May 30, 2009

Wreckin’ Da ‘Mendment

Wolf here.

First off, I just want to say that Seth is doing fine, he’s up in what he likes to call “them thar hills” for the moment, and has told me to pass on that when he comes back into town, he will resume posting, which he has missed doing terribly, as time permits.

The “publish” capability of Hard Astarboard was impaired for a long time, but Word Press herein has now been upgraded.

I just finished reading an interesting dramatized biography he gave me not long ago;

Citizen Tom Paine, by Howard Fast
1943 First Edition, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York

Pretty good, interesting take on the life of one of the folks who helped get the colonists fired up enough to kick the Brits to hell out of here and let us get on with building the greatest country in the history of the planet — one that, I’m sorry to say, seems to be backsliding something fierce in that regard.

Oh, the title of this post?

It’s about The Honorable Barack Hussein’s pick to replace the retiring Justice Souter in the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, and her stance on the Second Amendment.

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor ruled in January 2009 that states do not have to obey the Second Amendment’s commandment that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

In Maloney v. Cuomo, Sotomayor signed an opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that said the Second Amendment does not protect individuals from having their right to keep and bear arms restricted by state governments.

The opinion said that the Second Amendment only restricted the federal government from infringing on an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. As justification for this position, the opinion cited the 1886 Supreme Court case of Presser v. Illinois.

“It is settled law, however, that the Second Amendment applies only to limitations the federal government seeks to impose on this right,” said the opinion. Quoting Presser, the court said, “it is a limitation only upon the power of Congress and the national government, and not upon that of the state.”

Settled law?

Presser vs Illinois.

The excerpt from which Sotomayor milks her “precedent” reads,

The provision in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” is a limitation only on the power of Congress and the national government, and not of the States. But in view of the fact that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force of the national government as well as in view of its general powers, the States cannot prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security.

However,

The provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution that “no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” does not prevent a State from passing such laws to regulate the privileges and immunities of its own citizens as do not abridge their privileges and immunities as citizens of the United States.

Unless restrained by their own Constitutions, State legislatures may enact statutes to control and regulate all organizations, drilling, and parading of military bodies and associations, except those which are authorized by the militia laws of the United States.

This is a turnaround:

Usually, the Democrats make federal cases out of issues that should be up to states to decide. This time, they’re trying to make a state issue out of a federal case, unusual in that they could save time and hassle by simply letting the usual liberal judges legislate from the bench.

This could lead to some serious complications for all of us law abiding firearms owners. Imagine being in a state in which there was a liberal, anti-Second Amendment legislature and/or governor, and having a Supreme Court decision toss the fate of your right to keep and bear arms into the hands of that cabal of anti-Constitution, anti-freedom lefties!

All of us Americans who cherish our right to keep and bear arms need to be in contact with our representatives and our senators on Capital Hill to make damn sure that they know what to do when the confirmation vote for Sotomayor comes up.

On another Sonia Sotomayor note, regarding her now infamous verbal “gaff”, James Taranto at Best Of The Web Today had some fun yesterday.

…what about the substance of their criticism? Was the comment in question racist in character? That depends. Here is the quote in dispute:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

We’ll discount the “I would hope” and assume what follows is a statement of belief, not just aspiration. Here is Merriam-Webster’s definition of racism:

1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

By the first definition, Sotomayor’s statement is not racist, even assuming that “Latina” is a racial category. She is quite clear that her belief in the superior decision-making skills of “a wise Latina woman” as compared with “a white male” is contingent on culture and experience, not rooted in some essential racial difference.

Sotomayor’s statement is, however, an expression of prejudice, an exercise in stereotyping.

It reminds us of an exchange on an early episode of “All in the Family,” which we caught as part of a retrospective aired earlier this week on the TV Land cable network. Archie Bunker and the Meathead are arguing over a brochure advertising a slate of candidates for local office:

Archie: What’s the matter with this? I call this representative government. You’ve got Salvatori, Feldman, O’Reilly, Nelson–that’s an Italian, a Jew, an Irishman and a regular American there. That’s what I call a balanced ticket.

Meathead: Why do you always have to label people by nationality?

Archie: ‘Cause, how else are you going to get the right man for the right job? For instance, take Feldman there. He’s up for treasurer. Well, that’s perfect. All them people know how to handle money. Know what I mean?

Meathead: No, I don’t.

Archie: Well, then you got Salvatori running for D.A. He can keep an eye on Feldman. You know, I want to tell you something about the Italians. When you do get an honest one, you really got something there.

Meathead: Aw, c’mon, Arch.

Archie: Well, then here you got O’Reilly, the mick. He can see that the graft is equally spread around, you know. You got Nelson, the American guy. He’s good for TV appearances, to make the rest of them look respectable.

Like Sotomayor, Archie is not propounding a theory of racial or ethnic supremacy but describing the world in terms of culturally contingent stereotypes. He is engaging in identity politics.

What’s fascinating about this is that the Meathead (played by Rob Reiner) is a peer of La Jueza Empática: She was born in 1954; Reiner, in 1947. But the liberalism of “All in the Family” is not the liberalism of the baby boomers. It is that of an earlier generation–Archie Bunker’s generation. Series creator Norman Lear and Carroll O’Connor, who played Archie, were born in 1922 and 1924, respectively.
Today, you can easily imagine a conservative uttering the Meathead’s earnest query: “Why do you always have to label people by nationality?” But somewhere along the line, liberalism lost its ideals and adopted Archie Bunker’s theory of representative government.

Heh.

Wolf Out.

by @ 2:04 pm. Filed under Politics As Usual, The Court, The U.S. Constitution