Home » The Constitution
Category Archives: The Constitution
Gun Control is in the media a lot recently as Obama and liberals promote their goals of restricting availability of guns. Proponents state they’re not taking rights away, only making “reasonable” controls and restrictions, the idea constitutional rights are not absolute (can you yell “fire” in a movie theater, for example).
But compare a constitutional right (2nd amendment) with a non-constitutional idea (abortion).
Those pushing restrictions, taxes, or a 7 to 14 day wait to exercise your Constitutional 2nd amendments rights as “reasonable” complain when an abortion might require a 24 hour wait before terminating a baby.
“Reasonable” is all in the eyes of the beholder, and as usual, varies with the political goals desired.
Abortion and gun control, while not on the same constitutional level, expose hypocrisy and inconsistency of the groups promoting one while trying to deny the other.
Of course, they hope nobody notices.
As Roe v. Wade is celebrated again, one part of the issue doesn’t seem to be discussed — what about the rights of the father? Simple answer — he has none.
But why? If the issue is “reproductive rights”, why can’t the father control his? If the woman wants an abortion, he can’t stop it. If she wants to keep the baby and force him to pay, he can do nothing but pay. Why deny men reproductive rights? Is there not an equal protection argument here? Attorney Tommy De Seno notes the problem.
A father can’t stop an abortion if he wants his child, nor can he insist upon an abortion if he doesn’t want his child.
This situation should trouble everyone, not from a religious point of view, not from a personal choice point of view, but rather from an Equal Rights point of view.
Two weeks ago I tried an experiment in anticipation of writing this column. I wrote a column about gun control and posited that only men should vote on the issue of guns. The logic (rather illogic) used by me was that men buy guns the most, men are called upon to use them most (when a burglar enters our home) and we get shot the most. Why shouldn’t men have the only voice on the issue?
I wanted to gauge people’s reactions to the thought that in America we would ever give more weight to one person’s view than another’s because that person can show the issue affects him more.
As I walked around my city during these past two weeks, I was accosted by people who wanted to take me to task for suggesting that women lose their right to vote on an issue just because they may be affected by it less than men. Some pointed out, quite rightly, that even if there was an issue that didn’t affect women at all, as equal members of society, they should still have a voice in all decisions America makes.
An interesting perspective, and demonstrates just how bizarre the abortion issue has become. So extreme Obama voted to deny care to babies surviving a botched abortion, and a recent Texas court ruled a woman can’t be charged with murder if she wants to kill her baby. And now, an attorney notes current abortion case law creates an equal protection contradiction.
Where are the rational arguments? Abortion is (and will always remain) a major controversy for two reasons:
- The courts “found” a right in the Constitution which never existed, creating law instead of Congress. If Congress legislated instead of the courts, perhaps some of the nastiness would go away. As it stands, every time a judge needs to be confirmed, the question pops up “how will they judge on abortion” as a litmus test for or against otherwise qualified candidates. If Congress actually legislated, the problem disappears
- No compromise can be found. One side wants to terminate babies, the other doesn’t. What compromise can be found? Only half-terminate? Abortion simply can’t have a compromise — it’s a binary operation — either a baby lives or doesn’t.
Thus the abortion issue will forever remain unsolved, but for the time being, what about a father’s rights? Here’s a novel proposal.
I propose a “father’s abortion.” Let a father petition the Court to terminate his own parental rights to his child before or after the child’s birth. He would be rid of his obligations to that child in favor of his mental health and finances, the same as a woman does when she aborts.
As Justice Ginsburg said in the quote that appears at the top of this FOX Forum post, the emphasis is not abortion, rather an individual’s right to control his own reproduction. If we protect such a right for women, can we constitutionally deny it to men?
I propose this not because it would be in any way good. I propose it because constitutional Equal Protection demands it, and to show the danger created when judges destroy democracy by making up laws that don’t exist.
This of course has no chance of actually happening, because abortion has nothing to do with “reproductive rights” (and may or may not actually be a good idea, but that’s beside the point — what about equal protection?). But the equal protection problem adds more bizarre legal contradictions created by abortion, where by it’s nature abortion attempts to justify something society generally frowns upon — terminating a life.
Should men have reproductive rights? Or just women? We’re sure the idea generates strong feelings on both sides, but since the abortion question itself fails to have a compromise, perhaps other areas of abortion law could at least be discussed.
Thus says the Supreme Court. Of course, logical people knew that all along. You can read the opinion and commentary at scotusblog if you’re interested. We’ll definitely be reading the entire ruling to get all the subtleties (it takes time to analyze 157 pages of legal mumbo-jumbo with all the case citations). But get a flavor of the ruling from page 1 (of the 157 page ruling):
The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
Logical people knew when part of the Bill of Rights reads “the people”, it meant the people. To argue otherwise, was, well, absurd. And it’s time SCOTUS cleared up that misunderstanding. This is a major blow to those desiring to claim the Constitution is a “living document” to be plied and molded to whatever view you want (we’ve talked about the dangers of the living document theory before, so won’t rehash the entire discussion here).
To argue “the right of the people” means a collective right in one amendment, and “the right of the people” means the people elsewhere is bizarre. But if the Constitution is a “living document” you can torture the text to confess to anything.
But the interesting part is waiting for another flip-flop from Obama on this one:
Barack Obama has been spinning like a top, and watching his positions on, well, just about everything is like watching table-tennis matches on TiVo triple fast forward. FISA, public financing, and NAFTA have all been reversed in the last couple of weeks, and Obama’s not through yet. With the Heller decision on deck at the Supreme Court, his earlier comments on gun control have gone under the bus, too:
With the Supreme Court poised to rule on Washington, D.C.’s, gun ban, the Obama campaign is disavowing what it calls an “inartful” statement to the Chicago Tribune last year in which an unnamed aide characterized Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as believing that the DC ban was constitutional.
“That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator’s consistent position,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells ABC News.
The statement which Burton describes as an inaccurate representation of the senator’s views was made to the Chicago Tribune on Nov. 20, 2007.
In a story entitled, “Court to Hear Gun Case,” the Chicago Tribune’s James Oliphant and Michael J. Higgins wrote “… the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said that he believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.”
Yeah, and his statements on NAFTA were “overheated” in typical politician fashion, according to Obama himself eight days ago. Now he wants to cast his campaign’s position statement as “inartful” and not accurate — more than seven months after making the statement. Team Obama declared the DC gun ban as “constitutional” on November 20, 2007, during a period of time when he was busy sucking up to the hard Left and their confiscatory inclinations on the Second Amendment.
Suddenly, with the general election looming, Obama discovers that his campaign’s statement was inartful. This seems rather puzzling, because before he ran for public office, Barack Obama was supposed to be a Constitutional law expert. One might expect the “inartful” excuse on wetlands reclamation or some other esoteric matter of public policy, but the Constitution is what he supposedly studied at Columbia and Harvard. One has to wonder whether Obama has any competence even in his own chosen field to have seven months go by before realizing that he got the Constitutional question wrong.
Obama makes John Kerry look the the rock of Gibraltar. He was for public financing before he was against it (“that’s not the public financing system I knew”), disavowing friends, FISA flips, NAFTA flops — he flip-flops on anything and everything. But that’s change (he’s going to need a bigger bus).
The wheels on the bus go round and round….
The uproar over the second amendment after the recent court decision brought a new spotlight to an issue which died down in recent years. What exactly does the second amendment mean? Does it apply to individuals? Or only the military? Errors are common in this discussion, as Matthew Dennis illustrates in his opinion piece.
In our recent entry about HR78 and Congressional Corruption, we wondered why the media isn’t reporting on such an obvious unconstitutional and corrupt act as allowing non-members of Congress to act as a full members (passed along party lines 226-191). As usual, the MSM is quite selective on what they report (don’t expect to see a 60 minutes story), but at least a few other blogs are beginning to take notice. Mary Katherine Ham (of HamNation) has an entry, and George Will wrote about it Sunday.
Perhaps Democrats will be forced by the spotlight to cancel their vote-stuffing attempt.
For background on this issue, see yesterday’s entry HR 78 – Democrats and Washington’s Culture of Corruption Continues.
It didn’t take long for House Democrats to abandon their new-found (during election season) ethics by passing HR78 (along party lines) to allow non-members of Congress voting privileges in the House (contradicting and overriding Article I Section 2 of The Constitution). The bill even allows them to serve as committee chairman! Why would they do this? Simple. Because it’s reported 80% of them are Democrats and it extends the Democrat majority. So much for campaign promises about ethics (again). As soon as a minority party becomes the majority, all commitment to ethics and integrity vaporize in a cloud of power grabbing.
Is it too much to ask of people in Congress to stay awake for 60 minutes once a year? Snoozing during the President’s address is rude — they should be ashamed: McCain, Biden, Wyden, and others (Kennedy didn’t look too good either). If it’s too much to ask for them to at least appear to be interested (Hillary did a good job at it, as well as the Speaker), perhaps they should resign. (And if you missed it on TV, it appeared the first person hustling out of the chamber was …. John Kerry!)