And I was willing to think Maximum Mike Sullivan's nomination was just a fluke, a political payoff or what have you, but this is beginning to look like a pattern of betrayal:
It's late, I skimmed through it and it's chocolate-covered horseshit. The DOJ defends the fact that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right, but defend the hell out of the government's right to reasonably restrict it for virtually whatever reason they can think of, including the Commerce Clause. A few choice paragraphs:
Like other provisions of the Constitution that secure individual rights, the Second Amendment’s protection of individual rights does not render all laws limiting gun ownership automatically invalid. To the contrary, the Second Amendment, properly construed, allows for reasonable regulation of firearms, must be interpreted in light of context and history, and is subject to important exceptions, such as the rule that convicted felons may be denied firearms because those persons have never been understood to be within the Amendment’s protections. Nothing in the Second Amendment properly understood—and certainly no principle necessary to decide this case—calls for invalidation of the numerous federal laws regulating firearms...
When, as here, a law directly limits the private possession of “Arms” in a way that has no grounding in Framing-era practice, the Second Amendment requires that the law be subject to heightened scrutiny that considers (a) the practical impact of the challenged restrictions on the plaintiff ’s ability to possess firearms for lawful purposes (which depends in turn on the nature and functional adequacy of available alternatives), and (b) the strength of the government’s interest in enforcement of the relevant restriction...
The court of appeals, by contrast, appears to have adopted a more categorical approach. The court’s decision could be read to hold that the Second Amendment categorically precludes any ban on a category of “Arms” that can be traced back to the Founding era. If adopted by this Court, such an analysis could cast doubt on the constitutionality of existing federal legislation prohibiting the possession of certain firearms, including machineguns.So maybe they'll be careful when they decide. Unlike the DOJ, I have a little more faith in the Supreme Court to make wise decisions, rather than virtually insult a branch of government's intelligence.
Indeed, the court’s unqualified determination that “handguns are ‘Arms,’ ” at 51a, does not exclude certain automatic weapons covered by 18 U.S.C. 922(o) that fall within the D.C.-law definition of “pistol.” And because automatic rifles like the M-16 are now standard-issue military weapons for rankand-file soldiers, the court’s reference to the “lineal descendant[s]” of the weapons used in Founding-era militia operations, see Pet. App. 51a, on its face would cover machineguns and other firearms that represent vast technological improvements over the “Arms” available in 1791...Yes just like television, radio, and the internet are still legitimate means for the exercise of freedom of the press.
The question remains whether the restriction is reasonable. The right protected by the Second Amendment is a right to “keep and bear Arms,” not a right to possess any specific type of firearm. A ban on a type or class of firearms, such as machineguns, is not unconstitutional just because it is categorical. A number of factors—including whether a particular kind of firearm is commonly possessed, poses specific dangers, or has unique uses, as well as the availability of functional alternatives—are relevant to the constitutional analysis...Even the GOP is scared of citizens with guns. I think the Supreme Court should tell President Bush and his DOJ where to go, and I think Scalia is aptly suited for that job.
Update: There would be no harm in contacting your preferred presidential candidate and urge him to denounce this move by the Bush administration.
[Edited slightly to correct last night's hastily posted errors]