Sunday, July 4, 2010

Governed or Oppressed? Part II-Lies Without Consequences

Most lies have consequences, whether they're personal, professional or legal. But some lies apparently don't-lies told to the American people, in public and on record.

Let's watch a Supreme Court nominee lie to us when she's being questioned about the Second Amendment:

The committee's chairman, Patrick Leahy, first told Sotomayor that he enjoys target shooting on a regular basis back home in Vermont and then asked, referring to Heller, "Is it safe to say you accept the Second Amendment is an individual right?" Sotomayor answered plainly, "Yes sir," and added, "I understand how important the right to keep and bear arms is to many people; one of my godchildren is a member of the NRA."

To the SenateJudiciary Committee, Justice Sotomayor repeatedly averred that Heller is "settled law." The Associated Press reported that Sen. Mark Udall, Colorado Democrat, "said Sotomayor told him during a private meeting that she considers the 2008 ruling that struck down a Washington, D.C., handgun ban as settled law that would guide her decisions in future cases."

How do we know she was lying? Easy-just look at one of her first major decisions after being seated as a Justice, joining the dissent against the McDonald decision that affirmed that the second amendment was an individual right:

The Breyer-Sotomayor-Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissent urged that Heller be overruled and declared, "In sum, the Framers did not write the Second Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed self defense."

(Of course, it's terrifying that a Supreme Court Justice doesn't believe you have a constitutional right to armed self defense, but that's a different story. We're just focusing on the lies here.)

So what are the consequences for this lie-nothing. Unlike what would happen if you or I lied under oath to Congress, Justice Sotomayor went home and probably ate dinner, maybe watched a little TV. She wasn't arrested and charged with perjury.

And when the laws that apply to you and me don't apply to 'them', are we governed-or oppressed?

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