The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Second Amendment applies to all states throwing the Chicago gun control ruling back to the Appeals court. See the story here.
If you are an avid believer in the right to bear arms and a gun owner, as I am, you might think this is a brilliant ruling. But on closer examination, it surely is not. Why? The Supremes used the ill conceived Incorporation Doctrine.
This doctrine has been used since the 1800′s (one of the more famous cases was Barron vs. Baltimore, 1833) and twists the Billof Rights onto its head. When in fact, the Bill of Rights was put in the Constitution to limit what the Feds could do to the states, not carte blanche for what the court wishes to force the interpretation of the Bill of Rights onto the states as it sees them. Founders such as the great Patrick Henry knew this was a clear danger during the ratification debates and insisted the BOR was enacted immediately after the inital text was approved. But clearly, this has been forgotten and laughed at by todays centralist politicians and lawyers. States must be free to constuct and regulate what they see fit as long as it does not violate the federally enumerated powers. If you don’t like it, vote out your state politicians! But keep the Feds out of YOUR business. Otherwise, YOUR states’ business becomes OUR states’ business.
So why is this bad? Well again, if you are a pro gun advocate, this appears to be a victory. But supposed they instead decided, for example, that due to the First Amendment, your state MUST offer and pay for so-called balanced news and information. For example, a state is told they must get into the talk radio market and make sure that if there is a conservative show, there must also be a liberal show to “balance it” even if that liberal show proved to be a miserable commercial flop and disaster. If a state decided to do this on its own, they are free to do so under the Tenth Amendment but the Feds and the Supreme Court should have nothing to say about it either way. Again, the BOR including the Tenth Amendment is a specific limitation on what the Feds are allowed to dicate to the states–period! Read the Bill of Rights carefully, you can probably come up with dozens of possible violations using the Incorporation Doctrine…use the one that hits home hardest to you!
Bottom line, you may celebrate this victory because it suits you, be careful because the next usuraption of your states’ rights you may not look so fondly upon!
cross-posted by the Connecticut Tenth Amendment Center