28 June 2010

Red Letter Day!

Not only has the SCOTUS dealt a smackdown on the Chicago gun ban, but Senator Byrd has left the building!

I remember hearing the news of one of the gun bans passing thirty some years ago and asking "That's clearly unconstitutional! How can they do this?" I felt very much like those kids in the TV commercial where the moderator offers the first girl a pony and gives her a plastic toy, then offers the second girl a pony and gives her a real one. The commercial tagline is something to the effect of "Even a child can tell when something isn't right".

If those words in the bill of rights are the supreme law of the land, how can these outright bans possibly be constitutional? Further how can these legislators pass these laws with a straight face.

Mum patiently explained dismissed my complaint saying it has to go all the way to the Supreme Court and it is extremely expensive to challenge a law, no matter how blatantly it violates the constitution. Since then of course we've all learned about "standing", and "standards of scrutiny".

The second question is something they don't cover in Civics class. Many years later the answer became obvious. Quite simply legislators DO NOT CARE than they are violating the constitution. There is no downside in it for them. They just want to get re-elected and that means making deals with the devil. They will be long gone when the bill comes due.

So tonight I'm hoisting one to the SCOTUS for getting it right and cursing the four that read the words and still didn't care.

I'm not going to dance in the streets at Sen Byrd's demise, not even a little w00t. He really should have left the Senate under his own power at least 25 years ago. As it was, he was a walking (sometimes) talking (always) argument for term limits. I can think of a couple others that ought to leave under their own power. In fact I look forward to casting a vote to retire my senior Senator in the upcoming primary.

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