July 01, 2005


O'Connor is stepping down. That means there'll be a fight in the senate over her replacement. This could get worse if Rehnquist steps down, & everyone is looking for that to happen soon due to his health problems.

Bush will nominate someone close to his own political persuasion if he can. That does not bode well for us. Bush won't be pushing for a strict constructionist who won't yield to federal power. Just. ain't. gonna. happen.

Bush is not pro-gun, not to the extent that it'd be meaningful. In fact the Republican party platform isn't that heartening to gun owners of the non-fuddite persuasion. & for those of you who would point to Ashcroft's letter to the NRA as proof that the Bush administration is pro-gun, I'd ask you to read this from the JPFO.

Getting back to it though, Bush will nominate someone. The big question is who? It probably won't mean a damn thing in the greater scheme of things, but here are my thoughts on who that nominee should be.

Here's the decision to deny an en banc hearing in Silveira v Lockyer. What I would like to point out is the dissent written by Justice Alex Kozinski.

"The majority falls prey to the delusion—popular in some circles - that ordinary people are too careless and stupid to own guns, and we would be far better off leaving all weapons in the hands of professionals on the government payroll. But the simple truth - born of experience - is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people.

All too many of the other great tragedies of history - Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few - were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act required here. If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.

My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons of history. The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed - where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once."

For a more in depth treatment of those words I refer you to the Smallest Minorities post on the subject.

Now for just a minute let's contrast that with AG Gozales:

"The president has made it clear that he stands ready to sign a reauthorization of the federal assault weapons ban if it is sent to him by Congress. I, of course, support the president on this issue."

"He spoke of his brother, who is a Houston SWAT officer, and said, 'I worry about his safety and the types of weapons he will confront on the street."

That was in his testimony before the senate in January.

There has been some talk of trying to appoint Gonzales. I ask you to compare his statement to Kozinski's. Now who do you think would be a better suited Justice; one who understands the constitutional limitiations of government in regards to the Right to Arms, or one who thinks there should be exceptions for gun control the government wants desite a clear prohibition on such?

As Nicki points out, Bush appointed Walton to the D.C. Circuit. Walton, if you'll recall opined that the 2nd confers a collective right to the states rather than an individual one to the people when he dismissed a suit against the D.C. gun ban. (for more on the D.C. gun ban challenges, see Triggerfinger's extensive coverage of Seegars v. Gonzalez & Parker v. D.C.).

I'd love to see Kozinski get nominated & appointed. But I expect someone much closer to Gonzales will get nominated. Whether Bush's first pick gets through is another question entirely. Honestly I'd just be happy with someone who actually understands U.S. v. Miller, but I won't hold my breath.

Posted by Publicola at July 1, 2005 06:41 PM | TrackBack
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