Thursday, June 26, 2008

Guns, The Supreme Court and John McCain - Patrick McPherson

For those of you who have not yet heard, the Supreme Court this morning issued a monumental decision in favor of gun ownership by striking down the Washington D. C. ban on handguns. The decision was a 5 to 4 one with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. voting to strike the D.C. ban.

According to the Washington Times:

"Scalia wrote that the Constitution leaves the District a number of options for combating the problem of handgun violence, "including some measures regulating handguns."

"But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table," he continued. "These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home."

The court also held unconstitutional the requirement that shotguns and rifles be kept disassembled or unloaded or outfitted with a trigger lock. The court called it a "prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense."

While this is in itself a monumental decision, I want to point out to you that had not George W. Bush been president and had he not appointed Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito to the court, the decision might have been very different.

With that in mind, I would also point out that you who have reservations about electing John McCain as your next president should consider what could happen to the Supreme Court should Barack Obama become the next president. Associate Justice Stevens, who voted against overturning the ban, will very likely retire in the next presidential term. If Barack Obama appoints his replacement we have at best a 5-4 conservative vs liberal 'legislate from the bench court' for possibly years to come. If one of the other liberals on the court retires, the stalemate will continue and likely for many years as even President Obama (think about that) will be smart enough to enshrine some 50 year old to the highest court. On the other hand, should an illness or unexpected retirement befall one of the five conservatives (and in the case of Justice Kennedy, I am being pretty liberal in including him in that definition), Barack Obama will certainly reshape the court on the liberal side for decades to come.

What does this mean? It means that no matter how you and I might differ with John McCain on issues like campaign finance reform, past support of liberal immigration policies or global warming, we had better get excited about evangelizing for John McCain to be our next president. McCain has committed to appointing judges in the mode of Roberts and Alito.

While other issues are important, the future of our rights and a constructionist interpretation of our Constitution demands we support and elect McCain.

You can read more about this at:


Eric said...

"Associate Justice White, who voted against overturning the ban, will very likely retire in the next presidential term."

I don't know who you're talking about, but Associate Justice White died 6 years ago and hasn't been on the court since 1993.

Pat McPherson said...

Eric correctly noted that we erred in saying Associate White rather than Associate Stevens in our original iteration. Excuse us and thank you Eric

Mike said...

You're definitely right...McCain pisses me off in many ways, but on this issue and on the war, he is right on.
And therefore, I must hold my nose and vote for him. Really wish he'd learn something about economics, though.

Anonymous said...

I agree as well, but also keep in mind that two of the four dissenters were appointed by republicans.

Mike 2 said...

Who can tell the difference betweens all these liberals

Anonymous said...

ok, so what i took away from this is:

1) conservative judges are the ones making decisions in the best interest of the country, whereas...
2) liberals legislate from the bench

how is this objective again?

Jerry said...

I must give you credit for writing a very effective pro McCain campaign piece. You are a true and good conservative spokesman.