Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Thank you, Justice Stevens and Mrs. Obama

Friday, October 28, 2011

In case any reader of our weekly Grassroots Alert has not decided how to vote in the 2012 presidential election, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and First Lady Michelle Obama have volunteered to help him make up his mind.

Recently, Time magazine asked Stevens what he would fix about the American judicial system. Stevens' response:  "I would make all my dissents into majority opinions."  Fair enough, since he's entitled to think he is right, even when a majority of his former colleagues and a larger majority of the American citizenry disagree.

But then Time asked Stevens to single out one issue in particular, and he said, "I would change the interpretation of the Second Amendment." Referring to the Court's decisions in the Heller and McDonald cases that the Second Amendment protects individuals from federal, state and local infringements on their right to possess and carry arms, he added "The court got that quite wrong."

In his dissent in Heller, Stevens claimed that "there is no indication that the Framers of the [Second] Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution." And in his dissent in McDonald, he claimed that even if one assumed the Fourteenth Amendment protects a general right to self-defense, that didn't mean that a person has a right to have a handgun. As if to suggest some logic to his theory, Stevens said "while some might favor handguns, it is not clear that they are a superior weapon for lawful self-defense."

We have earlier noted the comment of another of the four justices who dissented from the majority's Heller and McDonald opinions, Stephen Breyer, to the effect that District of Columbia residents who don't like the city's onerous gun laws should go to Maryland. And Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, another of the Heller and McDonald dissenters, has publicly indicated her hope that a "future, wiser court" will reconsider the Heller decision.

Of course, Justice Stevens and another of the four dissenting justices in Heller, Justice David Souter, have since retired and been replaced by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who dissented from the majority's decision in McDonald, and Justice Elena Kagan, who joined the Court in August 2010 and who had a clear anti-gun record during her service in the Clinton White house.

Sotomayor and Kagan were nominated to the Court by President Barack Obama, of course. And not long ago, during a pre-2012 campaign event, First Lady Michelle Obama asked some of the president's most ardent supporters to remember the Court's two newest justices when they go into the voting booth next year. In the upcoming election, she said, "we're going to make a choice that will impact our lives for decades to come . . . let's not forget what it meant when my husband appointed those two brilliant Supreme Court justices . . . let's not forget the impact that their decisions will have on our lives for decades to come."

Obama supporters will not forget, and neither should supporters of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment's margin of safety on the Court remains intact by merely one vote. Given the likelihood of at least one retirement from the Court during the next presidential term, the future of the amendment could easily hinge on Election Day 2012.

TRENDING NOW
California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Thursday, April 18, 2019

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Today, the California Department of Justice issued a “Notice of Modification” to their proposed regulations regarding the soon to be implemented ammunition background check procedures. As a result of these changes, a second 15-day public ...

Heeee’s Baaack: Bill Clinton Peddles Gun Control on a Wish and a Lie

News  

Friday, April 19, 2019

Heeee’s Baaack: Bill Clinton Peddles Gun Control on a Wish and a Lie

Proving there is no statute of limitations on political opportunism, this week former President Bill Clinton used the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the tragic school shooting in Littleton, Colo. to pen an op-ed pushing ...

Indiana: Important Self-Defense Bill Passes Legislature, On to Governor

Monday, April 22, 2019

Indiana: Important Self-Defense Bill Passes Legislature, On to Governor

On April 22nd, both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly voted to concur with the amendments made to House Bill 1284 during the conference committee process.  HB 1284 has been amended to now include many ...

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

On April 22nd, the Maine Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Legislative Document 1312, which would allow for firearms to be seized and Second Amendment rights to be suspended without due process. 

New York Times Admits Privately-Funded “Gun Violence” Research is a Thing

News  

Friday, April 19, 2019

New York Times Admits Privately-Funded “Gun Violence” Research is a Thing

The New York Times – the “paper of record” – reports that “Gun Research is Suddenly Hot.” While we’re happy to see the Times has finally acknowledged that “gun research” can survive federal restrictions on taxpayer funded gun control ...

California: Legislature Returns from Spring Break

Sunday, April 21, 2019

California: Legislature Returns from Spring Break

The California Legislature returns from spring recess this week and seven different committees are considering bills that could impact your rights. 

News  

Monday, April 22, 2019

With Proposed Federal Legislation, Anti-gun Advocates Seek to Impose May-Issue Gun Ownership

In 1987, only ten states had concealed carry laws that treated the Right-to-Carry in a manner consistent with our constitutional right to bear arms. Understanding that the whims and prejudices of government officials are incompatible ...

Media Continues to Cause Distorted Fear of School Violence

News  

Friday, April 19, 2019

Media Continues to Cause Distorted Fear of School Violence

When it comes to the wellbeing of today’s youth, one would think that all could agree that provoking unnecessary fear should be avoided. That apparently is not the case, however, when it comes to pushing ...

President to Speak at 148th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 26

News  

Monday, April 22, 2019

President to Speak at 148th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 26

President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will address NRA members at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum on Friday, April 26, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The complete list of ...

Pittsburgh Residents Seek Preliminary Injunction Against Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines

News  

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Pittsburgh Residents Seek Preliminary Injunction Against Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines

With support from the NRA, gun owners challenging Pittsburgh’s ban on publicly carrying loaded magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds filed a motion today seeking a preliminary injunction. If the motion is granted, ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.