In case you missed it, the Supreme Court has just ruled that guns are “people” and that bullets are “free speech.”
The reasoning for the first ruling is difficult to follow. It seems to be an extension of the decision that corporations are “people” because they need people to operate them. Guns need people to operate them, so the ruling was seen as merely an extension of already settled law. The ruling was delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts. In dry judicial language, he congratulated himself on his conservatism. The other conservatives concurred without comment. Clarence Thomas snored quietly.
The four dissenting justices each wrote strongly worded opinions but these counted for nothing, having been outvoted 5-4. Hence, the ruling stands as firm law. The usual blowhards on the Right withheld crowing about it, to avoid a backlash. The mainstream media ignored it, being terrified of the National Rifle Association.
The ruling as to bullets was convoluted. In essence, it seemed to say that bullets cost money. Money is “free speech.” Therefore, bullets are “free speech.” This is absurd. Anyone exercising free speech to challenge the far Right’s “free speech” (read, blatant lies) must expect “free speech” in return (read, a bullet in the head) to preserve “balance.” Yes, blatant lies are free speech. In Akre vs. Fox, a Florida appellate court upheld the right of Fox News to broadcast deliberate lies.
This is alarming. If Democrats want to live, they don’t get free speech. Where’s the “balance” there? The entire court’s been unbalanced since Roberts took over. Its earlier rulings now seem quaint. They traditionally held that the right to bear arms belonged only to each state, not each person, for the purpose of raising a militia (originally, to stop slaves rebelling).
These so-called justices have the brains of kids playing with chemistry sets and causing explosions. Once it dawns on them that they are beyond reproach and cannot be fired, they lose all perspective. One vote, cast by Sandra Day O’Connor, which she now regrets, overrode America’s clear intention to elect Al Gore as president and stuck us with Bush Junior.
Where, precisely, is it written in ye olde handwritten Constitution that ye Supreme Court can dream up new constitutional provisions, strike down laws it doesn’t like, and elect the president? Answer: Absolutely nowhere. Yes, I’m aware that Marbury vs. Madison (1803) is supposed to have created judicial review. But that’s NOT in the Constitution. In its “original intent,” beloved by conservatives, the Constitution decreed that Congress passed statutes and the president approved them. It said nothing about the Supreme Court meddling with them. The court was merely supposed to hear interstate commercial disputes (replacing the Privy Council in London).
America took a fateful wrong turn in 1803, worsened it over time, and is now stuck with it. And of course, we’re stuck with buffoons like Scalia and morons like Thomas for life. Can you name any other country that’s ended up with such a loony system of government?
West Germany copied our Supreme Court in drafting its constitution. It’s actually called the Constitutional Court. But its mandate is limited to ruling on the constitutionality of laws when first enacted. So it would not strike down the Voting Rights Act merely because a conservative gang, years later, didn’t like it on some whim. And Germany’s justices are not appointed for life. They’re appointed for 10-year terms so that they won’t get too big for their boots.
Could this be made to happen in America? The short answer is, “No.” It would take an amendment to the Constitution. But most Americans don’t even know we have a Supreme Court. Jay Leno would go “Jay-Walking” and ask ordinary people on the street simple questions such as “Who is the Vice President?” They didn’t even know there was a vice president, let alone know who he was. Good luck getting these experts to vote on a constitutional amendment.
PLEASE NOTE CAREFULLY! The Supreme Court has made no such ruling. This is an April Fools’ Day joke. It illustrates a serious point, however:
“Democracy demands honest debate. When one side to the debate is not limited by the truth, there is no end to debate, and compromise becomes impossible. There is no end to the debate because as soon as one lie is disproven, another lie takes its place. It is possible to lie for a very long time. Without a truthful final position on all sides, compromise is unattainable because there is no way to determine where middle ground can be found.” (Thom Tibor, President, Democratic Club of Camarillo).
The conclusion is simple. The Supreme Court and Fox News are a menace to our democracy and have made fools of us all.