Friday, January 18, 2008

Thompson: Bush Admin overlawyered DC 2A case

h/t to Buckeye Firearms Association who posted on this article from Red State.

  • Fred Hits DoJ for "Overlawyering" Gun Rights Case
  • Gun rights advocates were understandably dismayed when the Bush Administration Justice Department submitted a brief in District of Columbia v. Heller, the big Second Amendent case to be argued later this term, calling for a remand of the case for reconsideration of D.C.'s gun laws under a less demanding constitutional standard. Given the Bush Administration's support for an "individual rights" view of the Second Amendment, many find it incomprehensible that the Administration would not support the D.C. Circuit decision holding D.C.'s draconian gun restrictions unconstitutional. The DoJ's brief is also a potentially unwelcome development in the Presidential race, as it could dampen gun owners' support of GOP candidates.

    I do not know whether any of the other campaigns have taken notice of the DoJ brief, but Fred has. As reported on RedState, Thompson accused the administration of "overlawyering" the case. After all, if an individual rights view of the Second Amendment does not proscribe an outright ban on handgun possession, there is not much left of the rights it purportedly protects.

  • The Fred Thompson for President, South Carolina bus tour reached Spartanburg today, where the Law & Order TV star candidate fielded questions at Papa's Breakfast Nook from Charlotte, N.C.'s WBT-AM radio talk show host Jeff Katz.
  • Asked his opinion of the Second Amendment and the Solicitor General's request that the DC Circuit Court remand the appeal back to the trial court for "fact-finding", the lawyer turned Senator from Tennessee said the Bush Administration was "overlawyering" and stated that he opposed remand and that the case should move forward to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • The DC District Court in an opinion written by Judge Silberman, struck down the DC ban on the possession of hand guns even in one's own home. Judge Silberman ruled that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to protect one's home with arms that pre-dates the Constititution. [more here]
Also the article in Buckeye Firearms Association has a previous posting on Senator Thompson writing about District of Columbia v. Heller:
  • By Fred Thompson
  • Republican Candidate for President
  • Here's another reason why it's important that we appoint judges who use the Constitution as more than a set of suggestions.
  • Today [Tuesday, November 20], the Supreme Court decided to hear the case of District of Columbia v. Heller.
  • Six plaintiffs from Washington, D.C. challenged the provisions of the D.C. Code that prohibited them from owning or carrying a handgun. They argued that the rules were an unconstitutional abridgment of their Second Amendment rights. The Second Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights, provides, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
  • The District argued, as many gun-control advocates do, that these words only guarantee a collective "right" to bear arms while serving the government. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected this approach and instead adopted an "individual rights" view of the Second Amendment. The D.C. Circuit is far from alone. The Fifth Circuit and many leading legal scholars, including the self-acknowledged liberal Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, have also come to adopt such an individual rights view.
  • I've always understood the Second Amendment to mean what it says - it guarantees a citizen the right to "keep and bear" firearms, and that's why I've been supportive of efforts to have the D.C. law overturned. [more here]

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