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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Finally, Kennedy Swings The Right Direction

Supreme Court Justice Kennedy usually plays the role as the swing vote on the Supreme Court, unfortunately usually swinging to the Left. Today, he switched course and swayed in the breeze to the side of upholding the Constitution.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense in their homes, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms restrictions intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
I encourage everyone to at least scan the first link (the actual opinion) for two reasons. First, it shows how reasonable, rational, and passionate Justice Scalia and the majority Justices are when it comes to this issue. They took the time to understand the words that the Founders used (check out Blackstone's Legal Dictionary to get a glimpse at what "militia" meant at the time, as well as other terms which have changed in contextual meaning over the centuries) and took the Founders at their word- people have the right to keep and bear arms. Period.

Secondly, it shows, in the dessenting opinions, how deluded some of the Justices truly are. To quote Justice Stevens: The opinion the Court announces today fails to identify any new evidence supporting the view that the Amendment was intended to limit the power of Congress to regulate civilian uses of weapons. Well, yes, Justice Stevens, the Amendment (as well as the rest of the Bill of Rights) was intended to limit the power of Congress. That's why the Bill of Rights is there to begin with- too limit the power of the Federal government to interfere in individual's lives.

I applaud the Supreme Court for getting this one right. You had us scared for a moment.

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