What Is Bush Thinking? Ask Fred on 2nd Amend. Rights
joellerose | January 17, 2008 at 07:00 amby
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What has happened is that the Bush Administration has, unbelievably, filed a brief in this case asking that it be returned to the lower court for “fact-finding”. What this really means is that the Bush Justice Dept. wants the lower court to reconsider its finding that D.C.’s gun bans are unconstitutional, and come up with a less definitive decision that attorneys, politicians and gun-control groups can use to find ways to finesse this affirmation of our basic rights.
It takes a little digging to figure out just what is going on here, but it made my Florida vote yesterday (we have early voting in Florida’s primary) for Fred Thompson even more fulfilling to realize that Fred figured out right away what this action meant, and immediately spoke out against it. In fact, I don’t believe any of the other Republican candidates have made statements or are even aware of this development.
I have posted below an excerpt from the RedState.com blog and also a statement from the NRA on this subject:
Gun rights advocates were understandably dismayed when the Bush Administration Justice Department submitted a brief in District of Columbia v. Heller, the big Second Amendment case to be argued later this term, calling for a remand of the case for reconsideration of D.C.'s gun laws under a less demanding constitutional standard. Given the Bush Administration's support for an "individual rights" view of the Second Amendment, many find it incomprehensible that the Administration would not support the D.C. Circuit decision holding D.C.'s draconian gun restrictions unconstitutional. The DoJ's brief is also a potentially unwelcome development in the Presidential race, as it could dampen gun owners' support of GOP candidates.
The Fred Thompson for President, South Carolina bus tour reached Spartanburg today, where the Law & Order TV star candidate fielded questions at Papa's Breakfast Nook from Charlotte, N.C.'s WBT-AM radio talk show host Jeff Katz.
Asked his opinion of the Second Amendment and the Solicitor General's request that the DC Circuit Court remand the appeal back to the trial court for "fact-finding", the lawyer turned Senator from Tennessee said the Bush Administration was "overlawyering" and stated that he opposed remand and that the case should move forward to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The DC District Court in an opinion written by Judge Silberman, struck down the DC ban on the possession of hand guns even in one's own home. Judge Silberman ruled that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to protect one's home with arms that pre-dates the Constitution.
Statement of the National Rifle Association By Wayne LaPierre And Chris Cox On The Pending U.S. Supreme Court Case
Saturday, January 12, 2008
In the coming months, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.’s ban on handgun ownership and self-defense in law-abiding residents’ homes. The Court will first address the question of whether the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as embodied in the Bill of Rights, protects the rights of individuals or a right of the government. If the Court agrees that this is an individual right, they will then determine if D.C.’s self-defense and handgun bans are constitutional.
The position of the National Rifle Association is clear. The Second Amendment protects the fundamental, individual right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms for any lawful purpose. Further, any law infringing this freedom, including a ban on self-defense and handgun ownership, is unconstitutional and provides no benefit to curbing crime. Rather, these types of restrictions only leave the law-abiding more susceptible to criminal attack.
The U.S. Government, through its Solicitor General, has filed an amicus brief in this case. We applaud the government’s recognition that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual right that is “central to the preservation of liberty.” The brief also correctly recognizes that the D.C. statutes ban “a commonly-used and commonly-possessed firearm in a way that has no grounding in Framing-era practice,” the Second Amendment applies to the District of Columbia, is not restricted to service in a militia and secures the natural right of self-defense.
However, the government’s position is also that a “heightened” level of judicial scrutiny should be applied to these questions. The National Rifle Association believes that the Court should use the highest level of scrutiny in reviewing the D.C. gun ban. We further believe a complete ban on handgun ownership and self-defense in one’s own home does not pass ANY level of judicial scrutiny. Even the government agrees that “the greater the scope of the prohibition and its impact on private firearm possession, the more difficult it will be to defend under the Second Amendment.” A complete ban is the kind of infringement that is the greatest in scope. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit correctly ruled that D.C.’s statutes are unconstitutional. We strongly believe the ruling should be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The National Rifle Association will be filing an amicus brief in this case and will provide additional information to our members as this case moves through the legal process.
Please refer questions to NRA Grassroots at 1-800-392-8683.