Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Our Black Robed Masters

A year or so ago, a lot of gunnies were angry because the NRA would not support a gun case (Silveira v. Lockyer) that they wanted to go to the Supreme Court. They hoped this would decide once and for all whether the government would recognize the Second Amendment as an individual right. The NRA establishment and other gunnies thought this was dangerous because the Supreme Court could be arbitrary and we might end up with our gun rights even more restricted than they are now. In the end, the Supremes denied certiorari and the case faded away—at least for now.

Today, the Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons decided that the execution of minors was Unconstitutional and constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Also, the Supreme Court, with Justice Kennedy in the majority used International Law as a guide in his decision. International Law has also been cited in other Supreme Court cases, Lawerence v. Texas for example. It has also been noted that a majority of countries have banned the practice of executing criminals who are younger than 18.

Now, I am not a big believer in the death penalty and think it is sometimes applied unevenly. I think it should only be used for terrorists and child killers, but that is not the point. What angers me is that 9 unelected old men and women can overthrow two centuries of law and precedent on their personal whim of what is and is not moral. If the American people decide to outlaw the executions of minors then their elected legislators can pass laws disallowing this practice.

But how does this case affect gunnies? Well, if we have a Supreme Court that thinks that International opinion and the UN trump the Constitution and the laws of this nation, how do you think they might decide on a 2nd Amendment case? If International opinion and the UN are anything to go by, then we can kiss our gun freedoms goodbye. The UN has been quite antithetical to the idea that individuals have the right to own firearms. In fact, they hate guns so much, they have a statue right in front of the UN building that is made of melted down guns. I don’t know about you, but I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing that the Supreme Court of the United States thinks that the UN and the International community are good benchmarks for morality.

So how did we get to this point, where we have a Supreme Court that seems to look more to Brussels than the U.S. Constitution and the laws of our land? Well, for a long time, we have had legislators that are basically gutless and craven, who care for little else but getting reelected. So when a difficult issue like gun rights or abortion comes up, they are more than willing to pass the buck and let the courts deal with the issue. It also doesn’t help that the people of this nation have not held lawmakers to account for their unwillingness to tackle difficult issues.

Also, we have a judicial class that answers to nobody and no thing. They are unelected and unaccountable. They have life time tenure and do not have to answer to the voters. They are also the sole arbiters of what is and is not constitutional. So, if the Supreme Court decides that the right to bear arms is archaic or only applies to the National Guard, we have no recourse or appeal.

So what can we do? I have to be honest, I’m not hopeful. This is supposed to be a “Conservative” Supreme Court, but from where I’m standing, the only utility they see in the Constitution is as so much asswipe. I think we will see more of these types of decisions that look to the International community for inspiration. All I can say is that we may be the unfortunate inheritors of the ancient Chinese curse, May you live in interesting times.

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