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December 13, 2010

What? Breyer Says He Won't Recognize Second Amendment Because Madison Only Threw It In As A Sop To States To Get The Constitution Ratified

At Hot Air, Ed disputes the premise, calling it a "big if."

I doubt the conclusion, even if I accept the premise. What the hell is the point of Breyer's statement? If I sign a contract with a man to buy his house, the contract specifies I'll get his house, contingent on my making a cash payment.

Now, obviously, I've only agreed to the cash payment as an inducement for him to sell. Certainly I'd rather just keep my money -- and get the house for free. But I've agreed to give something to get something.

I mean, duh.

Even if Breyer's premise is true, what the hell could that possibly matter in the sense he means it, that is, whether or not the Second Amendment is an enforceable amendment? If the right to bear arms was so critical to the Constitution's passage that the drafters found it necessary to include it -- then that is an essential term of the bargain between the federal and state governments, and cannot be ignored anymore than I can ignore my agreement to pay cash for a house just because "I didn't really want to."

Further, the entire Bill of Rights was written for the purposes of reassuring reluctant citizens (and states, which actually ratified the Constitution) of the limits of federal power. Breyer's notion that an amendment can just be ignored if it was only agreed to in order to reassure citizens and states would void all ten of the Bill of Rights Amendments. The federal government only guaranteed the right to free speech and peaceful assembly because the states (and their respective citizens) feared it might abridge that right. Does that one "not count" too?

And if the Second Amendment doesn't count -- why, then, let us chuck this other appeasement to the states, this notion that the state shall not establish an official religion. After all, they only threw that in there to get people to sign on the line which is dotted.

What is Breyer's "constitutional analysis" except a childish claim of "I had my fingers crossed when I said that"?

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posted by Ace at 12:34 PM

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