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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tea Party Rejects Judicial Activism, Expansion of Federal Power in Gun Ruling

...right? Right?!?

The Tea Party seems awfully quiet lately. BP turns the Gulf of Mexico in an oil holding pond, and the Tea Party has nothing to offer as citizens' anger rises at government for not doing enough.

Maybe the Tea Party can get back in the headlines by attacking the judicial activism and federalization of power in yesterday's McDonald v. City of Chicago gun rights ruling. Five men in Washington stripped power from your local and state governments and gave more power to the federal judiciary. Those five conservatives also engaged in the very sort of judicial activism that Republicans allegedly loathe as they look for a reason to quash Elana Kagan's nomination. Justices Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy have grafted a new individual right, self-defense against common crime, onto a Second Amendment predicated entirely on the principle of common defense against invaders and possibly an illegitimate government. (McDonald v. Chicago can't be about the "well-regulated Militia"—how can a ruling that only extends pistol rights as far as your front door help you play Red Dawn*?)

If I understand the Tea Party—if there is any Tea Party philosophy to understand—McDonald v. Chicago represents everything these angry conservatives hate: a power-hungry federal government violating the Founders' intent to expand its dominance over our duly elected local officials. But the Tea Party won't go there, because they are not a party of principle. They aren't even a party. They're just a writhing mass of inchoate rage with no coherent plan for practical governance.

But maybe deep down the Tea Partiers really do want anarchy. Ugh.
*Oh my: there's a remake coming. Get you pistols ready for Chinese paratroopers!


  1. The Tea Party is pretty busy right now working to get rid of many of the socialists in government, come November.

    But as usual, you get everything else wrong.

    Contrary to liberal propaganda, "judicial activism" isn't "court decisions you disagree with;" rather, it is when judges usurp the U.S. Constitution and laws that are in accordance with the Constitution.

    No, the Supreme Court majority did not "strip power from your local and state governments and gave more power to the federal judiciary." They overturned unconstitutional law passed by local and state governments which violated the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In other words, they returned power and freedom to the people.

    But then, I think you're smart enough to realize all this without having to be told. You just don't like it, you just don't like the idea of people being free to think for themselves, do for themselves and live their lives outside the say-so of government bureaucrats.

    Well, tough. That's the American way of life, and we Tea Party patriots that you so despise are working to restore America to our heritage, and we'll strike a big blow for that in November when we toss a lot of socialists out on their collectivist ear.

    If you want to live where elitists, oligarchs and bureaucrats run your life for you, you might want to start looking at travel brochures for Europe or somewhere else, because the United States is on the way back to our heritage of freedom.

  2. Cory . The reason it seems that the tea party is so quiet is that the media has better, more important stories to cover. The tea party is and always has been a media driven phenomena. All the sign waving and shouting that they are going to "take America back", has it made much of an impact? certainly not here in SD.
    Only 35% of registered republicans took a few minutes from their lives to bother to show up and vote to elect their new leaders. This is really not that unusual, but clearly shows that the tea party has been ineffectual at rousing the general public to action. Especially when those who do vote, vote for the same old smack, with less than 5% of registered republicans voting for the self declared tea party candidate. The tea party is a media show, that disgruntled conservatives are more than happy to be actors in , because it gets their voices heard, the show may not be over yet , but it wont be long before the Big Top will have to come down.

  3. While I don't have a particular problem with this ruling, I would have a better taste in my mouth if the people of Chicago made this decision for themselves.

    When it comes to regulations of firearms, I like the local control option over any federal blanket.

    What is good for Chicago, might not necessarily be good for Pukwana, SD.

    Bob, I'll pose you a question. Should there be any regulation dealing with the ownership of firearms, or should every human being in the United States be allowed to own firearms? I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, I just want to know how you feel about this.

  4. We the People reject Mr. Ellis' argument for corporate control of government as counter to a flowing Constitution.

  5. The Court ruled you can have a firearm but still have to obey local laws.

    Own a firearm but keep it on your premise.

  6. Bob said it well. This decision simply reinforced the Constitution of the US. And it still does not allow for felons etc to own guns.

    As for the Tea Party, we are still here. Yes, we attended rallies and waved signs etc. We didn't do it to get on TV; most of the time the TV ignored us anyway. And, we have had an effect on political races and have raised issues that have gotten people more interested in politics, realizing that elections have consequences. We don't need media hype to be effective.

    Just because a self-proclaimed tea party candidate is running, that does not mean that all tea party people are going to support him/her. We might agree with much of what that candidate espouses but not all. Also has no bearing on your hope that the tea party is going to fade away. We aren't!

  7. Nonnie ? " gotten people more interested in politics" " realizing that elections have consequences".
    Why didn't these interested people who now realize the consequences not show up at the polls? Your statements are pure wishful thinking, you have no evidence that the tea party has had any meaningful effect in SD at all.

  8. So Cory would it be Ok for South Dakota to have an official state religion and required prayer at every job site and every school? What if that was the case that went to the supreme court and they ruled that no South Dakota cannot have a state religion? I bet you would be tickled to death that the supreme court ended the States religious stance.

    It works both ways.


  9. Not the point, Aaron. You guys are the ones hollering about judicial activists and expansion of federal power. You take opposition to those things as core principles. Yet when those things break your way, your principles mysteriously disappear. Your "movement" is incoherent. Do you want a powerful federal government or not?

  10. Cory,

    Judicial Activism is when judges substitute their public policy agenda for will of the people or disregard the Constitution.

    The ruling at hand is a determination that the Chicago law denies individual rights specifically enumerated in the Constitution. Certain individual rights can not be denied by the federal, state or in this case local governments.

    Aaron's comment is on point. There are some things which the Constitution does deny to the state and local governments, ie establishment of a state religion.

  11. But I'm not convinced the individual right in question in McDonald v. Chicago is specifically enumerated. Monday's ruling is about the right to keep and bear a handgun in one's own home. That seems tangential at best to the Founders' clear intent to maintain a well-regulated militia. Getting from the Second Amendment as written and intended to pistols to shoot robbers in your house requires "an interpretation of the U.S. constitution holding that the spirit of the times and the needs of the nation can legitimately influence judicial decisions."

    Again, I don't mind having a pistol in the closet. I'm just not convinced a strict reading of the Second Amendment provides the justification for such armament that our Founder-spouting Tea Party friends think it does. I just want Aaron to get clear: either he adores our Founders and a strict interpretation of the Constitution or he doesn't. He has the contradiction to confront, not me.

  12. The Amendment reads as follows:

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    The operative words are "People," "keep," and "shall not be infringed" is pretty clear and requires no interpretation in my mind.

  13. Cory,

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    Seems real clear to me.

  14. But Troy, the first part of this uniquely worded amendment makes clear the Founders had in mind the arming of a well-regulated militia, not the collection of pistols for home crime response.


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