The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
UPDATED Another reason to Vote for Fred: he Respects the Second Amendment
We've talked before here about the big gun rights case before the Supreme Court, in which a Federal District Court overturned the District of Colombia's handgun ban as a violation of citizens' 2nd Amendment rights. The Appeals Court has upheld this decision. Now the same Appeals Court has been asked to send the law back for further factfinding, instead of allowing it to proceed to the Supreme Court, where it would likely be upheld as well. This would be huge case because if the Supreme Court were to determine that DC cannot ban handguns, it might serve to negate such bans in any other municipality (or State?). As a proud gun owner who worked hard to get my concealed carry license, this case is of great interest to me--although I am relieved to live in a State where gun rights are taken seriously enough that its Legislature has acted on this already, including Texas' new "Castle Doctrine" law.
Which is why I am completely befuddled that fellow Texan President Bush has allowed his Justice Department to file a friend of the court brief in favor of the DC ban--i.e. to remand the law back for "rewriting" rather allowing it to be heard by the Supreme Court, who have I believe already agreed to hear the case. It is really difficult for me (and others) to get behind why Bush did this, because he has generally favored gun rights laws in the past, including allowing the Federal ban on certain types of weapons to expire.
In any case, Fred Thompson weighed in on this today, and he has once again proven himself to be a strong advocate of Gun Rights, although one could make a giant stretch and also view this as a departure from Fred's staunch Federalism (i.e. allowing that the "Various States" might be allowed to have a voice in the matter...). In any case, the District of Colombia is not a State, so I think in this specific case there is not necessarily a conflict for Fred here. Via Jonothan Adler in The Corner (h/t Glenn), another reason why Fred deserves your vote (are you listening, South Carolina?):
Fred Hits DoJ for "Overlawyering" Gun Rights Case
Gun rights advocates were understandably dismayed when the Bush Administration Justice Department submitted a brief in District of Columbia v. Heller, the big Second Amendent case to be argued later this term, calling for a remand of the case for reconsideration of D.C.'s gun laws under a less demanding constitutional standard. Given the Bush Administration's support for an "individual rights" view of the Second Amendment, many find it incomprehensible that the Administration would not support the D.C. Circuit decision holding D.C.'s draconian gun restrictions unconstitutional. The DoJ's brief is also a potentially unwelcome development in the Presidential race, as it could dampen gun owners' support of GOP candidates.
I do not know whether any of the other campaigns have taken notice of the DoJ brief, but Fred has. As reported on RedState, Thompson accused the administration of "overlawyering" the case. After all, if an individual rights view of the Second Amendment does not proscribe an outright ban on handgun possession, there is not much left of the rights it purportedly protects.
There are other candidates this case could impact in this election year. Rudy Giuliani is running as we speak on his record in "cleaning up" New York City, which included enacting a handgun ban there. Now I find it hard to see where New York can find justification to deprive any law abiding citizens of the right to protect themselves in Gotham--but should the Supreme Court uphold the Appellate Court's ruling on this, it could become quite interesting politically for Rudy, who has sort of straddled the fence on this issue with a pro-Second Amendment stance except for "special circumstances." And if the DC law is certified to be unconstitutional, well, New York City isn't one of the "Various States" either, now is it...
Well, I guess only a "man of God" like the Huckster is qualified to decide such matters for the rest of us...