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Non-Book Talk: News and Politics > Our president's understanding of the "Bill of Rights"

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message 1: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Aug 23, 2015 02:38PM) (new)

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 467 comments Just thought you should see this "inspiring quote" from our president on the "people's rights" as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.:

"As a general principle, I believe that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can't constrain the exercise of that right."
April 16, 2008, Democratic Primary Debate, National Constitution Center in Philadelphia

So...he believes in "constrained rights". Correct me if I'm wrong but if it's an "individual right" then it can't be "legally" constrained, can it?

message 2: by Greyweather (new)

Greyweather | 308 comments The short version is that there is a concept in Constitutional law called "incorporation" wherein the constraints put on the Federal government by the Bill of Rights are applied to states and local governments via the Fourteenth Amendment.

The 2nd Amendment was not incorporated by the Supreme Court until 2010 in their ruling on McDonald v. City of Chicago. So at the time, his statement was legally correct with respect to the specific Amendment he was talking about.

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 467 comments Well, unless done by Constitutional Amendment no right in the Bill of Rights can be amended, restricted or abridged. Not by "executive order", ordinance, or "law" by state or federal government. It's why they are called "rights".

Of course in practice the 1st, 2nd, and 5th have already been "majorly" abridged.
The courts and the people just don't seem to be willing to do anything about it.

message 4: by Greyweather (new)

Greyweather | 308 comments Well no, they are called rights because they pre-exist the government and the constitution. "...all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity"

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 467 comments Yes, but I'm saying that they were enshrined in the Constitution as rights because the Constitution is (or is supposed to be) the supreme law of the land. While I agree with you that these rights exist separate from human law (as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence), that is an appeal to Natural Law and won't stand up in court as the (left wing) courts have been ruling against natural Law (from British Law by the way) since the middle of the last century.

The danger now is the movement of the courts away from constructionism and finding "penumbras" around what's actually writen in the document.

message 6: by Greyweather (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:12PM) (new)

Greyweather | 308 comments I wish the Anti-Federalists has smothered the Commerce Clause in its crib.

message 7: by Greyweather (new)

Greyweather | 308 comments Speaking of, I found a couple publications by Anti-Federalists discussing the need for a Bill of Rights in the US Constitution. Worth reading IMHO.

John DeWitt

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