Gun Rights Case: Supreme Court rules that all Americans have a fundamental Right to bear Arms
The Supreme Court ruled for the first time Monday that the Second Amendment provides all Americans a fundamental right to bear arms, a long-sought victory for gun rights advocates who have chafed at federal, state and local efforts to restrict gun ownership.
The court was considering a restrictive handgun law in Chicago and one of its suburbs that was similar to the District law that it ruled against in 2008. The 5 to 4 decision does not strike any other gun control measures currently in place, but it provides a legal basis for challenges across the country where gun owners think that government has been too restrictive.
“It is clear that the Framers . . . counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the conservatives on the court. The victory might be more symbolic than substantive, at least initially. Few cities have laws as restrictive as those in Chicago and Washington.
The guns case was the logical sequel to the court’s 5 to 4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. That decision established for the first time that the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms” referred to an individual right, not one related to military service. But the decision that there is a right to keep a gun in one’s home did not extend beyond the federal government and its enclaves such as Washington.
Elena Kagan labels KKK and NRA as ‘bad guy’ organizations
Washington (CNN) — A conservative magazine suggests Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is “hostile” to gun owners, based on notes she wrote in the Clinton White House in 1996.
The notes were released last week by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. Kagan worked in the White House Counsel’s office in 1995 and 1996. Kagan, 50, was nominated to the high court May 10 by President Obama, and her confirmation hearings begin June 28.
The disclosure coincided with the release Friday afternoon of about 80,000 more documents. A March 1996 document is likely to stir conservative anger. In it, she labeled the Ku Klux Klan and the National Rifle Association as “bad guy” organizations.
The issue was a pending bill, the Volunteer Protection Act, which gave some volunteer workers from a range of nonprofits a measure of liability protection from lawsuits. Kagan expressed concern that certain groups might be included in a “Cumulative List” of tax-exempt groups that would be covered under the proposed law.
Kagan addressed her handwritten thoughts, based on a conversation with Clinton aide Fran Allegra, who responded that day that neither the KKK nor the NRA was on the list provided by the Internal Revenue Service. Allegra gently advised his colleague, “We probably need to be careful about suggesting ‘bad’ organizations will qualify for the provision bill as it would suggest we are allowing ‘bad’ organizations to qualify for tax-exempt status.” The measure was passed into law in 1997, but ultimately vetoed by Congress. Allegra is now a federal judge.
The National Review first reported about the notes, and asked on its website, “Is Kagan so hostile to gun rights that she would compare the top gun-rights organization in the United States with a viciously racist hate group?”
June 29, 2010
2nd Amendment Double Header
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