Thompson: Bush Admin overlawyered DC 2A case [NRO Update]
By gamecock Posted in Archived — Comments (39) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
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.
Fred echos many of my sentiments in Rep. Cantor's recent blog on the subject:
Strict scrutiny would allow regs to prohibit arms of mass destruction, as a compelling interest, and in any event, there is no need for "fact finding." Fact finding is a ruse of delay. The SCOTUS can decide the issue based on the principle. There are no facts that would justify banning hand guns from homes. I have found the level of scrutiny jurisprudence to be more of a game than a serious exercise anyway. And I have tried hundreds of cases and argued scores of appeals in the 4th circuit. Lower levels of scrutiny simply pave the way for more governmental power. And that is what the Administration is about.
I went on to say that
I have never owned a gun but have always considered it obvious that it is a right from God to defend one's self and family. One of those inalienable rights.
I do think the meaning of the second amendment is debatable from a lot of angles, but certainly no angle that would allow the government whose founders signed the Declaration to deny We the People the MEANS to preserve our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness, and certainly that would be the case if only the forces of evil and the government are armed.
Moreover, I know from experience that 99% of the time when lawyers demand remands for fact finding its a ruse, a delay tactic. There are no "facts" to find on this.
I also know that the courts regularly make huge logical leaps to do what they want no matter the "level" of scrutiny.
I think this was the culture of Washington at work at the last minute simply being unable not to fight for more power.
We the People wrote the U.S. Constitution for We the People, not We the Lawyers, and
We must never let the elites claim that only they can tell us what the Constitution means. That is a usurpation of the power we took from the King, transferred to five lawyers.
The elites construct an edifice of words to make things complicated to give themselves power.
The Constitution is written and Fred Thompson gets it.