June 28, 2010

AP Breaking: Supremes’ Ruling ‘Casts Doubt’ on Chicago Handgun Ban (BizzyBlog Update: The ‘Extended’ Lie)

Lord have mercy, even when it hits him in the face, the Associated Press’s Mark Sherman won’t concede the obvious:


“Cast doubt”? Is that what court ruling do now?

A USA Today item has it right:


Other sources describing the ruling accurately include these:

  • CNN — “Court rules for gun rights, strikes Chicago handgun ban”
  • Fox News — “High Court’s Big Ruling For Gun Rights.” From text: “Today’s ruling also invalidates Chicago’s handgun ban.”
  • Reuters, as carried at the New York Times — “Supreme Court Rules Chicago Gun Ban Unconstitutional”

As with the Washington, DC Heller case in 2008, the real outrage is that the ruling was 5-4.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


BizzyBlog-only Update: The last paragraph of the ruling (large PDF) –

In Heller, we held that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense. Unless considerations of stare decisis counsel otherwise, a provision of the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the Federal Government and the States. See Duncan, 391 U. S., at 149, and n. 14. We therefore hold that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

The Seventh District Court of Appeals had upheld the City of Chicago’s handgun ban. The Supreme Court’s ruling reverses the Seventh District. It is accurate to say that the handgun ban as written by the City of Chicago has been declared unconstitutional. It is not accurate to say that the ruling “casts doubt” on it.

BizzyBlog-only Update 2: The press meme as embodied in the AP’s headline above and frequently seen elsewhere is that the Court “extended” gun rights — as if the ruling broke some kind of new ground.

What an insult to readers’ intelligence. The ruling recognizes the obvious: that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause applies to the entire Bill of Rights, not just the parts of it that liberals like.

Has anyone ever tried to make the argument that Ted Strickland and the Ohio Legislature can shut down the Cleveland Plain Dealer because they don’t like its editorials, and that it’s okay because the states have that perogative After all, following the illogic, the Bill of Rights was only meant to protect citizens against the federal government, not state or local ones. Of course not.

Has anyone ever argued that the states can decide to house soldiers in citizens’ homes, that their law enforcement can dispense with the need for Miranda warnings, or that it can establish Catholicism as a state’s official religion? Well, why not? According to the Court’s deranged minority, states can gut the Second Amendment. Why not the others?

Twice in two years, the Court’s minority has outed itself as fundamentally hostile to the Constitution and its Natural Law foundations (in this case, the human right of self-defense, and, when required, to right to defend others against hostile force). The Heller ruling of 2008 was one of so many warnings received before November 2008′s fateful election that so many of the freedoms we hold so dear are hanging by a one-vote thread in the Supreme Court and are at the mercy of the whims of authoritarian politicians and bureaucrats the current Court all too often supports.



  1. Best comments from a legal blog:


    ORID says:

    Ouch, here’s the Alito smackdown to the dissent:

    First, we have never held that a provision of the Bill of Rights applies to the States only if there is a “popular consensus” that the right is fundamental, and we see no basis for such a rule. But in this case, as it turns out, there is evidence of such a consensus. An amicus brief submitted by 58 Members of the Senate and 251 Members of the House of Representatives urges us to hold that the right to keep and bear arms is fundamental.

    Third, JUSTICE BREYER is correct that incorporation of the Second Amendment right will to some extent limit the legislative freedom of the States, but this is always true when a Bill of Rights provision is incorporated. Incorporation always restricts experimentation and local variations, but that has not stopped the Court from incorporating virtually every other provision of the Bill of Rights.

    Ouch, Scalia burns Stevens as well.

    JUSTICE STEVENS resists this description, insisting that his approach provides plenty of “guideposts” and “constraints” to keep courts from “injecting excessive subjectivity” into the process. Plenty indeed—and that alone is a problem. The ability of omnidirectional guideposts to constrain is inversely proportional to their number. But even individually, each lodestar or limitation he lists either is incapable of restraining judicial whimsy or cannot be squared with the precedents he seeks to preserve.

    He offers several reasons for concluding that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not fundamental enough to be applied against the States. None is persuasive, but more pertinent to my purpose, each is either intrinsically indeterminate, would preclude incorporation of rights we have already held incorporated, or both. His approach therefore does nothing to stop a judge from arriving at any conclusion he sets out to reach.

    Have fun with the outcry if Heller and McDonald would ever get overturned in the future. Does one believe that a future Supreme Court would overturn them?

    *Note: Block quotes are different excerpts.


    BEST INFORMED (and THOUGHT PROVOKING given the Kagan hearings),
    He recalls what was said it Heller versus what the dissenters are saying (and avoiding saying) now:

    Brett Bellmore says:

    The significant thing about this ruling is that not one member of the Heller minority said, “I opposed Heller, but if it’s a right, it’s incorporated.” Their hostility to this right is unremitting, and I expect that, given the chance, they’d overturn Heller in a heart beat, stare decisis be damned.

    Heller only stands until one member of the majority leaves the Court while a President hostile to the 2nd amendment holds office. Let’s nail down so much before that happens that they don’t have the guts to reverse it all.


    Home source article: http://volokh.com/2010/06/28/second-amendment-binds-state-and-local-governments-via-the-fourteenth-amendment/

    Comment by Cornfed — June 28, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

  2. Re the minority: “Their hostility to this right is unremitting.”

    That’s because it serves as a potential roadblock against advancing statism.

    Self-defense is a natural law right. It is an essential element of “liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration. You don’t have real liberty if you live in fear of a criminal menace and can’t do anything to defend yourself. You don’t have the ability to truly pursue happiness if you can’t protect yourself and your property from those who would harm the first and steal the second.

    Comment by TBlumer — June 28, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

  3. And since when did the “legislative freedom” of the states mean the states have the freedom to craft legislation infringing and/or destroying the rights guaranteed to all citizens of the U.S. by the Constitution?

    Comment by zf — June 28, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

  4. If criminals could get access to a gun, law abiding citizens should have heir right to defend themselves

    Comment by Fresno Lawyer — June 29, 2010 @ 11:47 am

  5. FYI – legal definition of incorporation: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Incorporation+Doctrine
    for those of us who don’t understand legalese. Incorporation is the process of applying the same restrictions on the States as the Federal government in regards to limiting them from restricting individual rights. Here is the check and balance of Federalism that prevents even the States from engaging in tyranny of their own making such as what was going on in Chicago an DC.

    Comment by dscott — June 29, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

  6. Talking of embellishing the truth as regards to the Law. It appears Kagan perpetrated a Fraud Upon the Court. She helped the Clinton Admin lie to the SCOTUS in order to legalize partial birth abortions.


    Like the Supreme Court majority in the prior dispute over the Nebraska ban, Judge Kopf asserted that the ACOG policy statement was entitled to judicial deference because it was the result of an inscrutable collaborative process among expert medical professionals. “Before and during the task force meeting,” he concluded, “neither ACOG nor the task force members conversed with other individuals or organizations, including congressmen and doctors who provided congressional testimony, concerning the topics addressed” in the ACOG statement.

    In other words, what medical science has pronounced, let no court dare question. The problem is that the critical language of the ACOG statement was not drafted by scientists and doctors. Rather, it was inserted into ACOG’s policy statement at the suggestion of then–Clinton White House policy adviser Elena Kagan.

    It seems the tactic of getting experts to bless a report and then ADD stuff later after they signed is something Obama (deep water drilling moratorium) learned from Kagan. Great mentoring there…

    I suppose we don’t get a do over here on partial birth abortions since now it’s settled law? Don’t you just love the circular reasoning liberals use to manipulate the courts, the Constitution must be a living document to bend with the times, make false assertions until proven otherwise and then scream stare decisis when the law would change not to their liking.

    Comment by dscott — June 30, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

  7. Orrin Hatch questions Kagan on her role in partial birth abortion memo and she rationalizes her fraud upon the Court with the ACOG by claiming she was making sure Bill Clinton’s opinion was being represented!!!! Wow…wow…OMG I would never in my life have believed a person could be so BRAZEN about their unethical conduct. Way to go Kagan, I thought I had seen the slickest liars in the world when I went through my divorce a decade back but WOW, I clearly am a hayseed thinking NO ONE could top what I experienced. WOW.



    Comment by dscott — June 30, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

  8. Here are some transcripts of the Hatch/Kagan Q&A:


    To hear Kagan tell it, Bill Clinton was totally against partial birth abortion and Kagan wanted his imprimatur on the ACOG “against” it when IN FACT they were for it. If she spins any faster we would need the NSA’s super computers to decode what she is saying. Up is Down, Left is Right, Black is White, she just tells people what they want to hear irregardless of it’s lack of factual content.

    Comment by dscott — June 30, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

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