Democrats & Liberals Archives

Merrick Garland nominated to High Court

Today, Barack Obama fulfilled his Constitutional duty to nominate a replacement for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court formerly occupied by Antonin Scalia.

While many speculated that Obama would nominate either a woman or a nonwhite candidate in order to pressure the GOP with allegations of sexist or racial bias, it turns out this is not the case. Clearly, Obama has extended a fig leaf to GOP Senators as Garland has a reputation for moderation and is well established as a justice on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, a position he has held for nearly two decades.

Key to Obama's decision and much discussed by many commentators is Garland's age. At 63 years old, he would be among the oldest people appointed to the SCOTUS. Because Republicans are rightly wary of assenting to a lifetime appointment made by a political adversary, I believe that the nomination of a relatively older man ought to be much more palpable for Senate Republicans.

Obama has done his job. Now it is time for the Senate to do theirs. Hold hearings in the Judiciary committee and at the end of the day, give him an up or down vote. While the Senate has zero obligation to consent to Garland's nomination, they do have a duty to afford him the same scrutiny and process afforded to other nominees. If Garland fails to secure the support of a majority of Senators, so be it. At that point, the President will make another nomination who is hopefully more palpable. Boycotts of Garland only serve to further destroy the system of checks and balances expertly laid out by our founders almost two and half centuries ago.

Posted by Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 10:57 AM
Comments
Comment #403606

A good nominee by President Obama. Older white male that might be able to be considered if it weren’t for the intransigence of the Republican led Senate. His age is considered a factor since appointing someone much younger would have signaled an attempt to nominate an individual that could possibly be there for a very long time. President has fulfilled his Constitutional obligation now the Senate can either fulfill theirs or choose to appear unwilling to even consider doing their job. This display may bode detrimental to any Republican Senator running for re-election. It might be better for them to at least attempt to consider Garland or they risk looking inept as political leaders unwilling to simply vote up or down.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 16, 2016 11:49 AM
Comment #403610

It’s going to be quite interesting.

Everyday the Senate doesn’t hold hearings, democrats will harp about how moderate Garland supposedly is and how extreme Republicans supposedly are. If that doesn’t work, they will do what they always do and make it all about President Obama and start harping about how racist Republicans supposedly are.

If the Senate does hold hearings, the Republican p1ss of most of their voters, and even if it rejects Garland, democrats will still harp about how moderate Garland supposedly is and how extreme Republicans supposedly are. If that doesn’t work, they will do what they always do and make it all about President Obama and start harping about how racist Republicans supposedly are.

It’s going to be a wild ride.

Posted by: kctim at March 16, 2016 12:13 PM
Comment #403611

Look at that egg on Orrin Hatch’s face!

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 12:15 PM
Comment #403612

It appears Orrin Hatch might have supported Garland’s nomination earlier.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 16, 2016 12:21 PM
Comment #403613

It’s just political theater . When the shoe was on the other foot you had the “Biden rule”:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/us/politics/joe-biden-argued-for-delaying-supreme-court-picks-in-1992.html

Of course it was ol’ Strom and the GOP back then that was arguing the exact opposite.

Posted by: George in SC at March 16, 2016 12:39 PM
Comment #403614

kctim,

I completely agree. The GOP has really put itself in a Catch-22 here. Even more so now that Donald Trump, a complete loose cannon, is likely to be their nominee.

However, like King Claudius from Hamlet fame, the Republicans are ultimately drinking their own poison. They schemed to bully Democrats into surrendering their Constitutional rights and rightfully lost the gamble. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 12:44 PM
Comment #403615

Except Biden never said the nomination should be fulfilled by the next President. He advocated filling the vacancy in the lame duck session after the election and before the new Congress is sworn in.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 12:49 PM
Comment #403617

Republicans can’t seem to let go of power. However much they talk about limited government, coming from the Constitution, it’s only other people’s government they seem to see fit to limit, not their own. They would be screaming, popping their eyes out and moaning that the Constitution was being violated if somebody pulled this.

Maybe they should consider that the degree to which they’re successful in block our people will be the degree to which future Democrats block theirs. Consider whether they consider that to be a fair trade.

What they can’t expect is mutual disarmament. If they want to encourage the old fashioned arrangments, with Democrats crossing the aisle to support them when their President is a Republican, and their Senate is not in the GOP’s hands, then they ought to consider making the compromise now.

Otherwise, they shouldn’t expect any cooperation. Why? They’ve shown none. They’ve deemed it politically impure. Why should Democrats aid and abet those who won’t lift a finger to help them?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 16, 2016 1:16 PM
Comment #403619

Warren

IMO, whether it’s a Catch 22 or not depends on just how important the Supreme Court is to the average voter, and from my experience I don’t see it as a major thing to them. We won’t know until November.

Funny you mention Trump, as I believe Garland is exactly the kind of judge he would nominate.

“only serve to further destroy the system of checks and balances”

“They schemed to bully Democrats into surrendering their Constitutional rights”

LOL. A little overly dramatic today, aren’t we.
Dude, they are simply playing politics. Just like Biden, Schumer and others were doing.

Nobody was, or is, trying to destroy the system or deny Constitutional rights.

Posted by: kctim at March 16, 2016 1:27 PM
Comment #403621
LOL. A little overly dramatic today, aren’t we. Dude, they are simply playing politics. Just like Biden, Schumer and others were doing.

Nobody was, or is, trying to destroy the system or deny Constitutional rights.

Speak for yourself. You are the one who screams about violation of Constitutional Rights in every conversation about the ACA.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 1:31 PM
Comment #403622

“They would be screaming, popping their eyes out and moaning that the Constitution was being violated if somebody pulled this.”

Is that why nobody remembered what Biden and Schumer said until after the wonks dug it up? Too funny, Stephen.

You are right though, today the Republicans would be doing the exact same thing liberals are doing about this whole thing IF a Republican was President.
Of course, there is absolutely no doubt at all that you liberals would then be justifying the idea of a sitting President not filling a vacant seat in their last year.

Classic.

Posted by: kctim at March 16, 2016 1:39 PM
Comment #403623

Except, Democrats had no trouble confirming Anthony Kennedy in 1988.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 1:42 PM
Comment #403624

“You are the one who screams about violation of Constitutional Rights in every conversation about the ACA.”

Actually Warren, I scream about violations of Constitutional rights whenever they are actually being violated.
President Obama’s Constitutional duty to nominate a Supreme Court Justice for consideration was not, is not, and never was, at issue.

“Except, Democrats had no trouble confirming Anthony Kennedy in 1988.”

I was speaking of today’s politics, that’s why I said “today the Republicans would be doing the exact same thing.”
I should have also said “today there is absolutely no doubt at all that you liberals would then be…”
My bad.

Posted by: kctim at March 16, 2016 2:03 PM
Comment #403625
Actually Warren, I scream about violations of Constitutional rights whenever they are actually being violated. President Obama’s Constitutional duty to nominate a Supreme Court Justice for consideration was not, is not, and never was, at issue.

Be empathetic for a change and consider the possibility that I have as much passion for opposing the Republicans’ alleged Constitutional overreach that you have for opposing the ACA’s alleged Constitutional overreach. Obviously, the Constitution is an intentionally vague document so it is easy for reasonable people to disagree about what it means, but surely you are above summarily dismissing another person’s concern out of hand like that.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 2:20 PM
Comment #403626

This is classic liberals whining and crying about something that they would do if they had the same chance. They BI**HED about Bush daily but God help us if Obama is criticized. Obama did his job and the Senate will do theirs, except we don’t know exactly when that will be.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 16, 2016 2:21 PM
Comment #403628

Come on Warren times were a little different then as Kennedy had just “borked” Bork.

Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.
Posted by: George in SC at March 16, 2016 2:25 PM
Comment #403630

Warren writes; “Speak for yourself. You are the one who screams about violation of Constitutional Rights in every conversation about the ACA.”

Warren is totally confused. Constitutional Rights are not the same as Constitutional Duties.

Read Article II, Section 2 and you will understand there is no time limit set for the Senate to act on SC nominees.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 3:28 PM
Comment #403632

I’d be happy to see the nomination of Merrick Garland withdrawn from consideration. He is a former prosecutor who was involved in the OKC bombing and other terrorist prosecutions. Prosecutors are far more likely to lean conservative rather than liberal. It is hard to put up with right now, but Democrats would be better off seeing this nomination blocked, in order to put a nomination out there next year that would be more attractive for liberals.

We have already seen what happens when conservatives like Scalia sit on the court. I’m not just talking about the corruption. (At least Garland would not be as corrupt as Scalia and Thomas). They pretend they are originalists, then bend the interpretation of the Constitution to fit their political agenda- think Citizens United and Bush v Gore. The last thing we need is another ‘moderate’ on SCOTUS like Kennedy.

The Republicans blocking Garland is actually a win for liberals, and I’m fine with it. I hope they keep it up. The court will remain 4-4, which is workable in the short term. HRC will probably win in November and the Democrats will most likely take the Senate. We can put up a better, more reliably liberal nomination next year.

Patience.

Posted by: phx8 at March 16, 2016 3:46 PM
Comment #403633

Just curious phx8, what would a liberal dominated SC mean for America? What are you hoping such a court will accomplish?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 3:52 PM
Comment #403634

phx8, it seems it might get more complicated. Flake from AZ has hinted that Garland should be considered but not confirmed until and if Clinton is elected President, that would be after November 2016. Seems Republicans would like to have it both ways, not confirm but if Hillary is elected make the confirmation before she can nominate a more liberal candidate. There duplicity is all to evident if that is the case and should be considered as such. I do believe that this could have been President Obama’s intention. It also doesn’t say much for their confidence of their potential candidate for President, I can’t blame them for that.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 16, 2016 3:56 PM
Comment #403635

>blockquote>Read Article II, Section 2 and you will understand there is no time limit set for the Senate to act on SC nominees.

Using this silly logic Royal there is no time limit on anything in the Constitution. The Constitution is the framework of our government not the last word on procedure. Look at the next section according to you there is no time limit on removing a president from office for Treason, hell he could wait until his term is over,right? To refuse to advise and consent is unconstitutional, using the “no time frame” argument is chickens**t.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 16, 2016 4:20 PM
Comment #403636

Warren,
I understand your passion just fine. He11, I love your passion. But on this it is misplace.

Speaks,
I can’t say for sure, but when Clinton wins, couldn’t President Obama withdraw Garlands nomination and submit another?
Granted, it would be kind of a crappy thing to do to Garland, but wouldn’t it be worth it in order to pack the court with even more liberals?

Anyone know of anything preventing the President from doing that?

Posted by: kctim at March 16, 2016 4:23 PM
Comment #403637

I am pretty certain that the Republican leadership in the Senate should be realizing right about now that they brought checkers to a chess game. President Obama has nominated a qualified candidate that they may have a very difficult time not considering and even confirming given the probability of a Clinton Presidency. I would agree that from a liberal point of view that nominating a former prosecutor might not have been the most liberal action to take but then President Obama didn’t intend to “pack the court” if that is the case, he is just testing the political wherewithal of the Republican Senate in a masterful method. If Clinton is elected and the Senate has not confirmed Garland, Garland could always withdraw his nomination also.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 16, 2016 4:34 PM
Comment #403638

j2t2 wrote; “Look at the next section according to you there is no time limit on removing a president from office for Treason, hell he could wait until his term is over,right?”

What an idiot comment j2. The president doesn’t get to determine the Senate schedule on anything, much less a vote of impeachment of the president by the House.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 4:36 PM
Comment #403639
I can’t say for sure, but when Clinton wins, couldn’t President Obama withdraw Garlands nomination and submit another? Granted, it would be kind of a crappy thing to do to Garland, but wouldn’t it be worth it in order to pack the court with even more liberals?

Anyone know of anything preventing the President from doing that?

Well, apart from the fact that Obama doesn’t play politics when the country’s future is at stake.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 4:38 PM
Comment #403640

If HRC won, Obama could withdraw the nomination prior to the lame duck session. Whether he would choose to do that is another matter. Garland is surely aware he may never receive a hearing. Then again, he could slip into the court later this year.

RF,
The way SCOTUS justice will rule for any particular case are notoriously difficult to predict.

My hopes would be for a justice that reverts to the reading of the 2nd amendment the way it was interpreted a few decades ago, in which “the right to bear arms” is directly related to serving in a state’s “well regulated militia.” Citizens have not provided their own weapons in order to serve in a militia for over a century; instead, we have a standing army and the states have national guards. In this case, the 2nd amendment would join the 3rd amendment and become outdated. They used to be important, but for most practical purposes, such amendments became irrelevant a long time ago.

I would also look for a justice likely to repeal Citizens United, undo any restrictions whatsoever that prevent people from voting, and uphold Roe v Wade. It would be even better if a justice would strike down the idea that corporations are people, or that money is a form of free speech, but one step at a time…

Posted by: phx8 at March 16, 2016 4:44 PM
Comment #403641

Thank you for your response phx8. It is difficult to imagine the SC ruling that citizens have no right to bear arms. What other “specified” rights might we lose?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 4:54 PM
Comment #403642

“Well, apart from the fact that Obama doesn’t play politics when the country’s future is at stake.”

HA! Thanks for the laugh, Warren. I needed that today.

“Obama could withdraw the nomination prior to the lame duck session”

Interesting.
I guess a lot would also depend on how the Senate goes.

“My hopes would be for a justice that reverts to the reading of the 2nd amendment the way it was interpreted a few decades ago, in which “the right to bear arms” is directly related to serving in a state’s “well regulated militia.””

Until a few decades ago, you guys weren’t trying to force your reinterpretation onto those who actually care about their rights.
The older I get, the more I hope you all get your chance to rewrite the 2nd Amendment and our actual history.

Posted by: kctim at March 16, 2016 5:06 PM
Comment #403643

No need to rewrite the 2nd Amendment but the phrase “well regulated militia” should be interpreted with jurisprudence. Owning a gun does not qualify one to be deemed a “well regulated militia”.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 16, 2016 5:14 PM
Comment #403644

According to the 2nd amendment, a “well regulated militia” is necessary for the defense of the state. Aren’t you going to demand we go back to state militias? After all, the Constitution says they are necessary. It is quite clear about this. Yet we ignore it.

Posted by: phx8 at March 16, 2016 5:18 PM
Comment #403645

Really Speaks…”the right of the “people” to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Are only those “people” who belong to a “militia” entitled to bear arms?

Think about this Speaks. Wouldn’t such an statement be superfluous? The very definition of “militia” implies an armed force.

Do you understand the writing of the 2nd Amendment is only to grant the right to bear arms to members of a militia and forbidden to “the people”?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 5:25 PM
Comment #403646

RF,

Times have changed. Constitutional Rights evolve. What began as a right to bear arms as part of a state militia has recently been morphed by the Supreme Court into an individual right for non-militia members.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 5:28 PM
Comment #403647

phx8, do you believe the 2nd amendment means only an armed force can have arms?

Would the writers of the amendment be so careless with this amendment when all the remainder is so carefully written?

Why would we need an amendment to authorize arms to a militia which, by its very nature, is an armed force?

Compare your reading of the 2nd amendment to reading the 1st amendment as granting free speech only to those who can speak.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 5:34 PM
Comment #403648

Warren writes; “Constitutional Rights evolve.”

Please explain. Should we be concerned about our 1st amendment rights as well?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 5:37 PM
Comment #403649

RF, “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.”

Now it would seem that as phx8 pointed out you would ignore one phrase (being necessary to the security of a free state) and focus on another (the right of the people to keep and bear arms). These “people” as referred to, since it is preceded by “A well regulated militia”, might be considered to be interpreted as the “people of a well regulated militia”.

My understanding of the 2nd Amendments words are not as important as an SC Justice’s understanding.

As you already know I do not own a gun and have no intention of ever owning a gun but would support any other individuals ownership of a gun within a reasonable amount of scrutiny as to the use and care of said gun.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 16, 2016 5:37 PM
Comment #403650

Speak, I will reword what I wrote.

Do you believe the writers of the Constitution found it necessary to place it in an amendment that a “militia”, meaning a body of armed people, would be allowed to have arms?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 5:45 PM
Comment #403651

RF, yes I do. At that time of our history it was not taken for granted that a well regulated militia would not be subjected by another state or country to a confiscation of their weapons and found it necessary to word the Amendment to reflect that.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 16, 2016 5:51 PM
Comment #403652

RF, The original purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to ensure that the State militas were not dependent on the Federal government for their firearms. This meant the state militias could serve as a useful check on Federal power. It also meant that the Federal government did not necessarily have to fund a standing army in the early days of the Republic.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 5:55 PM
Comment #403653

Very interesting Speak. The founders feared disarming of a militia, but not disarming of the people; as the people were not allowed to be armed. Do I understand you correctly?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 5:58 PM
Comment #403654

RF, no you do not. They were more concerned with preserving the newly formed country and it’s states and were not concerned with attempting to validate every citizens fears of the power of a government taking control of them. In fact the citizens were looking for a government, not a king, to take control. Now you might say, but things have changed, but that would also be the point of my contention. It is now the time for our generation to discern the best use of the high powered guns we have today, things have changed. For better or worse it is our decision.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 16, 2016 6:42 PM
Comment #403655
Democrats would be better off seeing this nomination blocked, in order to put a nomination out there next year that would be more attractive for liberals.

ICA, let’s see what the SCOTUS does with eight for a while. It might not be what the Rpblcns want after all.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 16, 2016 6:45 PM
Comment #403656

OK Speaks, you claim to know what the Founders were thinking, but don’t understand what they actually wrote. So sad.

Did our Founders, in the Constitution, intend to disarm the general population of citizens? A simple yes or no will suffice.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 7:20 PM
Comment #403657

RF,

That question is falsely premised. Just because the second amendment was written to protect the right of militias to arm themselves without relying on the Feds has nothing to do with whether or not the founders intended to disarm ordinary Americans.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 7:44 PM
Comment #403658

Warren writes; “That question is falsely premised.”

So a simple yes or no is not possible for you or Speaks. That’s very interesting. You don’t know what the founders thought about citizens, not in the militia, bearing arms.

It seems more likely to me Warren that you can’t answer my question without revealing your position as indefensible.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 7:51 PM
Comment #403659
What an idiot comment j2. The president doesn’t get to determine the Senate schedule on anything, much less a vote of impeachment of the president by the House.

Royal nice diversion. But lets stick to the truly idiotic position you advocate for, the “no time frame” argument shall we? For instance the president could appointment his nominee when Congress closes up for the summer, the constitutional response for not completing the work of the current session during the session. Yet you would have us believe the founding fathers would rather the Senate take as many years as they want to advise and consent, which we all know is chickens**t.

SO if you want to go off in to lala land Royal, as it seems you do, of course the president doesn’t control the Senate schedule the Constitution does. Which is my point. Your “no time frame” argument would apply to the next clause as well in that the Senate wouldn’t be bound by a time frame to impeach a president convicted of a felony were the president a member of its own party. They could simply push it down the road four years if they choose right? That is what you are trying to convince us the Constitution is telling us!!!

Conservatives do a dishonor to the Constitution and our country with this line of crap.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 16, 2016 7:52 PM
Comment #403660

Poor j2t2, he just can’t stand how the Constitution fails to apply a time limit on the Senate on presidential nominees. His judgement is better than the written words.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2016 7:56 PM
Comment #403661

The Founders didn’t intend to disarm citizens. But the conclusion you draw from that fact does not follow.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 8:10 PM
Comment #403662

If there is no time limit for the Senate on presidential nominees, and a Republican wins the White House, why should Democrats ever approve anyone? If one year is not a problem, why not wait two? Three? If the Democrats do not like the outcome of the 2016 elections, why not wait until 2020 to give voters another chance? I really don’t understand the logic behind this ‘no time frame’ argument. It amounts to nothing less than refusing to abide by election outcomes. The voters elected Obama (again) in 2012 with more than 50%. If the time frame were too short for the process, that might be understandable. But most nominees go through the process quickly. Even Clarence Thomas was approved after one of the longest waits ever, and that was only 107 days!

Posted by: phx8 at March 16, 2016 8:23 PM
Comment #403663

Warren,
You suppose much by projecting your own interpretation for the 2nd Amendment as being only for militias as ‘truth.’

Many, like myself, do not see it so.

If it was intended for militias, it would have been written “the right of militias to keep and bear arms.”

The difference is utterly glaring to someone like me, as I believe in individual rights, not group rights.

But again, our side believes that governments cannot be trusted, and your side believes the government CAN be trusted. Overstated perhaps, simplified certainly, but this is the inherent difference in bias between conservatives and liberals.

Our soaring national and state debts, the real story of the economy, unemployment and workforce, the real and skyrocketing cost of medicine and healthcare, social security, basically everything going to shit before our eyes is evidence to me that my view of a governments trustworthiness holds more truth. (Individual politics aside, and taking our shameless government as a whole.)

Posted by: Yukon Jake at March 16, 2016 8:23 PM
Comment #403665
Many, like myself, do not see it so.

Reasonable people can disagree on the interpretation of the Constitution. Right now, we have a SCOTUS precedent whereby conservative justices invented a new individual right to bear arms. I can live with that. However, the insistence that there is only one *true* original meaning of the text reeks of hubris.

If it was intended for militias, it would have been written “the right of militias to keep and bear arms.”
Alternatively, if it wasn’t intended for militias, there would be no need to mention them in the first clause. My reading is that “the people” emphasizes that everyone has the right to join a militia.
I believe in individual rights, not group rights
Me too!
But again, our side believes that governments cannot be trusted
I distrust all large powerful institutions, whether they be public or private. Posted by: Warren Porter at March 16, 2016 11:00 PM
Comment #403666
Poor j2t2, he just can’t stand how the Constitution fails to apply a time limit on the Senate on presidential nominees. His judgement is better than the written words.

Once again Royal gibberish from you instead of an honest answer. I understand the illogical response from conservatives, the attempt to thwart the constitution they tell us they value so highly because they do not get their choice for SCOTUS.

As far as the written words where does it say the Senate can refuse to act on the presidents selection? It says the advise and consent of the Senate the last time I read it.

It is sad to see conservatives sell out their principles so easily with such chickens**t nonsense. Then to compound it with the lack of integrity demonstrated by the “no time limit” excuse is saddening.

basically everything going to shit before our eyes is evidence to me that my view of a governments trustworthiness holds more truth.

Couple of things Yukon, First this would be a sensible conclusion were the rest of the world the other 200 countries doing so much better than us, but only a few are. It isn’t the government it is the people, the individual that has “gone to shit” IMHO. While it is easy to blame the government I would suggest we need to take a closer look at ourselves and how bad things really are.

Look at how those who claim the moral highground, the conservatives, have “gone to shit” when it comes to morals and ethics while in control of the government, the SCOTUS issue being a prime example of bending the constitution to fit the desire for power and control the need. Individuals in power using government by bending the laws yet you would tell me it is the government.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 16, 2016 11:06 PM
Comment #403670

Warren,

The Founders didn’t intend to disarm citizens under the guise of regulating the militia.

Federalist 46 (Madison)-

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

Whether time has turned our advantage to be armed into a disadvantage can be debated, but the Americans possess an individual, not collective, right to be armed. While this right is not limitless, and there can and are regulations, those limits and regulations must respect the default that ordinary citizens can have guns.


Posted by: George in SC at March 17, 2016 9:36 AM
Comment #403673

The individual right protected by the second amendment is the right of individuals to join a state militia. The amendment also protects the right of these people in the militia to bear arms without interference of the federal government.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 17, 2016 10:29 AM
Comment #403675

Phx8,

“According to the 2nd amendment, a “well regulated militia” is necessary for the defense of the state.”

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…

Defense - the action of defending from or resisting attack.
Security - the state of being free from danger or threat.

Defense is only a part of security. The militia is necessary to ensure and protect a free State, not just defend a state from attack. The citizens make up its militia.

“Aren’t you going to demand we go back to state militias?”

I have always supported citizens being willing to assume their responsibility in ensuring the security of their state and country.

“Yet we ignore it.”

Yes we do and it is quite sad. We have forsaken our individual responsibilities and duties as Americans and embraced the unAmerican ideas of entitlement and dependency.

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2016 10:36 AM
Comment #403676

Warren

The 2nd amendment is and has always been about the protection of an individual right to self defense.


“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
- Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 10:48 AM
Comment #403677

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
- Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 10:49 AM
Comment #403678
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.

The amendment is clearly about militias, since that is mentioned first, like that is what it’s all about. Also, “well regulated” comes even before Militia. Otherwise, what are those words doing there? It’s self-explanatory.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 17, 2016 10:51 AM
Comment #403680

RF, up to your old tricks again I see. Look, you have asked no less than 12 questions since you yelled “squirrel” and pointed at the 2nd Amendment. I have stated my position and am done with your 20 question game.

I am certain that you don’t want to observe the discussion that this post started with and should seek to honor if not at least discern. The advice and consent that the Republican Senate leadership is unable to provide to our President. Their advice seems to be don’t do President stuff because we don’t want you to. That is not acceptable and will be seen for what it is, complete and total relinquishment of their constitutional obligation to advise our President on his nomination and either confirm or deny that nomination. They seek to diminish his capacity as President as they have always done. It appears that the Republican leadership along with their supporters have done even worse than I suggested earlier, “showed up to a chess game with a box of checkers”. They really are beginning to look like drooling fools unable to be distracted from their latest finger painting masterpiece that any logical person is unable to follow and has no interest in.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 17, 2016 10:58 AM
Comment #403681

Thank you Speaks for not continuing to play Royals silly game. The refusal to address the issue speaks volumes, the silly excuses, the “well they did it to, well kinda sorta” responses are as silly now as they were last week and the week before that.

Trampling the intent of the Constitution to stop a qualified candidate from serving the country on the SCOTUS because it limits the power and control of a small group of people is typical of conservative movement leaders. Our conservative friends on WB cannot comprehend the damage they do to the freedom and liberty of the people of this country with their self serving power grab.

Defending McConnell’s tantrum shows just how far conservatives are willing to go to consolidate government power into one party in this country. The fascist aspect of this is clear yet they continue to misuse the Constitution to concentrate power into a small group of people.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 17, 2016 11:41 AM
Comment #403683

In honor of the conservatives refusal to address the appointment of a SCOTUS justice I am switching nicknames from j2t2 to “landmesser” for a bit, I would ask my conservatives friends here on WB to respect this and address me as such for until the Senate advises and consents on the SCOTUS nominee.


http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/lone-man-refusing-nazi-salute-1936/

Posted by: j2t2 at March 17, 2016 11:49 AM
Comment #403684

landmesser, I salute your non-salute. The inability of the Republican leadership and their supporters to at least put up a facade of commitment to address this nomination with a modicum of political ethics, will become more evident as the November election comes in to focus. This doesn’t mean much to them, as is apparent, because they do not see it for what it really is. The abrogation of their party and any claim to future consideration as a political party that should be included in the governance of this country. Of course, this is what they sought all along, to foist their inability to use common sense to move our country forward through compromise and political discussion. RIP GOP RIP.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 17, 2016 12:01 PM
Comment #403687

J2, the issue has been addressed. Many many times in fact.
You guys claimed the evil GOP was denying President Obama his Constitutional duty to nominate. You claimed the evil GOP was preventing President Obama from nominating someone because he was black. You even claimed that his rights were somehow being violated.
President Obama nominated Merrick Garland. You were wrong.

Now, you intentionally dismiss and ignore precedent and claim the evil GOP is somehow “trampling the intent of the Constitution to stop a qualified candidate from serving the country,” spouting ‘power grab’ rhetoric, and screaming ‘fascist,’ again.

This is ALL about the left wanting another liberal justice on the Supreme Court. Nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2016 12:36 PM
Comment #403688

Only ones throwing a fit are liberals who expect Republicans to not use every tool at their disposal to stop Obama from shifting the court to the left. Butgo ahead and continue trying to shame them into giving you what you want. Lol

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 12:42 PM
Comment #403690
You guys claimed the evil GOP was denying President Obama his Constitutional duty to nominate. You claimed the evil GOP was preventing President Obama from nominating someone because he was black. You even claimed that his rights were somehow being violated.

Kctim, such a claim you make, It has always been about the advise and consent of the Senate, McConnell’s claim that the Senate would do nothing until the next president was elected.

This is ALL about the left wanting another liberal justice on the Supreme Court. Nothing more, nothing less.

Then why pick a moderate for consideration ?

Only ones throwing a fit are liberals who expect Republicans to not use every tool at their disposal to stop Obama from shifting the court to the left.

Dbs, really! The body wasn’t even cold when McConnell threw his hissy fit. The leader of the Senate told us the process wouldn’t happen.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 17, 2016 1:06 PM
Comment #403692

J2

He’s not a moderate by anyones standards except a liberals. I wouldn’t call telling democrats under no circumstances would Obama be allowed to pick another supreme Court Justice a “hissy fit”.

Liberals crying crocodile tears over the constitution. Now that is truely a riot.

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 1:20 PM
Comment #403694

Rest in Peace: Antonin Scalia
Comment #402668
J2: “our strict constitutionalist friends are running from the constitution as they seek to prevent Obama from selecting the next SCOTUS justice.”

Comment #402701
J2: So what the president has the constitutional responsibility to select the next justice to serve on the SCOTUS. It really is that simple kctim.

Talonic Law and Vengeful Injustice
“The reason why Obama doesn’t get to nominate Scalia’s replacement”

“and then let Obama nominate his choice”

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/obama-rejects-gop-talking-point-he-cant-nominate-scalias-successor

http://www.salon.com/2016/02/16/jabbing_obstructionist_senate_obama_outright_rejects_gop_talking_point_that_he_cant_nominate_scalias_successor/

“Republican lawmakers who’ve bended over backwards in the days following Scalia’s death to deny the President his Constitutional duty to appoint Supreme Court justices.”

Read the comments on probably ANY liberal board like KOS, Huffpo, VOX etc… right after Scalia died. Full of BS rhetoric about them denying Obama his ‘right’ to nominate and his ‘right’ to fill the seat.

The parsing of ‘advise and consent’ came next, and the hyperbole about not filling the seat for XX number years, and the threat to freedom-end of the country talking points is just the latest propaganda.

So no, it has NOT “always been about the advise and consent of the Senate” to you guys.

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2016 2:03 PM
Comment #403696

Any idiot can say they love the Constitution. Plenty do.

Trouble is, there comes a point where people are just saying they’re strict constructionists, just saying they’re literalists and originalists. In my experience, they’re just as willing and able to lawyer up their interpretation as constitutionally valid. It really just makes me cynical, angers me that they’re so arrogant as to think that their interpretation is somehow supreme, regardless of how idiotically it plays out.

Realistically, you get any set of rules, and the set of circumstances that apply, and you’ll get a variety of interpretations as to how to judge the situation, judge the law. If the Framers had wanted to force one such interpretation, we could have had a Napoleonic Code type system, where the law is applied by way of a set of explicit arguments. Instead, they made the Judiciary presidential appointees, the replacement of each justice subject to the political process, but with lifetime appointments to thereafter insulate them.

When the Republicans had the Senate during Reagan’s Administration, he appointed a number of justices. Scalia he appointed when he had Republicans on his side. Anthony Kennedy he appointed when the Senate went to the Democrats.

That’s how it’s supposed to work.

The President’s choice shows he’s aware of the situation. He’s not going to push an ultra-liberal choice, if that were ever going to be his choice. He’s chosen a Moderate, going by what the Senate previously advised him.

Only, today’s Republicans don’t have consistent principles, besides their willingness to politicize and obstruct even so basic a duty as this. Republicans are very willing to bring up what others said in years before, but they seem to forget what they said, too. They decry filibusters as anti-democracy, then turn around and apply the same filibusters, only more so, and tell those who complain that we’re not a democracy.

You really can’t depend on any answer they give you. They’re just lurching from position to position, flip-flopping as they see fit. They want to win, regardless of what personal principles they have to sacrifice to do so.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2016 2:16 PM
Comment #403698

“My reading is that “the people” emphasizes that everyone has the right to join a militia.”

Awful Warren, just awful. Your intellect is being swamped by political spinning.

In the Founders day militias were armed. So, why the need to even mention arms?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 17, 2016 2:44 PM
Comment #403702

Ample evidence suggests that militias struggled to arm themselves in the early days of the Republic:

“I have not a Musket to spare to the Militia who are without Arms. This demand upon me, makes it necessary to remind you, that it will be needless for those to come down who have no Arms, except they will consent to work upon the Fortifications, instead of taking their Tour of military Duty, if they will do that, they may be most usefully employed.”

~George Washington


“I ordered Coll. Bull to furnish Council with a general return & a copy to the Board of War, and shall send another as soon after our junction at Camp as possible. The want of arms being our great complaint, at a crisis like this too affecting fully to express, and having attempted every other method.”

~Brigadier General John Armstrong Sr.

“Since my letter to you of the 5th Ins’t I have had a General Tower [sic – tour] thro’ the Battalions already formed in this County, & have set nearly three Eighths of the Battalions on foot for the Camp at Chester, (as I rec’d no answer to my last) most of which I hope will arrive at Camp by the middle of next week. They have neither arms, accoutriments, Camp-kittles, &c., except blankets, which they had Perticular orders to Procure. Their Number supposed to be near 1,000 men, the militia of the Borough I have detained on Acc’t of the Prisoners. I have consulted the gun-smiths of this county as to making of arms & they in a General way hold out from £8. s15. to £9 for Musquetts & Byonet; Shocking prices! I did not think proper to agree with them at such rates, but at the same time proposed to give them the Philad’a prices: in answer to which they were willing to make arms on the same pay the Philadelphians did, provided they could procure Materials at the same rate, which they were at this time not possessed of. As to the 600 stand of arms lately made in this county I am afraid there will be a poor account of them.”

~ Colonel Bertram Galbraith

“The militia are turning out with great alacrity both in Maryland and Pennsylvania. They are distressed for want of arms. Many have none, others have little fowling pieces. However, we shall rake and scrape enough to do Howe’s business, by the favor of Heaven.”

~ John Adams

Clearly, it should not be a surprise that the founders wanted the militias of the US to be sufficiently armed in order to avoid the problems they had acquiring arms when fighting the British.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 17, 2016 3:16 PM
Comment #403703

dbs,

Only ones throwing a fit are liberals who expect Republicans to not use every tool at their disposal to stop Obama from shifting the court to the left.

I absolutely expect Republicans to not use every tool at their disposal to stop Obama from shifting the court to the left. Some tools (such as impeachment) are to be used only in the case of a national emergency. As passionate as the right may be, Obama’s Presidency is not an existential threat to your rights that necessitates the use of such emergency measures.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 17, 2016 3:19 PM
Comment #403704

Just a cursory reading of the Federalist Papers, personal letters and speeches by our Founders, and our history since inception should reveal the hyperbole of my Lib/Soc friends on the issue of private citizens right to bear arms.

Contrarianism has become their hallmark. Applying intellect and logic to defined Constitutional “rights” is anathema to those who despise these precious documents and freedoms.

We are called upon by our Founders to defend our freedoms. Be assured, we will.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 17, 2016 3:19 PM
Comment #403705

Warren

They also understood that a well armed citizenry was also the best deterrent to tyranny in govt.

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 3:20 PM
Comment #403706

Warren

My rights existed long before govt. My necessities are what I decide them to be, not the minions of govt.

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 3:27 PM
Comment #403709
Applying intellect and logic to defined Constitutional “rights” is anathema to those who despise these precious documents and freedoms.

This is the lesson I have learned from reading your comments.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 17, 2016 3:46 PM
Comment #403711

a well armed citizenry was also the best deterrent to tyranny in govt.

My necessities are what I decide them to be, not the minions of govt.

Are these statements from the Unabomber’s manifesto, or Timothy McVeigh?

Posted by: ohrealy at March 17, 2016 3:53 PM
Comment #403712

Warren, it is very flattering that you like my thoughts so much that you claim them for yourself.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 17, 2016 4:13 PM
Comment #403715

RF,

You have quite an intelligent mind.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 17, 2016 4:27 PM
Comment #403716

Well there goes the living document theory of our liberal friends. That somehow it was designed to be reinterpreted to fit the times.

On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 4:28 PM
Comment #403717

ohrealy

Actually the second one was mine. As to the first.


“As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
- Tench Coxe, Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 4:31 PM
Comment #403718

warren

After reading your last post I have to say I agree that arms were used in militia service, and apparently not easy to come by. Unfortunately that does nothing to further your argument that the 2nd amendment doesn’t apply to private citizens.

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 4:35 PM
Comment #403719

the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
Meaning the people who could afford to buy and maintain these arms, rather than getting them through a government program importing them from France.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 17, 2016 4:37 PM
Comment #403720

dbs, thanks for the Tench Coxe quote.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 17, 2016 4:43 PM
Comment #403721

ohrealy

Wow….that was quite a contortion you preformed to come up with that interpretation. Hope you didn’t pull anything.

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 4:43 PM
Comment #403723

Royal Flush

You’re quite welcome sir.

Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2016 5:06 PM
Comment #403725

What someone meant by “the people” in 1789 was quite different from what that means nowadays. Some “people” were only two thirds of a person.


In 1776, with the revolution against British under way, the United States were desperate for muskets. That spring Congress sent Silas Deane to France to plead for assistance in the form of arms, equipment, and financing. Looking to even the score against Britain, France came to the Americans side with shiploads of muskets.
from http://www.militaryheritage.com/musket14.htm

To provide the embattled American rebels with aid before openly declaring war on Great Britain, the French first set up a dummy trading company, Rodrique Hortalez & Cie, operated by Caron de Beaumarchais. Working with American agents, primarily Franklin, Deane and Lee, they then condemned most of the muskets in their arsenals that had been produced prior to the new Model 1777 to make them available for shipment. The first of many Beaumarchais deliveries began in the spring of 1777 when three of his ships arrived in Portsmouth, N.H., carrying 37,000 stands of arms. At the same time, another vessel was sent to Philadelphia bearing 11,000 arms and parts. The New Hampshire shipments equipped much of the Patriot army at Saratoga in October 1777, and, by 1778, the majority of Washington’s regiments had replaced their earlier disparate mix of arms with French ones. After France officially entered the war early in 1778, it continued to send vast amounts of war materials.
from http://www.jaegerkorps.org/NRA/The%20Revolutionary%20Charleville.htm Posted by: ohrealy at March 17, 2016 5:24 PM
Comment #403728

France was a great friend during our revolution ohrealy. I have read numerous books on Franklin and his time in France.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 17, 2016 5:43 PM
Comment #403733
Unfortunately that does nothing to further your argument that the 2nd amendment doesn’t apply to private citizens.

I have said the 2nd amendment protects private citizen’s right to join their local militia. Nowhere did I say the amendment doesn’t apply to individuals.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 17, 2016 6:37 PM
Comment #403736

So it appears my conservative friends aren’t going to call me landmesser as I have requested. How disappointing, I guess it must hurt to do that. I mean I feel like landmesser but I guess I could give the one finger salute to those who…..


So no, it has NOT “always been about the advise and consent of the Senate” to you guys.

Kctim, Yes each of these links states it is about the Senate wanting to wait for a nomination until the “people speak” and the next president is elected. They, the GOP, did say the next president should choose, which is in effect blocking Obama from choosing the next SCOTUS.

The Senate could only refuse to advise and consent not stop Obama from nominating a candidate… well…. unless they held the Obama kids hostage. Which may still be on the table for all I know.


However the Senate leadership is still refusing to uphold their sworn duties. It has always been about their constitutional responsibilities and the articles mentioning GOP talking points at the time say a much. Why because it is within their power to do so. Since Scalia died it has been stopping Obama from selecting the Justice to replace Scalia.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 17, 2016 10:56 PM
Comment #403742

One of the things our Conservative Friends are missing is that while it may be theoretically constitutional for Republicans to deny Obama the appointments for the final year in office, it is also theoretically constitutional for a Democratic Senate to deny a hypothetical President Trump, Cruz, or Kasich their entire term, since the Constitution observes no limits. That is, unless you interpret that as a duty that the Senate is bound to undertake in a timely manner, in which case Trump, Cruz, or Kasich can get back the fifth Conservative justice when one of the more liberal ones steps down from the bench or is carried out of the Supreme court on their back, like Scalia was.

I know Conservatives might have chortled when they brought up what Biden said all these years ago, but who’s going to be laughing when a Republican President who wants his nominee elevated to the court gets played Mitch McConnell’s talk about how his principle is involved in not letting the President exercise his power? Republicans are burning future power, future flexibility in order to chase after base voters who remain alienated from them. Maybe it’s time to find another base, closer to the center, who don’t mind when the GOP tries to appeal to the broader country as a whole before the primaries are over.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 18, 2016 8:51 AM
Comment #403749

Mr. Daugherty, this conservative has written here that I favor the Senate holding hearings on the presidential nominee for the SC. While the Constitution does not place a time limit on such Senate action, I believe it is appropriate to hold hearings.

I do find fault with your comment; “theoretically constitutional for Republicans to deny Obama the appointments for the final year in office”

There is noting “theoretical” about the Senates refusal to hold hearings.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 18, 2016 1:13 PM
Comment #403786
There is noting “theoretical” about the Senates refusal to hold hearings.

Sure there is Royal, the repub excuses to justify not holding hearings is theoretical…or…..well it has no basis in fact this illogical reasoning.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2016 12:58 AM
Comment #403794

The fact is this country won’t survive as a socialist country and a liberal SC will rule by whim, not law or the constitution.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 10:09 AM
Comment #403795

warren

“I have said the 2nd amendment protects private citizen’s right to join their local militia”

It also protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, for their own use, and defense. The bill of rights was written to acknowledge the natural rights of all human beings, and to force gov’t to acknowledge, and protect them with the force of law. IE the US constitution.

Posted by: dbs at March 19, 2016 10:33 AM
Comment #403811
It also protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, for their own use, and defense.
This has only been true since DC v. Heller. Posted by: Warren Porter at March 19, 2016 2:39 PM
Comment #403816

The founders were more aware of history than people nowadays. Our Bill of Rights came after the English Bill of Rights of 100 years previous to that time, where “subjects who are Protestants may bear arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as permitted by law”, in Blackstone’s commentaries, which the framers would have known also, “having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law… under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression” became “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, etc.”

Posted by: ohrealy at March 19, 2016 4:16 PM
Comment #403817

Blackstone’s Commentaries were written in 1765.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 19, 2016 4:21 PM
Comment #403818

Subjects are individual people, right?

Was Heller alive in 1765, Warren Porter? I don’t think so.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 5:14 PM
Comment #403829
“every state shall always keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutred, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage”

The above is from the Articles of Confederation, which was replaced by the current Constitution. Clearly, the founders’ idea was to make sure that state militias could properly arm themselves without interference from Washington. It is only with this context that we can understand the second amendment’s primary purpose.

In the words of Warren Burger:

“(The Second Amendment) has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Indeed, it was not considered controversial when communities curtailed people’s right to bear arms in the 19th century.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 19, 2016 9:42 PM
Comment #403833

So why do we automatically assume the right to bear arms means semi automatic rifles of handguns? They didn’t even exist when the Constitution was written? How can anyone be a strict constitutionalist and believe automatic and/or semi automatic weapons meets the intent of the founding fathers,

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2016 11:42 PM
Comment #403835

Let’s make our military use the cap and ball muzzle loaders then, j2t2.

If you want to insist on literals use them for everyone.

Military, cops, security guards should all use flintlocks and tomahawks because that’s what the founders had when they wrote the constitution.

Do you see how stupid that is?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 20, 2016 8:44 AM
Comment #403837

warren

All one needs to do is read the writings of the men who penned the document. There are numerous writings out there that contradict what you and the left are trying to peddle. As far as Warren Burger, I’ll listen to those who wrote the document, and reaffirmed what they meant in plain English as opposed to 20th century lawyer. You may disagree with Heller, but it is the most recent ruling, and it is in line with the statements of those who actually wrote the constitution.

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 10:31 AM
Comment #403838

j2

The constitution says the right to bear arms. A general statement. It does not specify muzzle loaders. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the kings army also used muzzle loaders. They were the technology of that time. When the gov’t goes back to issuing muzzle loaders to our troops, and law enforcement, then you can make that asinine argument.

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 10:37 AM
Comment #403839

dbs,

Heller is the law of the land, but it represented a clear break with centuries of precedent. I believe in a Constitution that adapts to changing times. Clearly, there is a groundswell of support today for individual firearm ownership to be used to deter crime that did not exist 200 years ago. Heller rewrote the second amendment, but it’s perfectly OK for the Constitution to evolve with the changing times.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 20, 2016 11:13 AM
Comment #403840

warren

“Heller is the law of the land, but it represented a clear break with centuries of precedent.”

Bad precedent. Lawyers can twist and contort anything until it fits their narrative, or the agenda of those that brought them, so to speak. I need only refer to those who drafted the supreme law of the land IE the constitution. Their writings make their intentions, and what the constitution says and means crystal clear.

“Heller rewrote the second amendment”

No Heller correctly interpreted the 2nd amendment, and reversed centuries of political activism, by previous courts.


” but it’s perfectly OK for the Constitution to evolve with the changing times.”

That is what the amendment process is for. And it was made extremely difficult for a reason. The current text of the constitution is what it is. To understand a legal document you need to understand those that drafted it, and what there intentions were. We have that in the form of many documents that make it clear what they meant.

“That’s the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break. But you would have to be an idiot to believe that. The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn’t say other things.”

Antonin Scalia

“The Constitution is not a living organism,” he said. “It’s a legal document, and it says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say.”

Antonin Scalia

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 12:29 PM
Comment #403841

Individuals owned firearms then and now. Militias were formed then and now. Militias were formed with men and their personal weapons both then and now. How was the 2nd amendment rewritten?

By the way, the constitution specifically outlines how the constitution is to evolve. It is by the amendment process, not by the courts interpreting it. The court’s interpretation are unconstitutional when it ignores or manufactures law such as abortion or marriage. There is no law that says baby killing is legal. There is no law saying gay marriage is legal. Both are manufactured by the Supreme court, a branch of the government that has zero ability to write law.

Don’t you all think it’s strange that it was the Supreme Court who decided the Supreme Court will use judicial review to “interpret” the constitution to appease Woodrow Wilson’s view of a supreme federal government dominating over instead of co-existing with the states by bypassing the “slow and cumbersome” amendment process?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 20, 2016 12:41 PM
Comment #403842

The concept of a “dead Constitution” went out the window with Marbury v. Madison. Nowhere in the oritinal document are the Courts authorized to rule a law unconstitutional.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 20, 2016 12:47 PM
Comment #403843

I want people to examine the 11th amendment and what effect it had on the power and sovereignty of the states.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 20, 2016 12:51 PM
Comment #403848

I think the word you’re looking for is Static, Warren Porter.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 20, 2016 1:14 PM
Comment #403849

Warren wrote; “I believe in a Constitution that adapts to changing times.”

So do we all Warren. The process is called “amendment”.

Judges interpret the Constitution as it relates to a law suit that reaches the SC. However, judges are not allowed to change the Constitution. There are only two ways to change this document; and neither requires a judge.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 20, 2016 1:28 PM
Comment #403851

warren

“Nowhere in the oritinal document are the Courts authorized to rule a law unconstitutional.”

The constitution is the legal standard that is used to determine if a law is to stand, or be struck down. If the courts can’t rule on the constitutionality of a law, what is the point of either. That was quite a contortion.

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 1:46 PM
Comment #403852

Where’s the amendment elevating the Air Force to the same status as Navy & Army?

Where’s the amendment granting the freedom to publish a blog to complement the one we have granting freedom to the press?

Where’s the amendment granting the right to bear semiautomatic weapons?

Where’s the amendment granting the right to bear arms outside the context of a “well-regulated militia”?

Where is the amendment granting the SCOTUS the right to rule laws unconstitutional?

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 20, 2016 2:44 PM
Comment #403854
he constitution is the legal standard that is used to determine if a law is to stand, or be struck down. If the courts can’t rule on the constitutionality of a law, what is the point of either.

Excellent logic! So, the Constitution cannot be taken literally at face value. Rational people must think logically to fill in the gaps in order to figure out what the founders intended.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 20, 2016 2:49 PM
Comment #403855

Judicial Review did actually exist before Marbury vs Madison, but that was the beginning of the SCOTUS monitoring the actions of the other branches of government.

My point on the second amendment was that “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” was deliberately added to the language in the source documents.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2016 3:08 PM
Comment #403856

Warren

You’re really out in the weeds on this. The 2nd amendment gaurentees the right to keep and dear arms. Is an AR15 an arm ? Is a musket an arm ? You can keep trying muddy the water, but it isn’t working.

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 3:14 PM
Comment #403857

Warren

We don’t need to guess or fill in the blanks. We have plenty historical evidence. Sorry it doesn’t support your narrative.

“”The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 3:21 PM
Comment #403858

ohrealy

Oh but that pesky comma, and all the historical writings of those who wrote signed the constitution.

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 3:25 PM
Comment #403859

This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”
- St. George Tucker, Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1803

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 3:31 PM
Comment #403860

The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
- Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 3:33 PM
Comment #403861

“As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
- Tench Coxe, Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 3:36 PM
Comment #403862
The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms

So the government has the right under the constitution to prevent the millions that aren’t peaceable from keeping their own arms.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2016 3:44 PM
Comment #403863

Warren asks; “Where is the amendment granting the SCOTUS the right to rule laws unconstitutional?”

No amendment required Warren. You do understand the term “judicial power”?

Article III
Section 1.

The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 20, 2016 3:48 PM
Comment #403864

ohrealy

Don’t be a sore loser.

Posted by: dbs at March 20, 2016 3:48 PM
Comment #403871
You’re really out in the weeds on this. The 2nd amendment gaurentees the right to keep and dear arms. Is an AR15 an arm ? Is a musket an arm ? You can keep trying muddy the water, but it isn’t working.

You are right. It is ridiculous to maintain a static definition of the word arm. We are much better off letting the second amendment evolve with the changing times so that it includes weapons invented after its adoption as well as 18th century muskets.

Regarding Comment #403857, the quotation is falsely attributed to Jefferson. It is actually a translation of words originally penned by Cesare Beccaria.

The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.

As you are aware, there was a controversy in 1788 between Federalists who supported ratification of the new Constitution and anti-Federalists who felt better if the Articles of Confederation remained the law of the land. These two forces came to a head in the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention. Here, Samuel Adams and John Hancock resolved the dispute by proposing that the ratification resolution contain recommended amendments to be added after the Constitution was adopted. Reading the full context of Adams’ speech, we have:

“And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless when necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.”
While we can definitely see that this language is an ancestor of several clauses in the Bill of Rights, it is particularly notable that Adams’ language regarding firearms does not appear in the final ratifying resolution. Clearly, Adams’ peers at the convention did not approve of his ideas regarding firearms. Perhaps they were all too wary of the trauma of Shays rebellion the previous year.

RF,
Do you understand the difference between “Judicial Power” and “Judicial Review”?

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 20, 2016 8:19 PM
Comment #403874

Warren the definition of “arms” was discussed in Heller:

Before addressing the verbs “keep” and “bear,” we interpret their object: “Arms.” The 18th-century meaning is no different from the meaning today. The 1773 edition of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary defined “arms” as “weapons of offence, or armour of defence.” 1 Dictionary of the English Language 107 (4th ed.) (hereinafter Johnson). Timothy Cunningham’s important 1771 legal dictionary defined “arms” as “any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.” 1 A New and Complete Law Dictionary (1771); see also N. Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) (reprinted 1989) (hereinafter Webster) (similar).

The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity. For instance, Cunningham’s legal dictionary gave as an example of usage: “Servants and labourers shall use bows and arrows on Sundays, &c. and not bear other arms.” See also, e.g., An Act for the trial of Negroes, 1797 Del. Laws ch. XLIII, §6, p. 104, in 1 First Laws of the State of Delaware 102, 104 (J. Cushing ed. 1981 (pt. 1)); see generally State v. Duke, 42Tex. 455, 458 (1874) (citing decisions of state courts construing “arms”). Although one founding-era thesaurus limited “arms” (as opposed to “weapons”) to “instruments of offence generally made use of in war,” even that source stated that all firearms constituted “arms.” 1 J. Trusler, The Distinction Between Words Esteemed Synonymous in the English Language37 (1794) (emphasis added).

Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment . We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997) , and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001) , the Second Amendment extends, prima facie,to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.

Posted by: George in SC at March 21, 2016 11:14 AM
Comment #403875

George in SC,

I am fully aware that the Court has decided to modify the Second Amendment so that it includes modern weapons. I agree with the modification, but I won’t pretend that the interpretation hasn’t changed in the last 200 years.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 21, 2016 12:57 PM
Comment #403876
The constitution says the right to bear arms. A general statement. It does not specify muzzle loaders. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the kings army also used muzzle loaders. They were the technology of that time. When the gov’t goes back to issuing muzzle loaders to our troops, and law enforcement, then you can make that asinine argument.

SO dbs a general statement is ok when it comes to the amendments but not the Constitution. As in “there is no time frame”. How can you have it both ways? Where is this referenced in the Constitution?

I also wonder where does it say “if the government has rocket launchers it is then ok for the guy on the street to bear rocket launchers” or words to that effect? You know you probably shouldn’t throw out that asinine argument quip so quick cause your isn’t logical by any stretch.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 21, 2016 1:09 PM
Comment #403877

Sorry I’m reading up on some of this.

Indeed, it was not considered controversial when communities curtailed people’s right to bear arms in the 19th century.

Agreed. I think this is an unintended consequence of the 14th Amendment and the statement, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

So why do we automatically assume the right to bear arms means semi automatic rifles of handguns? They didn’t even exist when the Constitution was written? How can anyone be a strict constitutionalist and believe automatic and/or semi automatic weapons meets the intent of the founding fathers.

The right to bear arms means arms. That’s weapons that are carried personally and used personally by one person. There are and always have been limits; in the case of automatic weapons the National Firearms Act of 1934 placed several restrictions. The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban prohibited the manufacture of a defined class of weapons as well as magazines with a capacity of greater than 10 rounds. In my opinion you could write a law tomorrow that could restrict the manufacture of semi automatic weapons- Clinton did it. It gets tougher if you want to confiscate all existing semi automatic weapons since there are rights attached to private property in the Fifth Amendment. To try to ban a type of arm, say a handgun, rifle, knife or sword, would certainly be an infringement under the 2nd though.


Posted by: George in SC at March 21, 2016 1:46 PM
Comment #403878

George in SC,

I agree with what you wrote. I am only arguing that the second amendment has evolved over the years to include new weapons as they have been invented. It hasn’t evolved to include all new weapons, as the National Firearms Act of 1934 demonstrates.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 21, 2016 2:18 PM
Comment #403882

Warren unless the Bill of Rights is modified I expect to be able to possess (keep) and carry (bear) a type 1 Phaser in the year 2265.

Posted by: George in SC at March 21, 2016 4:24 PM
Comment #403890

Exactly. The Constitution is a living document and the definition of “arms” evolves with the times.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 21, 2016 7:07 PM
Comment #403891

Warren, will this “living document” cause our unalienable rights to evolve as well?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 21, 2016 7:19 PM
Comment #403892

Yes, our rights grow as new technologies are developed. 18th century Americans could not bear semiautomatic handguns or revolvers like 21st century American do.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 21, 2016 8:09 PM
Comment #403894

warren

“Yes, our rights grow as new technologies are developed”

No they don’t. This statement is nonsensical.

Rights don’t change. Rights don’t increase. They just apply to current technologies. I have no more, or less of a right to freedom of speech than I would have 200 years ago. Rights are static, technology isn’t.

Posted by: dbs at March 22, 2016 7:44 AM
Comment #403895

I am only arguing that the second amendment has evolved over the years to include new weapons as they have been invented.

And I’m just trying to understand why such contested wording would guarantee 2nd amendment rights as semi automatic weapons bit not rocket launchers , the government has them right, yet because a time frame isn’t specifically mentioned in Article 2 Senators can take years or generations to advise and consent. Dbs seems unwilling or unable to explain this so perhaps George you can explain.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 22, 2016 9:10 AM
Comment #403896

dbs,

Our rights change with the changing times. That’s why the freedom of the press let’s me write whatever I want on Watchblog even though no printing presses are involved.

Posted by: Warren Dean Porter at March 22, 2016 11:02 AM
Comment #403897

warren

“Our rights change with the changing times. That’s why the freedom of the press let’s me write whatever I want on Watchblog even though no printing presses are involved.”

Again how did your right change ? There are just more avenues for expressing it. Only technology has changed. You have no or less right to speak freely than you did before.

Posted by: dbs at March 22, 2016 11:42 AM
Comment #403898

Sentence should read: no more or less right to speak freely than you did before.

Posted by: d at March 22, 2016 11:44 AM
Comment #403899

j2t2 have you read Heller? It’s actually quite narrow with regards to what is protected by the 2nd Amendment. The 1771 definition that the majority cited was “any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.” There is also a discussion of the singular term “dangerous and unusual” as referenced in the prior case Miller. Heller also leaves to the legislature many restrictions on an individual’s 2nd Amendment rights such as for felons, the mentally ill, and to not be able to carry in certain places or to require concealed carry permits. It also leaves the ability to legislate the proper storage of handguns.

There are in fact a ton of places a legislature could address if it so chooses. Where D.C. jumped the shark, according to Heller, was when the banned an entire “class” of arms in handguns. That and the storage requirements also made it impossible for the handgun to be used for its intended function- home defense.

So if you would like to ban all semi automatic weapons then I say go to your local, state, or even Congress and start lobbing. As my earlier post said I think you would have a pretty clear shot at banning the manufacture and sell of new semi automatic weapons. It gets harder if you go for registration, confiscation, or prohibition on transferring existing semi automatic weapons but there is roadmap to follow in what they did with full automatic weapons since that worked and was not invalidated.

As for advise and consent there certainly is no time constraints on either the President’s right to nominate or the Senate’s right to advise and consent. I guess it is between those parties to “work it out.”

Posted by: George in SC at March 22, 2016 11:55 AM
Comment #403900

Warren, my question concerned “unalienable rights” as found in the Declaration of Independence.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 22, 2016 12:13 PM
Comment #403901

dbs,

Au contraire, my right to speak freely is much greater today than it would have been 200 years ago. Today, I can disseminate my words to millions of people with nothing more than a keyboard. Doing the same thing 200 years ago would have required a much large investment in resources in order to access a printing press and physically distribute the printed product.

RF,

Yes. Those rights expand and change as technology develops. For instance, before Griswold v. Connecticut the right to purchase birth control was not protected as an unalienable right. Today, it is a different story.

200 years ago, pornography exchanged between consenting adults was illegal in many places. Today, that material is protected by the 1st Amendment.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 22, 2016 12:44 PM
Comment #403903

Warren writes; “Yes. Those rights expand and change as technology develops. For instance, before Griswold v. Connecticut the right to purchase birth control was not protected as an unalienable right. Today, it is a different story.”

WOW…I can’t believe you don’t understand “unalienable rights” Warren.

It makes no sense for me to question you further as you must first educate yourself.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 22, 2016 1:48 PM
Comment #403904

RF,

Do you believe the right to purchase birth control existed before Griswold v. Connecticut?

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 22, 2016 2:45 PM
Comment #403905

Why bother answering you Warren until you understand the difference between an “unalienable right” and a law.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 22, 2016 3:07 PM
Comment #403906

Warren there does not exist a right to purchase birth control. There does exist,however, an unalienable right to privacy, not enumerated in the Constitution but retained by the People, by which the court extended to purchasing birth control.

The right is privacy not birth control.

Posted by: George in SC at March 22, 2016 3:30 PM
Comment #403907

Bingo! So, perhaps the Warren Court was not the activist boogeyman portrayed by conservatives.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 22, 2016 6:25 PM
Comment #403918

I think that a major criticism of the Warren Court would be trying to take something and mold it in to something else similar to what you are trying to do.

Well that and the whole concept of incorporation. That fundamentally changed our form of government although I’m sure Chief Justice Warren would have said the Civil War was the change. Both Justice Warren and and the Civil War were products of the Republican Party by the way…

Posted by: George in SC at March 23, 2016 8:58 AM
Comment #403920

George in SC it seems you go to court decisions and precedence to explain to me why those not in the militia cannot carry rocket launchers. Yet when it comes to “no time frame” you guys refer only to the constitution and forego the past 200 plus years. Why is that?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 23, 2016 12:09 PM
Comment #403921


If you go back through the past 200 years what do you find with regards to Advise and Consent? I can tell you that Taft was confirmed as Chief Justice the same day he was nominated. GHW Bush nominated (now) Chief Justice Roberts for the Federal bench in 1992 and he never got hearing.

The historical perspective gives you something between 1 day and never….

Posted by: George in SC at March 23, 2016 12:59 PM
Comment #403922

So when did the Senate fail to advise and consent like they are doing now. To think McConnell is doing anything but hijacking the government for one party rule of the country is only kidding ourselves George. To think the founding fathers wanted appointments to the SCOTUS to take decades or “until we win” is also delusional.

I was hoping for an honest answer George but like the rest of the conservatives here on WB you bend your principles and you hide behind these weird interpretations of the constitution, damaging your integrity in the process. How sad yet telling when conservatives so easily bend the constitution for political power. Seig Heil right?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 23, 2016 1:47 PM
Comment #403926

We’ll find out soon enough what the SCOTUS is going to do with eight justices instead of nine. It might change some minds.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 23, 2016 2:12 PM
Comment #403930

From The Hill.com: “in a one-sentence ruling issued Tuesday, the Supreme Court simply said it affirmed the lower court ruling by failing to reach one of its own.”

So that’s what’s going to happen. The rulings of the lower courts are upheld if someone doesn’t break the tie.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 23, 2016 3:32 PM
Comment #403933

Bullshit j2 I gave you an example and you just ignored it.
And to paint me as a conservative is also sad bs. I voted for Clinton last month.

If you have any kind of reading comprehension then this article from 2002 should be of note. But hey, like the rest of the liberals here I’m sure you don’t enough principles to even look at it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/11/magazine/obstruction-of-judges.html?pagewanted=all

Such bs.

Posted by: George in SC at March 23, 2016 8:29 PM
Comment #403935


George you gave an example but it was BS. We have been there on this issue and it still doesn’t justify the support given to the Senate by conservatives on WB.Voting for Clinton in a primary doesn’t make you a liberal my friend. Dems and repubs have been switching allegiances for political gain during the primary process for years now. Although you do get props for voting for Clinton instead of Cruz I guess.

SO lets address your link George as you seem to think it justifies the behavior of the Senate. First of all stopping activist judges is IMHO a good thing, I don’t think judges should be political activist like Scalia was. Secondly when the Senate decides to use political reasons to block a nominee IMHO they should have the cajones to be clear about it.You seem to want to give them a free ride using this political nonsense. I take exception when you hide behind the Constitution just as the rest of the conservatives on WB are willing to do.

I actually thought you represented a conservative opinion quite well. That is why I asked. You disappointed me when you took the same path as conservatives here on WB did.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2016 12:15 AM
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