Supreme Test

The test of a nation comes when its established principles are challenged and survive.

Today the United States Supreme Court accepted the Heller (formerly Parker) case, which is a pure test of the intent and original meaning of the constitution’s Second Amendment. This provision, poorly authored as it may have been, preserves the right of the average citizen to own (i.e. “keep”) and use (i.e. “bear”) arms.

I’ve written about this case and Second Amendment origins often enough, so today I want to explore this notion of protecting principles. Oft cited originalism for the Second Amendment shows it was considered a “natural right”, one that was inherent in the act of being (the founding fathers alternately attributed the right as God given, but God has not proffered an opinion on the Heller case, so his opinion is irrelevant).

Indeed, many rights embedded in the Constitution of of that ilk. It was and still is believed that for any sense of freedom to exists, certain rights must be preserved, even when they are generally unpopular (with upwards of 50% of all U.S. homes owning one or more firearms, the right seems to be very popular — certainly more popular than any television program on which Rosie O’Donnell appears). This includes instances of free speech that are patently offensive (but enough about any televised utterance from Rosie O’Donnell).

Take the Ku Klux Klan … and take them far, far away please. It is difficult to conceive of any form of speech more objectionable than the blathering of a Grand Wizard or similarly syphilitic intellect. Yet if I did not defend the right of Klansman to spew their perturbed pondering, then by default I grant the government the right to censor this blog, an occurrence that would make certain detractors delirious with glee, but which would certain ignite a second American revolution.

The Heller case then becomes not a test of gun control — that is the side show. It is a test to determine if the fundamental philosophy of a nation will be preserved. The founding question in this case is “do natural rights exist and are they sacred above the control of the national government?” Were the Supremes to rule against the individual rights theory of firearm ownership, they would be ruling against the very ideology of the nation and thus against the nation itself.

The Heller case is thus a pivotal moment in American history. The outcome will determine if the United States, as originally conceived, will continue, or if it will slowly parish under the vagaries of the judicial branch.

Choose wisely Roberts, Stevens, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer and Alito.


Comments

Supreme Test — 17 Comments

  1. ‘Were the Supremes to rule against the individual rights theory of firearm ownership, they would be ruling against the very ideology of the nation and thus against the nation itself.’

    But shouldn’t a nation be able to update or change it’s ideology?
    I must say i’m not a great fan of American ideals. The land was stolen from it’s native inhabitants who seemed to have more respect for that land than the current occupants, I don’t see much sense of remorse or apology from Americans for this history.

    I sympathize with the Indians more than the Cowboys.

  2. ‘The test of a nation comes when its established principles are challenged and survive.’

    Do the principles of this nation deserve to survive?

    Take for instance in the Declaration of Independence – ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’ – it reminds me of the attitude of a spoilt child, only interested in it’s own gratification, with no sense of collective reponsibility – the pursuit of happiness at what or whose cost? Wouldn’t a more mature, responsible attitude be desirable? Like for instance the Indian proverb -

    ‘Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.’

  3. The structure of the American Constitution is that the people have the power to amend it at will, though the amendment process. For a judge to in effect amend it outside of the defined process is criminal.

  4. ‘The Constitution provides for direct modification through the amendment process. Soon after the Constitution was passed, however, a key court case provided a way for the Supreme Court to modify the interpretation of the Constitution without formal amendments through the process of judicial review.’ – from wikipedia

    Isn’t this ‘judicial review’ happening – how is that criminal?
    Amend the constitution or modify the interpretation – seems difficult to define.

    It all seems hellish complicated and beaurocratic.

  5. Judicial review, as originally conceived in the U.S. law, was a process to curtail the excesses of the other branches of government (Congress and the President) so when they enacted laws repugnant to the Constitution, those laws could be revoked by the court. In other words, judicial review originally was an added protection of rights.

    As tends to happen, the courts later perverted this principle and used it to find ways of allowing unconstitutional enactments to survive (see the recent Kelo property rights case for a particularly repulsive example).

    In reviewing the Constitution, I see no power vested in the judiciary for upholding any law that is in direct violation to the language of the Constitution itself. Ipso facto, it is a criminal act.

  6. A criminal act in whose eyes?

    In the eyes of a moldy old document written more than 200 years ago in an outdated language open to misinterpretation?

    It seems as if people regard the Constitution in much the same way as Christians regard the Bible.

    And anyway, it seems there are other far more ‘unconstitutional’ things going on like possible election rigging, coverups and corruption than worrying about whether it is a right or a privilidge to keep a machine gun in one’s house.

  7. “A criminal act in whose eyes?”

    In the eyes of the people.

    It is difficult for people outside of the United States to understand our notion of government, which is that the “people” hold all power. Our Constitution is our express will. It matters not if it was originally composed over 200 years ago (we have amended it nearly 30 times) It remains our edict on how government will … and will not … work.

    It is when any person with whom we have temporarily given power defies our written will that they enter into criminality. With congress we use a light hand in such offense, un-electing the rubes as necessary. Supreme Court judges are a different matter because we specifically gave them the task of defending our express and written will, and that we purposefully made their removal from office difficult in order to shield them from political pressure and corruption.

    The judiciary is the next-to-the-last defense against the will of the people being violated (the last defense being armed conflict). Therefore, assuring their faithful adherence to the word and intent of each clause of the Constitution is critical … because the alternate cure is horrific.

  8. I wonder if you stand for the Allegiance to the Flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    I wonder if justice was done for all when

    ‘In the nineteenth, the incessant westward expansion of the United States incrementally compelled large numbers of Native Americans to resettle further west, often by force, almost always reluctantly.’
    ‘As many as 100,000 Native Americans eventually relocated in the West as a result of this Indian Removal policy. In theory, relocation was supposed to be voluntary, but in practice great pressure was put on Native American leaders to sign removal treaties. Arguably the most egregious violation of the stated intention of the removal policy was the Treaty of New Echota, which was signed by a dissident faction of Cherokees but not the elected leadership. The treaty was brutally enforced by Jackson, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated four thousand Cherokees on the Trail of Tears.’

    Was it justice when
    ‘President Jackson told people to kill as many American Bison as possible in order to cut out the Plains Indian’s main source of food. At one point, there were fewer than 500 bison left in the Great Plains.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Americans_in_the_United_Stat

    ‘Our Constitution is our express will.’
    ‘It remains our edict on how government will … and will not … work.’

  9. America is a cesspit of corruption and debauchery.
    I’ve been to California, I’ve seen it and suggest you get out, because ‘as parents we know that the company one keeps not only molds the person, but they reflect the type of person one is’.

    Myself I’d rather be regarded as ‘world-class dregs’ than a patriotic American.

  10. America certainly has had unsavory moments in its history. What is important is that the ideal and the framework were designed to keep pushing toward an ever more free society. Even in our earliest days the anti-slavery rabble were active, vocal and never gave up their fight. The same spark lives on today, though the issues are different.

    Hence when the Supreme Court advocates against freedoms enumerated in the Constitution, the very essence and hope for the nation is jeopardized. Without constitutional protections, the ability to keep fighting for freedom becomes impossible, for blacks, for Indians, for women … for anyone.

    As for California, I would be hard pressed to disagree. There is a reason it is referred to as the “land of fruits and nuts.” Thankfully I’m not a parent, so whatever debauchery befalls me here is my own fault.

  11. ‘What is important is that the ideal and the framework were designed to keep pushing toward an ever more free society. ‘

    But what exactly is meant by a ‘free society’ – the freedom to do what one wants, regardless of the consequences, an immature misguided cabal trying to get what they want in the name of ‘freedom’.

    ‘It is not actually “liberty and justice for all”
    but rather,
    “liberty and justice for all rich, white, slave-owning, sexist, genocidal fascists who had the right political connections”. ‘

    How can you be so sure the original intentions behind the Constitution were so good?

    ‘In September 1786, commissioners from five states met in the Annapolis Convention to discuss adjustments to the Articles of Confederation that would improve commerce.’ – from wikipedia

    Improve commerce, is that such a great intention?

    ‘Without constitutional protections, the ability to keep fighting for freedom becomes impossible, for blacks, for Indians, for women … for anyone.’

    I don’t think the fight for freedom is ever impossible.
    The system is already corrupted, and probably always was.

  12. A “free” society is one were government keeps people from purposefully or negligently harming others, and then leave them alone. Through this quaint libertarian philosophy “liberty and justice for all” can be achieved.

    Incidentally, you referenced a meeting to modify the Articles of Confederation. That was a temporary system of government later replaced by the current Constitution.

  13. ‘A “free” society is one were government keeps people from purposefully or negligently harming others, and then leave them alone.’

    What if the government is already purposefully or negligently harming others by it’s evil policies that are causing enviromental destruction and pollution, policies which harm us and future generations.

    And what if the people don’t seem to give a damn.

    How bad do things have to get before people reclaim their power, and when will it all be too late.

    Really I feel each person has to believe that they have more power than just one vote every few years which is of dubious worth, and may not even be counted.
    I think nothing short of a spiritual revolution will bring about change.
    The Dalai Lama can be the king because we already know that he is God.

  14. ‘It’s far too late for anything but magick
    as the future is clearly up for grabs.’ Antero Alli

    Each person has the power to magically transform their own personal life, (by almost turning the perception of it inside out in their own minds) and thereby transform the world in the process.

  15. “Be still and know yourself as the Truth you have been searching for. Be still and let the inherent joy of that Truth capture your drama and destroy it in the bliss of consummation. Be still and let your life be lived by the purpose you were made for. Be still and receive the inherent truth of your heart ”
    Gangaji

  16. ‘As for California, I would be hard pressed to disagree. There is a reason it is referred to as the “land of fruits and nuts”.’

    I can’t help but worry about the innocent souls like Starchild, caught up in such corruption, even though I know that worrying never did anyone any good.

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