April 2016

Scalia Dies; 2nd Amendment is in Peril

Gun Tests editor Todd Woodard

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, author of the Court’s landmark Second Amendment decision Heller v. District of Columbia, died on February 13, 2016, at age 79. Justice Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa in West Texas. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Scalia arrived at the ranch on February 12 and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found his body. We extend our condolences to the family.

Scalia was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. His passing is of particular concern to gun owners, whose inalienable human rights to self-defense were codified, and not established, in the 2nd Amendment. In the landmark Heller decision, Scalia noted that the 2nd Amendment protected existing rights to own and carry firearms that every person had, and has, as individuals, and the right to keep and bear arms is not dependent an individual’s participation in a “militia” or any other body.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who authored the amicus brief for the states in the Heller decision, said in a statement, “As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism. And he authored some of the most important decisions ever, including those which recognized our fundamental right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms….”

It is sad and worrisome, but nonetheless true, that four other justices did not and do not agree with Scalia’s decision in the Heller case. So his passing puts that decision, and individual gun rights, at risk again. Other than in McDonald, the Supreme Court has chosen not to harden the effects of Heller in many additional decisions. I do not mean to sound flippant or alarmist when I say that all our gains in gun rights since Heller are now at risk. Because ties in Supreme Court decisions result in the decisions from lower appeals courts being affirmed, it’s now possible that an anti-gun-rights case from, say, the Ninth Circuit gets upheld because Scalia’s fifth vote to overturn is no longer there.

Comments (5)

Like or dislike the system, just remember it has worked for over 200 years.....it's society that has changed. Freedom for one is not the same as Freedom for another,priorities have changed, there are people starving in a Nation of Plenty....not only for lack of food, but for proper education, and a chance at some positive experiences to advance..... that's what is bringing us down as a Nation.
Too many believe what is told them by the media. Unthinking people will act rashly, and this is what the socialist/progressive/communists depend on to feed into the hysteria about guns and gun owners.
We, are tasked with being Role Models.....not only for our kids and their kids.....but all kids, and adults who know nothing of firearms and the related positive pursuits of hunting, target shooting, reloading, collecting, building, and studying the historical significance that guns have given the common man against government and tyrannical ideas.
We have a hard road, but that should be an incentive to all of us to act as guardians of freedom.........for everyone.

Posted by: 2nd Amender | April 8, 2016 6:40 AM    Report this comment

While I like the support Scalia contributed to our private gun ownership laws. He was not helpful with the big money/corporate law in politics decisions among a host of other issues.

Which brings up a point I would like to make. I think we need to look at how we gun owners can be manipulated in politics using single issues. Suggest we not follow the narrow minded low information voter route. Wish more folks would consider themselves American Citizens with shared interests rather than some dubious political party label that doesn't really mean much.

Posted by: Fellow Gun Owner | April 7, 2016 8:41 PM    Report this comment

Think about this, write your senator and thank Senator McConnell for NOT entertaining Obama SCTUS nominations. The Second Amendment is the only unknown to ISIS to keep the extremists afraid of attacking our country. Yes, fear is all those Cretans understand. Despite what POTUS thinks of his oratory skills, one cannot reason with evil.
This election, vote like your Second Amendment and freedoms depend on your vote because they do.

Posted by: Helocfi | April 7, 2016 2:47 PM    Report this comment

Scalia was not only a Supreme Court Judge, but an American Hero. A staunch defender of the United States Constitution, who who felt the obligation to resist the un- American Marxist faction, placed on the Supreme Court by radical left wing politicians. He prevented the corruption of law by those who believe the Constitution is nothing more than a document whose meaning can be twisted and used by those who detest everything America stands for, in order to fit their agenda.

Posted by: SpaceWeasel | April 7, 2016 12:09 PM    Report this comment

Apart from his support for our sacred Second Amendment rights, he was basically an eccentric and oppressive judge. His opinions were largely contemptuous and dismissive of the poor and minorities and he was instrumental in opening up our elections to unlimited corporate cash. it doesn't require a bigoted, intolerant judge to protect our rights and he should not be missed except by his friends and family, who of course deserve our sympathy.

Posted by: Richismo | April 7, 2016 11:09 AM    Report this comment

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