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Thread: Justice Thomas Breaks Silence: Tough Questions About Gun Rights

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    Justice Thomas Breaks Silence: Tough Questions About Gun Rights

    ...The comments from Thomas were directed at a government attorney, Ilana H. Eisenstein in a case called Voisine v. United States. The case concerns whether a prior domestic assault conviction based on reckless conduct qualifies as a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence that would block the plaintiffs from possessing a firearm.
    "Everyone leaned in disbelieving," said Slate's Dahlia Lithwick who was in the Court room. "The colloquy went back and forth several times with Thomas pressing the Assistant Solicitor General," Lithwick said.
    "This is a misdemeanor violation," Thomas said at one point to Eisenstein. "It suspends a constitutional right—Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right?" he asked...

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/29/politi...reak-question/
    NOTE: I do not consume CNN. The local news station website I check dropped the story; couldn't even find it with their search feature. So, I had to google for it. The link above is the first return I got.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    it will be truly interesting to see how he votes in the DV case on a misdemeanor eliminating a constitutional right...

    (unintended out come could cause states to make DV a felony...sigh)

    ipse
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    Thomas may be poised to become the court's new conservative voice. He's probably been quietly learning Scalia's ways and now has to take the baton. However, his comment about the Second Amendment was a little troubling:"...possession of a gun, which, at least as of now, is still a constitutional right..."


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    Thomas has always been a strong 2A supporter as it was written. He has expressed these sentiments before.

    NRA and other so called 2A dropped the ball many times while Scalia was still with us. If a clear right to carry without permission had been established it would have been hard to overturn. These groups squandered the court for their own selfish purposes.
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    He also was the lone dissent in Raich.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Thomas has always been a strong 2A supporter as it was written. He has expressed these sentiments before.

    NRA and other so called 2A dropped the ball many times while Scalia was still with us. If a clear right to carry without permission had been established it would have been hard to overturn. These groups squandered the court for their own selfish purposes.
    Well said. When any body of judges sworn to uphold the Constitution rules instead solely and repeatedly down party lines, the system has failed. Integrity is missing.

    While a pro-2A like Thomas is indeed welcome, the system remains broken. The question is, "How can we fix the system?" There must be a way to restore integrity, so that the justices are voting along Constitutional lines, and not those of a political party.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. OO-RAH!!! Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and other founding documents.

    As for President Trump, he's getting the job done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Tom Goldstein: "Ideologues on both the left and right, as well as the public generally, frequently repeat their own received wisdoms that the Supreme Court is an easily categorized institution and that the Justices are committedly "liberal"¯ or "conservative,"¯ with Justice Kennedy as the lone swing vote. Liberals and conservatives also consistently accuse their opposites of being "activists,"¯ a point vividly on display in the Senators' opening statements in the Kagan confirmation hearings. The just-completed Term proves, I think, that those generalizations are often misleading or outright wrong. [much more]"

    http://www.scotusblog.com/2010/06/ev...ourt-is-wrong/

    Also The Oxford Companion to SCOTUS article 'Judicial Activism'

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0195176618

    Briefly reviewing common writings of, on, and about SCOTUS, I found no prohibition of judicial activism or commitment to avoid it.
    Just commenting generally, Nightmare. Not contradicting.

    ----------------------------

    Liberal vs conservative? Judicial activism vs faithfulness to the constitution?

    Phhhhhht!

    History proves one thing for sure about SCOTUS. While they do sometimes vote to protect rights, it has been a net loss across time. Far more small and large decisions that confirmed some expansion of government, or passed up an opportunity to hold the line.

    Kenneth Royce, in his book Hologram of Liberty asks (paraphrase) how many times you have to lose at a game before you start to wonder if the rules are rigged against you?
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    History proves one thing for sure about SCOTUS. While they do sometimes vote to protect rights, it has been a net loss across time. Far more small and large decisions that confirmed some expansion of government, or passed up an opportunity to hold the line.
    Really? Seems like a rather narrow minded view.

    I wonder if blacks, American Indians, women, inter-racial couples, homosexuals, pornographers, abortionists, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Irish, and other previously unpopular minorities would agree with such a myopic view of the progress of this nation.

    In fact, can one point to any society in the secular history of the world where unpopular minorities (and the powerful majority) enjoyed greater protection of their rights than are enjoyed in this nation today?

    A direct answer would be fine.

    Charles
    Last edited by utbagpiper; 03-11-2016 at 11:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Well said. When any body of judges sworn to uphold the Constitution rules instead solely and repeatedly down party lines, the system has failed. Integrity is missing.

    While a pro-2A like Thomas is indeed welcome, the system remains broken. The question is, "How can we fix the system?" There must be a way to restore integrity, so that the justices are voting along Constitutional lines, and not those of a political party.
    The system is working as it should ... maybe you don't understand the system?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Just commenting generally, Nightmare. Not contradicting.

    ----------------------------

    Liberal vs conservative? Judicial activism vs faithfulness to the constitution?

    Phhhhhht!

    History proves one thing for sure about SCOTUS. While they do sometimes vote to protect rights, it has been a net loss across time. Far more small and large decisions that confirmed some expansion of government, or passed up an opportunity to hold the line.

    Kenneth Royce, in his book Hologram of Liberty asks (paraphrase) how many times you have to lose at a game before you start to wonder if the rules are rigged against you?
    Some folks routinely ignore the facts before their very eyes. Terry v. Ohio is the coffin that our 4A was placed into. Kelo is the coffin that our private property right was placed into. Obamacare grants to the feds the ability to tax us for our mere existence.

    Three decisions that pretty much excised the life, liberty, property from constitutional discussions.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    In fact, can one point to any society in the secular history of the world where unpopular minorities (and the powerful majority) enjoyed greater protection of their rights than are enjoyed in this nation today?
    A direct answer would be fine.[/quote]

    Several European countries come to mind, Germany and the UK, in particular. By comparison, the US is playing catch-up, although I'm not sure catching up to nations going over cliffs is a smart thing to do.

    How was that for directness?
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. OO-RAH!!! Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and other founding documents.

    As for President Trump, he's getting the job done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Some folks routinely ignore the facts before their very eyes. Terry v. Ohio is the coffin that our 4A was placed into. Kelo is the coffin that our private property right was placed into. Obamacare grants to the feds the ability to tax us for our mere existence.

    Three decisions that pretty much excised the life, liberty, property from constitutional discussions.
    Please cite the LAW that confirms your statement as fact.

    I looked into that very law and it does not apply the way most people, whom of which have not actually read the law, believe that it does.

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    Last edited by Freedom1Man; 03-14-2016 at 12:40 PM. Reason: K
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Several European countries come to mind, Germany and the UK, in particular. By comparison, the US is playing catch-up, although I'm not sure catching up to nations going over cliffs is a smart thing to do.
    And how are the rights to privacy, RKBA, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, rights against self-incrimination, and general economic freedom (ie tax rates) for minorities (or anyone else) doing in those nations compared to the US?

    Granted, some other nations have done a better job of providing equality between their majorities and their unpopular minorities. But I'd argue that being equal unfree is not nearly as desirable as increasing the freedom of minorities while also increasing freedoms for everyone in several other key areas.

    Charles

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    Please cite the LAW that confirms your statement as fact.

    I looked into that very law and it does not apply the way most people, whom of which have not actually read the law, believe that it does.

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    If it is your choice to not buy health insurance, don't pay the Obamacare tax. It is a free country after all.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    quote: The ACA’s individual mandate requires everyone in the U.S. to have health insurance, unless they qualify for an exemption. If you didn’t qualify, and went without “essential health benefits” for more than three months in 2015, you’ll have to pay a penalty on your coming tax return.

    The penalty’s cost is calculated in one of two ways: You’ll either pay a percentage of your household taxable income — which you’ll figure on your annual tax return — or a flat rate, whichever is greater. Your tax return will also help you determine your penalty amount.


    Each year, the penalty will increase to keep pace with inflation and encourage people to buy coverage.


    For tax year 2015, the ACA penalty is 2% of your household’s annual taxable income, or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, to a maximum of $975.


    For tax year 2016, the penalty will rise to 2.5% of your income, or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, to a maximum of $2,085.


    For tax year 2017 and beyond, the percentage option will remain at 2.5%, but the flat fee will be adjusted for inflation.

    unquote. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/heal...lth-insurance/

    your welcome freedom...do wish you would pay your internet provider tho...

    ipse
    "He who pays the piper calls the tunes..." (OBE as Grape called melody!!)

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

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    But the only way the Feds can collect the Obamacare penalty is from your federal income tax refund. Per the statute, no other collection mechanism exists. So, if the IRS doesn't owe you a refund, but you still owe the Obamacare penalty, that's it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Statkowski View Post
    But the only way the Feds can collect the Obamacare penalty is from your federal income tax refund. Per the statute, no other collection mechanism exists. So, if the IRS doesn't owe you a refund, but you still owe the Obamacare penalty, that's it.
    Well, yes.

    However! It takes only an act of Congress to say that you owe for all the penalties/taxes you didn't pay--plus interest and penalties, thank you.

    That is to say, the statute might today include no mechanism beyond taking it out of your refund. But, that certainly does not mean congress cannot legislate tomorrow a new statute saying you owe for everything you didn't pay in previous years. Meaning, you already "owe" according to the statute. How and whether they collect is a different question. Under the law, you "owe" whether collected or not. According to them, you "owe". The passage of time doesn't erase your "debt". One, two, three years doesn't erase the fact (in their mind) that you "owed" it.

    All it takes is another statute authorizing more stringent collection measures.

    Nothing at all prevents congress from passing, in 2018, a law saying non-payers owe interest and penalties on whatever Obamacare tax was still unpaid 2015-2017 after the refund was seized. Nevermind, the amount "owed" before "interest and penalties".

    I am not advocating paying. I am saying to look further before deciding whether to pay and how much.
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-15-2016 at 08:03 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Statkowski View Post
    But the only way the Feds can collect the Obamacare penalty is from your federal income tax refund. Per the statute, no other collection mechanism exists. So, if the IRS doesn't owe you a refund, but you still owe the Obamacare penalty, that's it.
    Obamacare only applies to those who are subject to Subtile A taxes.

    The average human dwelling in the 50 states is not subject to Subtitle A taxes.

    So while citizens can, under very limited circumstances, be subjected to Subtitle A taxes it is rare.

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    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    freedom, you have been given two cites...opps sorry...

    http://www.hrblock.com/aca-tax-impac...xemptions.html

    with the last showing how the ACA tax wouldn't apply...

    all you have done is say you looked into the law and never produced a single reference cite...now you are ranting about subtitle A 26 USC normal taxation statutes...

    ipse
    "He who pays the piper calls the tunes..." (OBE as Grape called melody!!)

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solus View Post
    freedom, you have been given two cites...opps sorry...

    http://www.hrblock.com/aca-tax-impac...xemptions.html

    with the last showing how the ACA tax wouldn't apply...

    all you have done is say you looked into the law and never produced a single reference cite...now you are ranting about subtitle A 26 USC normal taxation statutes...

    ipse
    https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE...8-sec5000A.htm
    (g) Administration and procedure
    (1) In general

    The penalty provided by this section shall be paid upon notice and demand by the Secretary, and except as provided in paragraph (2), shall be assessed and collected in the same manner as an assessable penalty under subchapter B of chapter 68.
    Socialist security is voluntary (subtitle C) hence no penalties listed for not paying into it. Subtitle A is on the SOURCE of income (citizens abroad and foreigners at home).

    You have not been able to cite any law proving that the Obummer care applies to the citizens of the 50 states.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    So now we have destroyed the good, but not perfect - Health Insurance System - covering 200+ million people, to cover less than 9 million?

    25% Dumped Their ObamaCare Plans Last Year, White House Admits
    http://www.investors.com/politics/ed...-house-admits/

    Don't know how this relates to Justice Thomas and 2A, but Hope and Change have certainly occurred.
    “Men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them"
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    It was the courts that historically denied rights to groups of minorities who behind the curve then "grant" them.

    This does not count as the courts being historically protective of rights.

    Citizen is absolutely correct, the courts have historically eroded rights.

    Even when they claim to rule for rights, instead of making it equal under law they enforce a form of inequality by forcing people to surrender person property rights so that others may have some........its like raping for chastity....doesn't work that way homebre.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    It was the courts that historically denied rights to groups of minorities who behind the curve then "grant" them.
    Examples where the courts have "historically denied rights to groups of minorities" in clear contradiction of the constitution?

    Within our constitutional republic, the courts should not declare, invent, or discover new rights previously unrecognized. They should apply the constitution as written, as the words ere understood at the time they were written.

    That said, one has to take a rather naļve and rose colored view of history to assert that we (minorities or majorities) are much worse off today than we were 200 years ago. Consider on the rights not enjoyed by blacks (slaves or freed), American Indians, Asians, or women in this nation. Remember that children were not much better than chattel to be worked, exploited, or abused as (the rare, bad) parent chose. Remember that while no religious test can exist for federal office, States remained free to not only require specific religious affiliation and activity, but also to levy general taxes to support a state religion. Some choose to do so.

    As just a singular example: "Until 1835 the NC Constitution allowed only Protestants to hold public office. From 1835–1876 it allowed only Christians." And until the 1961 Torcaso v. Watkins SCOTUS case, it ban atheists from public office. (from footnote 5 at wiki article)

    Miranda was not a pleasant person even before the arrest in his most famous case. I don't think there was ever any real doubt about his guilt, and his conduct following release from jail after his second trial and conviction (sans confession) for the rape and kidnapping is additional evidence to me of his guilt.

    He also happened to be Hispanic and lower income. Yet the court used his case to greatly expand the (extra-constitutional) rights of criminal suspects

    As an aside:
    Interestingly, the dissenting justices had some strong words in the Miranda decision. You complain of the loss of property rights if a merchant is not allowed to deny services on the basis of race, religion, or other protected category. That loss of rights seems small in comparison to what Justice Byron White pointed out was a likely effect of Miranda:


    In some unknown number of cases, the Court's rule will return a killer, a rapist or other criminal to the streets and to the environment which produced him, to repeat his crime whenever it pleases him. As a consequence, there will not be a gain, but a loss, in human dignity.

    I'd put it this way: Our constitutional protections are intended to safeguard the rights of the wrongly accused, not to make it easier to commit crimes and escape punishment. When we exceed proper constitutional protections out of an unhealthy distrust of government such that it is too difficult to get convictions, we endanger the rights of every decent member of society.

    (end aside)

    It is not the courts, but the legislatures that have infringed our RKBA. In some early cases, the courts protected RKBA against obviously unconstitutional infringements. Admittedly, in too many other cases the courts have upheld bad laws attacking our RKBA. But I don't recall the courts attacking our RKBA. I recommend Clayton Cramer's short essay, "The Racist Roots of Gun Control" for a fine read. Freely available and easily found online.

    On the flip side, we do have a few cases of the courts grossly infringing on one person's rights in the name of protecting invented rights of another person. I think Roe v Wade is the obvious example as the unborn's very humanity is ignored in favor of some federal right to an elective abortion found in the penumbra of the right to privacy that is established in the written rights to be secure in our persons, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizure.

    Interestingly, I suspect that you would disagree with me about Roe being a case limiting rights, and would instead view it as a protection of a woman's right.

    Bottom line, anti-government emphatic assertion isn't really very compelling.

    I think solid examples do a much better job of making the case.

    Charles
    Last edited by utbagpiper; 03-17-2016 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Correct Typo and clarify

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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    Examples where the courts have "historically denied rights to groups of minorities" in clear contradiction of the constitution?
    <chuckle>

    Oh, you must mean besides Plessy vs Ferguson.

    And, not shooting down the fugitive slave laws.

    And, state courts not shooting down manumission.

    And, state courts not shooting down laws denying arms to even freedmen.

    And, the right* of women to vote which didn't occur until 1920.

    And, bank depositors who were not share-holders to be restored to their deposits even if it meant the bank going out of business.

    And, even the marginal producers being afforded the right to earn a living, instead of being the first level of victims of government machinations in the economy.

    And...

    Etc., etc., etc.

    You must mean besides that long list. That very long list of people sold out by the courts in support of a government who was passing laws at the expense of one group (always in the minority) in order to pander to another.


    *Since women comprise half--roughly--of the population, they are arguably not a minority. But, c'mon. If the courts didn't stand up and shoot down disenfranchisement of half the population, it doesn't take much thought to guess that there are tons and tons and tons of other less-than-majority groups the courts sided against.

    Disclaimer: this is definitely not to say that I hold a right for anyone to vote. I am merely using the arguments of the pro-government crowd within their own context. I hold that a so-called "right" to vote is not a right but a power. And, nobody but nobody has the power to vote to inflict government on another peaceful equal who did not give his express individual consent to be governed by another.
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-17-2016 at 08:24 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    SNIP Within our constitutional republic, the courts should not declare, invent, or discover new rights previously unrecognized.
    And, with that he dispenses with the 9th Amendment. Gone. Deleted.

    "The enumeration in the constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Only "recognized" rights count in Utbagpiper's view.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitu...inth_amendment

    Only previously "recognized" rights count. Recognized, as in, recognized by government--the very people rights are intended to restrain. Yeah, suuuuuuure.

    One does wonder how, just for one example, in a system made very complex by the machinations of rights-deniers, he would ever overturn a wrong decision. Lets say Plessy v Ferguson. SCOTUS decidedly refused to recognize the rights of blacks. Officially, their rights were not only not recognized, but expressly un-recognized (denied). Now, this is just one example. But, the principle holds: their rights were not recognized. So, he would have us believe that their rights should have never, ever been recognized because, quite simply, after express un-recognition, their rights would have to be "discovered" (his word). According to him, any court should have denied Rosa Park's right to sit down on that bus.

    But, his view is even worse. One of the concepts of law is something called equity. One of the meanings of equity includes the general concept that the law cannot envision every circumstance. It cannot take into account every situation. So, judges are empowered (in a broad, general sense) to rectify inequities brought about the failure of the law to anticipate all circumstances. That's just a fancy, long-winded way of saying judges are allowed to make just decisions where applying the law as written would result in an injustice. That's why their called judges, dang it.

    But, Utbagpiper just shot down, destroyed, nullified, and erased the power of judges to rectify the inability of the law to anticipate every set of circumstances. which is just another way of saying the rights of the individual are senior to the law. No. Only "recognized" rights count in Utbagpiper's view.

    Moreover, Utbagpiper's view would force every decent judge to rule against his conscience--his view of equity. Utbagpiper's view turns judges into slaves of the law, rather than allowing them to be judges of how best to apply or not apply the law to the individual brought before him to face the awesome power of the state based on the law and their "recognized" rights.

    Please do understand that Utbagpiper's view means that no judge anywhere can decide a case even on human decency--on all those rights we instinctively know we should grant another, but never ended up being written down in the law.
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-17-2016 at 08:59 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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