Posted By Kathleen David on June 27, 2008
There was a bumper sticker that I saw as a teen that had a bear holding a gun and it said, “The Right to Arm Bears”. That stuck with me. I grew up in the south where the right to own a gun for some was considered a birthright. Yesterday the Supreme Court in a rather interesting decision said that the individual has the right to keep and bear arms rather than, as many historians had conjectured, limited to state militias. The Supreme Court has now said what gun advocates have been saying for years that the amendment protects, “the inherent right of self-defense.” Thus striking down a law in Washington DC for a zero tolerance on handguns within the city.
How much do I think this is going to change things? Not much at all. Most state laws are geared towards the individual right to own a firearm and have been for many years. It would have been much bigger if they had voted the other way.
The Supreme Court has been doing a lot of these kinds of cases this session. Bush can only appoint people to the court one more time before he is out of office. And we don’t know who is going to take up the reigns of power after that. A number of issues that the court has side stepped until now are being taken head on. And interestingly most of the rulings have not been front page news. And these issues do affect us.
The interesting thing is that the court has not become Bush’s stamp of approval that many were concerned that it was going to become. The court ruled that prisoners at Guantánamo Bay have a right to challenge their detentions in the federal courts which really put the administration panties in a twist. They have been very limiting in the powers of the administration in terms of war powers.
They have also been not hearing a lot of cases tossing them back to the court system from which these cases came. Sometimes deciding not to hear a case can be as important as hearing a case.
I am glad that the Supreme Court told MLB to stuff it where the sun don’t shine when MLB tried to impose a licensing fee on all fantasy leagues. I thought this was absurd from the get go and made me respect MLB less then I did before. It was a stupid move to try to milk some more money from fans.
I am grateful that we have the Supreme Court in place even when I might not agree with the decisions. It’s not a bad system.