Wednesday, March 03, 2010

McDonald vs. Chicago and the concept of Incorporation

I am not a legal scholar nor am I a SCOTUS groupie. I am a gun owner and have given a large portion of my life to a service I believe was to defend this country and our constitutional rights. In my simple layman's mind, I always believed and can not see how it is otherwise than that the Bill of Rights applies to ALL citizens of the United States of America. Apparently this idea that I had has a term to describe it and that is "incorporation".

It seems that the U.S. Constitution wasn't accepted to have applied to all citizens but only those in Federal enclaves such as the capital, Washington, D.C. How then did the SCOTUS manage to come up with the decision they made in Rowe v. Wade? Why do states all read a suspect his/her "Miranda rights"? Seems to me that it was spin...

Well, Chicago and Illinois have long had rather draconian "gun" laws (really people control laws) and on behalf of one Mr. Otis McDonald suit was filed for relief. Yesterday, oral arguments were made before the Supreme Court of the United States. David Hardy and others seem to think that incorporation will win. We'll have to wait and see and also see just what the result of the ruling will be.

Just about 2 years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller, gun owners and gun owners' rights advocates thought they'd had affirmation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. The result in D.C. has been a series of obstructionist moves by the local government without enforcement of the ruling by the Executive Branch (i.e. the President, Barack Obama). Further, some cities and states, such as Massachusetts, Illinois, New York City, and Chicago have refused to accept that U.S. Constitution applies to the people within their borders. Thus we have this lawsuit.

Given the current Congress's inability to comprehend the Constitution, precedent, or even common sense, I doubt that they or their kin at the local level will move to comply with any ruling that eases access to firearms for the law abiding. Such a concept is the antitheses of their belief that the common person is capable of reasoned self-determination.

If you want a really educated explanation of the case or simply to read further I suggest that you check out David Hardy's blog, Of Arms and the Law and the links he provides.

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