In the ongoing (with no end in sight) debate over exactly what to do about mass shootings, the doctrines have become entrenched. On the Left, all guns must be eliminated, because Australia did this and ended gun violence. On the Right, Switzerland and Israel have guns everywhere and they have no such shootings.
Guns *must* be taken away; guns are a Constitutional right and *cannot* be taken away.
Who is correct? What if both sides are to a degree? What if neither side is correct at all? Read the rest of this entry
It is almost an Article of faith among Conservative Right political folk – the Courts are stacked with liberal activist Judges who will always overturn the will of the Voters. Don’t believe me? Well… this week the Godfather of conservative Talk Radio said pretty much exactly that.
The problem is, of course, that Articles of Faith are usually – okay, always – based in confirmation bias. That is to say that they are based only upon things that tend to support the statement. events or things that tend to disprove the Article of Faith are generally ignored or dismissed.
When it comes to the Constitution, this is especially true. Conservatives believe that Activist Judges are upending the whole thing, while Progressives believe that the Judges aren’t activist enough. Which more or less means that the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Since I am on the political Right, I prefer to look at things that challenge my own position and thinking. When it comes to the perception of Judges destroying America, there’s no place better to start than the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco.
So let’s go there and take up the case of a Roseville Police Officer who managed to get herself terminated, for having sex, with a fellow Officer…
“nor excessive fines imposed…” – 8th Amendment
A professional musician travelling with $91,000 in cash he was going to use to buy a recording studio is stopped in Wyoming for a seat belt violation. The Police take the money, and claim that they have a right to it.
in Indiana, what happens when a young man sells four grams of heroin to an undercover cop? Obviously, he gets busted, does a year on house arrest and pays a fine. Then he decided to get his life back together and heads out to find a new job.
The cops weren’t done. They used Civil Forfeiture laws to seize his car, valued at $40,000. Don’t read too much into that value, there is a valid reason that he had the money to buy it in the first place.
He sued, and the lower State Court held that he should get his car back. After all, it was only 4 ounces of heroin. The Law enforcement agencies appealed it to the State Supreme Court.
The highest Court in Indiana, along with Mississippi, Michigan and Montana proclaimed that the 8th Amendments prohibition against excessive fines “does not apply” to it.
And so… we’re off and running to ask the Supreme Court one question: does the 8th Amendment prohibition against excessive fines apply to the States?