles and the like” from 2nd Amendment protection (actually, Justice Scalia made a logical analysis of MILLER, and found MILLER’S unexpressed intent to be that “machineguns” were excluded from 2nd Amendment protection, even though they could be put to good use by the militia (“machineguns being useful in warfare”) since they were not “in common use for lawful purposes”, and he concurred with that deduced intent of MILLER),

    — weapons that are “like” the M-16 were also excluded,

    — we choose to interpret “M-16 rifles and the like” to mean “a similar physical appearance” and find semi-auto to be the equivalent of full-automatic fire capability,

    — we consider semi-auto to be even more dangerous than full-auto fire,

    — we choose to ignore the obvious contextual use of “and the like” to mean rifles having the capability of an M-16 to fire like a “machinegun” (full-auto fire),

    — we consider these banned rifles as “weapons that are most useful in military service”, and therefore conclude (in a non-sequitur worthy of Ralph Wiggum) that they are “dangerous and unusual weapons”, and “weapons of war” which are “beyond the Second Amendment’s reach”, in total opposition to MILLER as well as HELLER.

  23. Any of you see Al Franken’s interrogation of the Gorsuch? Franken is a complete lunatic. I knew he was bad, I just had no idea how bad. He sounded completely unhinged, sloppy, even a bit frantic at time. Almost like he was drunk and and angry. It’s scary that he’s a U.S. Senator.

  24. The socialist party hierarchy, aka democrats, know only one law, theirs. They will ignore any other, up to and including The Constitution. All else aside, their goal is to rule over a ‘classless’ society, a society they will be isolated from and live off of. Equally poor, equally uneducated, equally defenseless. They have their political judges in place already.

  25. So, Feinswine says the 2A is profoundly ambiguous, quoting a 4th circus judge? Well, it seems pretty clear to me. We have the right to arms, period. Not certain kinds, like only muskets, as Feinswine would settle for.

    She went on to spout that “living, breathing document” crapola, too.

    She is definitely a Fake American.

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