Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Being a gentleman of decency, restraint, and a high regard for the social niceties, I elected not to pursue my momentary desire to utilize my extensive martial arts training in order to break both their necks and thereby prevent the evolutionary horrors the two of them might one day unleash upon an unsuspecting planet should they ever happen to stumble upon a method of propagating their brainless species.

Call it the Art of Enlightened Condescension or the Zen of Contempt, whatever you like, but the only other serious option is to withdraw into a hermit’s cave and never communicate with the larger part of humanity again. – “Vox Day,” The importance of condescension

I Just Spoke to Alan Gura

I Just Spoke to Alan Gura

No, I’m not kidding.

I called his office number hoping to leave him a message on his answering machine. He picked up the phone.

I congratulated him on the win, and thanked him for all the work he did to get us here today.

Good news: Alan is working with the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association in the lawsuit they filed this morning against Chicago’s handgun ban. More information is available at ChicagoGunCase.com. There will be a press release tomorrow, but right now it says:

Following Thursday’s (5-4) ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms, and that a municipal gun ban violates that right, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) filed a federal lawsuit (complaint) challenging the City of Chicago’s long-standing handgun ban.

“Chicago’s handgun ban has failed to stop violent crime,” SAF founder Alan Gottlieb stated. “It’s time to give the Constitution a chance.”

Go! Read!

We live in interesting times, indeed!



The decision was, unsurprisingly, 5-4 on partisan lines: Justice Breyer dissented, joined by Justices Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg. One opinion on each side, so there goes that fear.

Correction: TWO dissents, not one.

A link to the decision as soon as it is available.

The decision is HERE (157 page PDF file).

First excerpt, p. 1:

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

(Emphasis mine.)

Last update for me this morning:

Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

So licensing and registration is not “infringement.”

Fuck THAT.

Interesting Statistics

Interesting Statistics

SCOTUSblog is running three polls on its live coverage.

The questions are:

Why are you following our coverage today: A) the Heller decision, B) another reason.

Heller: 96%

Are you A) a lawyer, B) a law student or C) neither.

A) 18% B) 14%, C) 68%

How many firearms do you own: A) 0, B) 1, C) 2, D) more than 2

A) 26% B) 6% C) 4% D) 63%

Are you a member of the NRA? A) yes, B) no

A) 46% B) 54%

They’re paying attention, too:

We will know the result in the Heller case almost immediately — i.e., affirmed, reversed, or vacated and remanded. But the nuances will be critical and we won’t get the opinion itself for a few minutes. So be patient.

But I WANT IT NOW!!!! 😉

SCOTUSblog is concerned by the level of interest:

Note that we’re temporarily disabling comments to make sure the server isn’t overrun.

UPDATE: New poll question: Are you pleased with the decision in Heller?

86% YES, 14% NO.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome. – Robert A. Heinlein To Sail Beyond the Sunset

The Heller decision will be handed down a little bit later this morning. That decision will help tell us just how far our “cancer of democracy” has metastasized in the body politic.

Do They WANT Vigilantism

Today’s Kennedy v. Louisiana Supreme Court ruling (PDF file) is another 5-4 “victory” for the politically Left-leaning members of the Court. Beginning at page seven in the decision is a graphic description of what the scrote did to his eight year old stepdaughter. That description begins:

Petitioner’s crime was one that cannot be recounted in these pages in a way sufficient to capture in full the hurt and horror inflicted on his victim or to convey the revulsion society, and the jury that represents it, sought to express by sentencing petitioner to death.

He’s right. By the end of it I was wondering why the sack of excrement was still breathing. This is Louisiana, right? Don’t they have a lot of swamp and alligators down there?

I have a nine year old granddaughter. If some subhuman did this to her, I’d sit in a prison cell for the rest of my life, or take the needle content in knowing that he’d never do it to anyone else – ever, at the same time anguished that I hadn’t prevented it in the first place. I’ve made this point before.

Justice Alito wrote the dissent. It begins on page 42:

The Court today holds that the Eighth Amendment categorically prohibits the imposition of the death penalty for the crime of raping a child. This is so, according to the Court, no matter how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted, and no matter how heinous the perpetrator’s prior criminal record may be. The Court provides two reasons for this sweeping conclusion: First, the Court claims to have identified “a national consensus” that the death penalty is never acceptable for the rape of a child; second, the Court concludes, based on its “independent judgment,” that imposing the death penalty for child rape is inconsistent with ” ‘the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.’ ” Because neither of these justifications is sound, I respectfully dissent.

He then goes into a heavily annotated and deeply legal discussion of the existing precedents, but to my mind this is the key graph of the dissent:

The Court is willing to block the potential emergence of a national consensus in favor of permitting the death penalty for child rape because, in the end, what matters is the Court’s “own judgment” regarding “the acceptability of the death penalty.” Although the Court has much to say on this issue, most of the Court’s discussion is not pertinent to the Eighth Amendment question at hand. And once all of the Court’s irrelevant arguments are put aside, it is apparent that the Court has provided no coherent explanation for today’s decision.

(My emphasis.) In essence, Alito just illustrated that the court did what Alex Kozinski called constitutionalizing their personal preferences – “build(ing) magnificent legal edifices on elliptical constitutional phrases – or even the white spaces between lines of constitutional text.”

Today on the Hugh Hewitt radio program Hugh had “the Smart Guys” on again – Law professor (and now Dean of the new U.C. Irvine School of Law) Erwin Chemerinsky and Chapman University Dean John Eastman. Chemerinsky was ecstatic over the “evolving standards of decency” language of the decision. I’m trying to get a transcript of that portion of the show, because it is a textbook example of “Living Document” interpretation of the Constitution, and Alito points it out here. Alito makes one more excellent point:

The Court’s final — and, it appears, principal — justification for its holding is that murder, the only crime for which defendants have been executed since this Court’s 1976 death penalty decisions, is unique in its moral depravity and in the severity of the injury that it inflicts on the victim and the public. But the Court makes little attempt to defend these conclusions.

With respect to the question of moral depravity, is it really true that every person who is convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death is more morally depraved than every child rapist? Consider the following two cases. In the first, a defendant robs a convenience store and watches as his accomplice shoots the store owner. The defendant acts recklessly, but was not the triggerman and did not intend the killing.

In the second case, a previously convicted child rapist kidnaps, repeatedly rapes, and tortures multiple child victims. Is it clear that the first defendant is more morally depraved than the second?

One wonders how Justice Alito managed to refrain from accusing the Court’s majority in this case of moral depravity of their own.

As an aside, my boss has his own idea as to how child-rapists should be punished.

In Premature Celebration…

…I’m going to spend the rest of my short evening loading 100 rounds of .308 Winchester with 155 grain Lapua Scenar bullets and Varget powder. I need to make a trip to the range this weekend, and I want to see how the 5R likes the lighter projectile.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Oh, THAT Should Be Fascinating

Oh, THAT Should Be Fascinating

The D.C. Wire reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court today did not release its long-awaited ruling on whether the District’s handgun ban violates the Second Amendment. That means the potentially landmark decision will almost certainly come tomorrow morning when the court is planning to issue the last of its rulings for the term. The case, District of Columbia v. Heller, which was argued nearly four months ago, could settle the decades-old debate over whether the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to own firearms.

Mayor Adrain M. Fenty is planning to hold a news conference at the John A. Wilson Building after the decision is announced.

It should be every bit as well-reasoned and factual as his last one.

And the Verdict IS

And the Verdict IS…

Exxon v. Baker – $2.5 Billion in punitive damages was too much. $507.5 million, tops, to match the compensatory damages.

Kennedy v. Louisiana – baby-rapers don’t get the death penalty unless you can prove an intent to commit murder. If no one died, then… No one dies.

One more opinion pending today (leaving four for Thursday)…. (@ 10:11 Eastern time)

Giles v. California. I’m not real sure what this one is, but Scalia wrote the majority opinion. You can read it here. (PDF file)

SCOTUSblog says “at least one more decision coming” leaving three for Thursday…

No Heller today. I guess the Justices want to be on a plane out of town when that one hits the 6 o’clock news. Thursday it is.

The last decision of the day is Plains Commerce v. Long Family Land and Cattle. Be still, my beating heart. Another 5-4 wherein the eeeevil right-wing has stolen more from the Red Man. Ginsberg, Stevens, Souter and Breyer dissented.

The Court has announced that “all of its remaining opinions” will be released tomorrow at 10:00AM Eastern.

Heller is tomorrow, for sure. It will not carry over.

UPDATE: Read this related piece at Concurrent Opinions.