Sunday, August 8, 2010

Welcome to Our Future

As we prepare to swear in an extraordinarily young (in supreme court terms) justice to the court, there is one thing we know for certain about Elena Kagan: she's a lawyer, through and through.

How do we know that? Because she was asked one of the simplest, most straightforward questions it's possible to ask a human being, much less a supreme court justice, and her answer was utterly and completely meaningless. She has enough legal education swimming around in her head, apparently, that she can over-complicate and obfuscate anything.

Asked if the right to own a firearm for self defense  existed before the constitution was written:
Grassley: The court said in Heller, quote, “It has always been” — and I guess I would put emphasis upon the word “always” — “It’s always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth, codified a pre-existing right.” Do you believe that the Second Amendment codified a pre-existing right? Or was it a right created by the Constitution

Kagan: Senator Grassley, I’ve — I’ve never really considered that question, as to whether the Second Amendment right…
(Really-never gave it a thought? If not in all the constitutional law classes you've taken, all the classes you've taught, even all the prepping for these hearings, at least, you'd have think this came up ONCE, maybe. Right... )
Grassley: Well, it’s basic to our Declaration of Independence that says we’re endowed by our creator with certain — certain individual rights, among them, you know, what it says, and we aren’t endowed by our government. So the question here is, are we endowed by our Constitution with this right or did it exist before the Constitution existed?

Kagan: Well, Senator Grassley, I do think that my responsibility would be to apply the Constitution as understood and previously applied by the court, and that means as understood and — and interpreted by the court in Heller, and that’s what I would do. So I think that the — the fundamental legal question would be whether — that a case would present would be whether the Constitution guarantees an individual right to bear arms, and Heller held that it did, and that’s good precedent going forward.
 And there we have it folks; a question too simple to answer, apparently, when you have the education and background of a Harvard law school dean. A stupid non-lawyer like me would have just said, "Of course", or maybe, "Yes" and been done with it.

This is what we're putting in charge of our country-this woman will have an impact on our lives for the next 30 years, in all likelihood, and she doesn't want to admit that the right to own a firearm existed before it was written down on a paper. Presumably, she believes that about all the other 'rights' that the constitution apparently conferred, rather than acknowledged.

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