Monday, June 28, 2010

McDonald v Chicago, Part II - My Opinion

Here are my impressions of the decision.

First: Held: The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded.

This is a win. The 2nd Amendment now officially applies to cities and states. However, the devil--and the nuances--are in the details. The local gun-panic group says the decision allows for gun control, but that email came out less than 20 minutes after the 214 page opinion was released. That leads me to believe that, as always, they are full of shit.

According to Alito's majority opinion, incorporation happened under the Due Process Clause, which, according to someone smart than I, "allows the Courts maximum flexibility in the future (since DP has no basis, it has no limits -- it's all just "make it up as we go" judicial legislation)."

Update:  Not only have I been too busy to read the entire opinion, but many, many others have beat me to it.

Wally out.

McDonald v Chicago

The short version:  We won!
From SCotUSBlog:
The opinion concludes that the 14th Amendment does incorporate the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller to keep and bear arms in self defense


Stevens dissents for himself. Breyer dissents, joined by Ginsburg and Sotomayor.

The majority seems divided, presumably on the precise standard

The majority Justices do not support all parts of the Alito opinion, but all five agree that the 2d Amendment applies to state and local government.

Alito, in the part of the opinion joined by three Justices, concludes that the 2d Amendment is incorporated through the Due Process Clause.

Thomas thinks the Amendment is incorporated, but not under Due Process. He appears to base incorporation on Privileges or Immunities.

The difference between the majority and Justice Thomas doesn't affect the fact that the Second Amendment now applies to state and local regulation.

It should be noted that, in the guns case, the Court says explicitly in Alito's opinion that it would not reconsider the Slaughterhouse cases, which almost completely deprive the Privileges or Immunities Clause of any constitutional meaning.

The opinion leaves the fate of the Chicago gun ordinance in the hands of the 7th Circuit on remand.

The scope of the Chicago gun ordinance in question in McDonald is very similar to that of the DC gun law struck down in DC v. Heller in 2008. Therefore its fate is probably already determined by applying Heller's reasoning to it.

Let the hand-wringing commence!

Be Prepared or Be Me

We had some nasty storms roll through over the weekend. There was a lot of tornado-ish activity, 70 mile-an-hour gusts of wind, hail, and an electrical blackout. For almost 24 hours, we were living in the stone age, with nothing but smartphones for internet, and high-lumen flashlights being used to see. With no cartoons for the girls, we were forced to read them bed-time stories, while my son and his friends were forced to use their imaginations to entertain themselves.

Every time we called, the electric company added 12 hours to their estimated repair time. Amazingly, they came in 7 hours ahead of schedule, if you don't count the first two revisions.

By Saturday afternoon, we were out shopping for things we should have already had ready.

For years, we had discussed buying a generator. For some reason, it never became a priority. We have a large freezer and refrigerator full of food. With no electricity, a generator was suddenly prioritized. All of the places near us were sold out of budget-priced generators when we decided it was better to drop $400 on that than to lose $600 worth of food. We did find one, eventually, but it would have been better to take it out of the garage than have to shop for it when we needed it. Naturally, 10 minutes after we got it home, the power came on. Do yourself a favor: if you own a home and have a small corner available for storage, start shopping for a generator. Pick one up on sale instead of waiting until you have no real choice.

We have a ton of batteries. It's one of the things we stock up on when they are on sale. Unfortunately, our broadest-beam flashlight takes a 6-volt battery, and we don't keep a spare. By the end of the night, it was getting pretty yellow and dim. Another night would have killed it completely. This wasn't a widespread blackout, so there was no shortage of batteries, but it would have been nice to have the spare already at home. Check your emergency supplies and make sure you have replacement batteries that fit everything you need.

The one thing that would have improved the night most is a good lantern. We had our 5, plus two of my son's friends all trying to play board games by flashlight. A lantern could have been set on the entertainment center and lit most of the room.

For everything we were without due to the blackout, the one thing I truly missed was the air conditioner. When the storm died, so did the wind. Completely. Opening all of the windows didn't help at all. Other than that, it was nice to have everyone forced to interact. Nobody was whining about being bored and we were all having fun.

I want to schedule a pseudo-blackout more often.

Cross-posted here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gene Simmons Military Tribute

Found via Breda.