McDonald Quotes by Justice Alito

Monday 28 June 2010 - Filed under Firearms + SCOTUS

More quotes from McDonald v City of Chicago:

Self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day, and in Heller, we held that individual self-defense is “the central component” of the Second Amendment right. (footnote removed)

[. . .]

In sum, it is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.

Further evidence that the political left is obsessed with race, and that they clearly view government oppression as both vital to the health of the state and its citizens, as well as the proper way to govern when it sees fit to do so, but only so long as the state does not oppress on the basis of race.

Despite all this evidence [that the right to bear arms is fundamental to our way of ordered liberty and has been since the founding], municipal respondents contend that Congress, in the years immediately following the Civil War, merely sought to outlaw “discriminatory measures taken against freedmen, which it addressed by adopting a non-discrimination principle” and that even an outright ban on the possession of firearms was regarded as acceptable, “so long as it was not done in a discriminatory manner.” Brief for Municipal Respondents 7. They argue that Members of Congress overwhelmingly viewed §1 of the Fourteenth Amendment “as an antidiscrimination rule,” and they cite statements to the effect that the section would outlaw discriminatory measures. Id., at 64. This argument is implausible.

First, while §1 of the Fourteenth Amendment contains “an antidiscrimination rule,” namely, the Equal Protection Clause, municipal respondents can hardly mean that §1 does no more than prohibit discrimination. If that were so, then the First Amendment, as applied to the States, would not prohibit nondiscriminatory abridgments of the rights to freedom of speech or freedom of religion; the Fourth Amendment, as applied to the States, would not prohibit all unreasonable searches and seizures but only discriminatory searches and seizures—and so on. We assume that this is not municipal respondents’ view, so what they must mean is that the Second Amendment should be singled out for special—and specially unfavorable—treatment. We reject that suggestion.

And even further evidence that the political left is primarily concerned with the primacy of the state with individuals being subject to said state, even to the point of enduring oppression:

Third, if the 39th Congress had outlawed only those laws that discriminate on the basis of race or previous condition of servitude, African Americans in the South would likely have remained vulnerable to attack by many of their worst abusers: the state militia and state peace officers. In the years immediately following the Civil War, a law banning the possession of guns by all private citizens would have been nondiscriminatory only in the formal sense. Any such law—like the Chicago and Oak Park ordinances challenged here—presumably would have permitted the possession of guns by those acting under the authority of the State and would thus have left firearms in the hands of the militia and local peace officers. And as the Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction revealed, see supra, at 24–25, those groups were widely involved in harassing blacks in the South. (emphasis added)

“But, but militias and guns and that’s all, or something!”

Fifth, the 39th Congress’ response to proposals to disband and disarm the Southern militias is instructive. Despite recognizing and deploring the abuses of these militias, the 39th Congress balked at a proposal to disarm them. See 39th Cong. Globe 914; Halbrook, Freedmen, supra, 20–21. Disarmament, it was argued, would violate the members’ right to bear arms, and it was ultimately decided to disband the militias but not to disarm their members. See Act of Mar. 2, 1867, §6, 14 Stat. 485, 487; Halbrook, Freedmen 68–69; Cramer 858–861. It cannot be doubted that the right to bear arms was regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as the States legislated in an evenhanded manner.

“But we need to treat some rights as inferior to others because cherry-picking which rights re important is our middle name!  We are, afterall, the literati of the “academic elite” which means we definitely know what’s best.”

Municipal respondents’ remaining arguments are at war with our central holding in Heller: that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home. Municipal respondents, in effect, ask us to treat the right recognized in Heller as a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees that we have held to be incorporated into the Due Process Clause.

For example, many of the rights that our Bill of Rights provides for persons accused of criminal offenses are virtually unique to this country. If our understanding of the right to a jury trial, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to counsel were necessary attributes of any civilized country, it would follow that the United States is the only civilized Nation in the world.

“But states should be allowed to “experiment” with their own forms of gun control that they deem “proper”!!!”

Municipal respondents assert that, although most state constitutions protect firearms rights, state courts have held that these rights are subject to “interest-balancing” and have sustained a variety of restrictions. Brief for Municipal Respondents 23–31. In Heller, however, we expressly rejected the argument that the scope of the Second Amendment right should be determined by judicial interest balancing, 554 U. S., at ___–___ (slip op., at 62– 63), and this Court decades ago abandoned “the notion that the Fourteenth Amendment applies to the States only a watered-down, subjective version of the individual guarantees of the Bill of Rights,” Malloy, supra, at 10–11 (in- ternal quotation marks omitted).

2010-06-28  »  madlibertarianguy