Juan Williams: Constitution Is Pro-Gun Control

In an article called “What Everybody Needs to Know About Our Constitution and Gun Control,” Juan Williams of FOX News writes:

Gun control is completely consistent with the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. And President Obama is on target with the great American tradition of proposing gun control laws for Congressional approval as well as by issuing executive orders on gun control.

The only opinion that matters here is the Supreme Court’s opinion. And the high court has ruled, several times, that the president, the Congress, state and local government all have the power to regulate guns.

So we discover at the very beginning of this article that “what everybody needs to know about our Constitution and gun control” is precisely nothing. All that matters is what the infallible Supreme Court has said on the subject. According to Williams’ argument, there is in fact no need to know anything about the Constitution at all.

As for executive orders, Williams writes:

Article II of the U.S. Constitution clearly grants Obama and any other president the authority and the discretion to issue executive orders with the force of law over the sale of guns and ammunition.

“Clearly”? Williams might say Article II suggests that Obama has this power (and even here he’d be wrong), but come on — clearly?

Details

2nd Amendment Preservation Act Introduced in Oklahoma

Introduced by Oklahoma State Senator Nathan Dahm is the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. Senate bill 548 (SB548) would nullify any and all federal acts, orders, laws, statutes, rules, or regulations of the federal government on personal firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition.

The bill states, in part:

“federal acts, laws, orders, rules, regulations, bans, or registration requirements regarding firearms constitute an infringement on the individual right, are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violate its true meaning and intent as given by the founders and ratifiers, and are hereby declared to be invalid in the State of Oklahoma, shall not be recognized by this state, are specially rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.”

The legislation also provides for criminal penalties for federal agents who try to enforce unconstitutional gun laws, rules, regulations, orders, and the like:

Any official, agent, or employee of the United States government or any employee of a corporation providing services to the United States government that enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the United States in violation of this act shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not to exceed five (5) years, or by a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment

While a number of states, including Wyoming, South Carolina, Indiana, and others – are looking to go head to head with the feds on specific issues under the 2nd amendment, the Oklahoma legislation, along with bills in Texas and Missouri, is the strongest introduced anywhere in the country so far.

Tenth Amendment Center national communications director, Mike Maharrey summed up the sentiment:

Details

HB 0042 Filed to Stop Federal Gun Control in Tennessee

United Nations Gun Ban SculptureToday, Rep. Joe Carr unveiled his legislation to protect Tennesseans against a potential gun ban or registration scheme out of Washington, DC.  Sen. Joey Hensley has agreed to carry the bill in the Senate.

The new Tennessee bill is a verbatim copy of an earlier version of the Wyoming bill currently pending before their state legislature.  Wyoming’s HB 0104 originally provided for only misdemeanor penalties for state and federal officials attempting to enforce any kind of federal gun registration or ban, but has since been upgraded to provide felony penalties for these offenses.

(Click here to download a copy of the Wyoming bill and view the redlined changes.)

Tennessee’s HB 0042 provides for misdemeanor penalties like the earlier version of the Wyoming bill.  Because Rep. Carr specifically told the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center that he feels it is important that the states pass exactly the same bill with exactly the same verbiage, he is looking at filing an amendment to match to the latest version of the Wyoming legislation.

Details

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the Obamacare Ruling

By Ilya Shapiro, CATO Institute

The Texas Review of Law and Politics has just published as a law review article an expanded, annotated version of the speech I’ve been giving all over the country regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius.  The title, which I hope will hold up with the passage of time, is “Like Eastwood Talking to a Chair: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Obamacare Ruling.”  Here’s the abstract:

The constitutional challenge to Obamacare was a case that comes along once every generation, if not less often. Not because it could affect a presidential election or was otherwise politically significant, but because it reconsidered so many aspects of our constitutional first principles: the fundamental relationships between citizens and the government and between the states and the federal government; the role of the judiciary in saying what the law is and checking the political branches; and the scope of and limits to all three branches’ powers. This case was not about the state of health care in America or how to fix this troubled area of public policy. It was instead about how to read our nation’s basic law and whether Congress was constitutionally authorized to use the tools it used in this particular instance.

Anyone reading this article will already know at least the basic outline of the Supreme Court’s ruling. As I wrote on the leading Supreme Court blog in the wake of the decision, those who challenged the law won everything but the case. That is, the Supreme Court adopted all of our legal theories regarding the scope of federal regulatory authority and yet Obamacare stands. This article explains and elaborates on those basic points, the good (Commerce Clause, Necessary & Proper Clause, Spending Clause), the bad (the taxing power), and the ugly (John Roberts’s reasoning and motivations).

Details