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Go After Al Franken? How About Clarence Thomas?

Al Franken is a far better Senator than he ever was a comedian. The guy’s humor was always a bit on the juvenile side, and really just not that funny.

Do I believe that Franken could have done what he is accused of? Yeah, I think the majority of men are capable of being over-aggressive short of violence. I think the majority of men have made an unwanted advance. The difference between the majority and guys like Moore and the Chumph is simply this – they suffer that guilt thing or shame and change their behavior accordingly. Doing something stupid is bad…But it takes a bad person to repeat that behavior over and over.

Now, I am suspicious about the accusation against Franken for two reasons. The accusers association with Hannity on Faux News, and that unlike many of the guys accused of doing this – there aren’t multiple accusers coming out of the woodwork demonstrating a pattern of bad behavior.

Some differences between Franken and the current prdophile/sexial molesters –

Al Franken has been accused by one woman. Roy Moore has been accused by 8,  Donald Trump by 16 (not counting the underage women). The others are serial molesters.

There is the appearance of a political association with a morally bankrupt and racist outfit, which itself has seen almost it’s entire to leadership resign or be fired for sexual predation. Hard to believe the accuser, an attractive woman – never got hit on walking down the hallways of Fox News, when it seems every other woman working in their studios did.

As far as accusations go so far, Mr Franken is accused of molesting an adult woman. Roy Moore molested children, a quite different and serious crime. Trump has been accused by a growing legion of women, similar to Bill Cosby – and was sued by at least one underage woman.

Should Al go down? Well that is a question for his fellow Senators, the Republican portion of which have political reasons to make that happen. Franken’s destruction of Jefferson Davis Sessions has been a thing of beauty.

And if we pursue the path of taking down a Franken, what happens?

Well..There is the case of Clarence Thomas, which needs to be re-examined.

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As We Rethink Old Harassers, Let’s Talk About Clarence Thomas

The old men of the Senate lectured Anita Hill from the dais, scowling as she recounted in humiliating detail how Thomas taunted her with graphic tales of pubic hair and Coke cans.

Long suppressed talk about the sexual predation of men, in Hollywood, politics, business, the news industry, professional sports and life in general has swept across the country, exposing decades of dirty laundry and putting an entire nation of men on notice and on edge.

“The discussion” in which the nation is engaged almost daily at this point, has exposed the rank hypocrisy of a right-wing “Christianity” that would sooner see a child molester stalking the well of the United States Senate than free its captive base to support a Democrat, and which still stands foursquare behind braggadocious predator-in-chief Donald Trump.

It has put on display the Republican Party’s radical lack of moral conviction as its leaders rush to condemn the gross, decade-old antics of now Sen. Al Franken, who has at least apologized for his past misbehavior, while they smirk from behind the cameras at Fox News where they are surrounded by anchor women in the required uniform of tight sweaters, mini-skirts, and four-inch heels. Among the Republicans ripping Franken for kissing a woman without her consent and snapping a juvenile “groping” picture in 2006: the great hypocrite Trump himself, of the “I just kiss beautiful women and grab ’em by the pussy” un-humble brag of 2005.

The national moment of self-reflection on the culture that produces such entitled men has compelled the left to indulge in its favorite ritual: curling into the fetal position as it self-flagellates over the eternal sins of the Clintons. It’s as if they’ve forgotten that the former president who left office 17 years ago indeed paid a price, including years of forensic investigation culminating in impeachment for his illicit affair with a 24-year-old White House intern.

Well if we are getting about the business of re-examining the past indecency of powerful men, we’d be remiss not to include the moment in 1991 when a woman was not believed and her alleged abuser was elevated to the highest court in the land, where he remains 26 years later.

The late Andrew Breitbart, who took down Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner by having his minions troll Weiner’s Twitter account in search of his vices, and having found them, waved the lurid visual evidence before the world, once said he was inspired to become a conservative because of Clarence Thomas, whom he viewed as a persecuted man. Breitbart cloaked his savage politics in alleged concern for a beleaguered black man, saying of Thomas’ critics: “[t]hese white, privileged men knew that by taking this conservative, religious man and asking him if he rented pornography, the mere exposure of that would hurt… I was so pissed off. You guys are just trying to ruin him. You don’t have anything.”

Not anything, that is, except the word of Anita Hill, an African-American woman who risked national humiliation and ruin to publicly tell her story of repeated sexual harassment at the hands of Thomas, her onetime boss at the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

It’s hard to see Thomas, who wrote off his Yale degree as worthless because of affirmative action yet retreated to the language of “lynching” to disparage his accuser and her supporters, as much of a victim. Particularly when most Americans, and most African Americans, took his side against Anita Hill and against prominent civil rights and women’s rights organizations who were unanimous in their opposition to his elevation to the seat once occupied by the great Thurgood Marshall. Democrats including then-Sen. Joe Biden, took Thomas’ side against Hill, too—even refusing to allow witnesses who could corroborate her account to testify at Thomas’ Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Instead, we were treated to a bipartisan spectacle of the old men of the United States Senate lecturing Professor Hill from the dais; scowling at her as she was forced to recount in mortifying detail how Thomas pushed her to date him and taunted her with disgusting jokes and insinuations at work that included graphic tales of pubic hair and Coke cans.

Again, most Americans chose not to believe Hill, who was castigated as a liar, a temptress, and a race-traitor trying to keep a black man off the Supreme Court. Never mind that the American Bar Association had delivered a mixed verdict on whether he was even qualified for a lifetime appointment of such grandeur. I can personally recall knock-down, drag out arguments with black colleagues and relatives who were defending Thomas, and demanding a West Indian gypsy cab driver in the Bronx pull over and let me out of his car after he called Hill a whore.

Having been placed on the court anyway, Thomas became the silent justice; voting in lockstep with the late Antonin Scalia and authoring precious little worth remembering for posterity save for his serial attacks on labor rights, women’s rights and the voting rights of fellow African Americans. Needless to say, many black men and women who sided with Thomas against Anita Hill soon came to bitterly regret it.

When Weiner’s political career went up in flames, he was in the midst of exposing Justice Thomas with regular rants on the House floor for his ostentatious habit of consorting with major Republican donors who might have business before his court, often with Scalia at his side.

Thomas’ chummy ways with the rich and well-heeled, and his wife’s clear conflicts of interest as a paid crusader against Obamacare despite it coming imminently before the court, presaged the age of corruption we find ourselves in today, with Donald Trump and his extended family of kakistocrats blundering their way around Washington and the world’s capitols in search of grubby gain. In many ways, the banality with which Americans dismissed Thomas’ alleged sexual misconduct, his disparagement of his victim, and his ethical flexibility were a portent of the Trump era to come.

And like Trump, and unlike Bill Clinton, Thomas sits in power still; with the authority to make life and death decisions over the fate of those facing capital punishment, those needing health care, and most ironically, over the rights and liberties of women.

As happened with Trump, Thomas’ elevation despite the shocking allegations against him ignited women to action. In 1992, a record number of women ran for federal office, increasing the number of female United States senators from just two to six, prompting the media to declare it “the year of the woman.” Among those newly elected senators was Barbara Boxer, who as a House member had helped lead a march with six of her female colleagues to the Senate to demand that Hill’s allegations against Thomas be taken seriously and that his confirmation be delayed.

Ironically, the wave of elected women, including the first black woman senator, Carole Mosely Braun, in 1992 helped carry Bill Clinton, himself accused of sexual indiscretions and misconduct as governor of Arkansas, into the White House. When Bill Bennett and the self-righteous, self-appointed “moral majority” in the conservative movement announced the “death of outrage” after Clinton failed to be taken down by his affair with Monica Lewinsky, they perhaps forgot that outrage died first with the shaming and dismissal of Anita Hill.

Or maybe they didn’t forget because they never really cared. Who, after all, was Anita Hill to them but some black woman trying to keep a “good, conservative Christian” off the high court. It’s an echo of today’s advent of rank hypocrisy, when Roy Moore’s accusers are accused of trying to keep a “good, conservative Christian” out of the Senate. Or when the right wing furrows its collective brow at the predatory men of Hollywood—discarded by Democrats without a second thought—while they vow to die on the desiccated moral hill of Donald J. Trump.

Indeed, we need to continue to talk about predacious men. That needs to include the sexual raptors armed with immense power right now—beginning with the president of the United States and the high court’s scandalized associate justice, Clarence Thomas.

 

 

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Clarence Thomas – Strange Day In the News

Well…It must be a conservative thing. If old conservative white guys can grope women, why not old conservative black guys. Not sure I understand the motivations behind this one coming out.

Woman accuses Clarence Thomas of groping her at a dinner party in 1999

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A woman is accusing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of having groped her in 1999.

According to a report published Thursday by the National Law Journal/Law.com, Moira Smith, 41, alleged that Thomas repeatedly squeezed her butt during a dinner nearly 20 years ago.

Smith, vice president and general counsel at Enstar Natural Gas Co. in Alaska, was a Truman Foundation scholar helping Louis Blair, who directed the foundation at the time, prepare for a dinner at Blair’s home in Falls Church, Virginia, with Thomas and David Adkins as the featured guests. Thomas was to present Adkins, then a Kansas state lawmaker as well as a former Truman scholar, an award at the Supreme Court the following day.

Smith posted details about the encounter on Facebook the night a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video emerged in which now-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was caught talking cavalierly about forcibly kissing and groping women with impunity because he’s “a star.”

“At the age of 24, I found out I’d be attending a dinner at my boss’s house with Justice Clarence Thomas,” Smith wrote in the post, which was initially private, then made public but no longer exists since she deactivated her account about 10 days later. “I was so incredibly excited to meet him, rough confirmation hearings notwithstanding. He was charming in many ways—giant, booming laugh, charismatic, approachable.”

“But to my complete shock, he groped me while I was setting the table, suggesting I should sit ‘right next to him,’” she continued. “When I feebly explained that I’d been assigned to the other table, he groped again…’are you *sure*??’ I said I was and proceeded to keep my distance.”

In a series of interviews conducted over two weeks since her post was published, Smith recalled setting the table to Thomas’ right while the two were alone “when he reached out, sort of cupped his hand around my butt and pulled me pretty close to him.” Thomas asked her where she was sitting “and gave me a squeeze,” she added.

“He said, ‘I think you should sit next to me,’ giving me squeezes. I said, ‘Well, Mr. Blair is pretty particular about his seating chart,’” she told NLJ. “I tried to use the seating chart as a pretext for refusing. He one more time squeezed my butt and he said, ‘Are you sure?’ I said yes, and that was the end of it.”

Thomas, who was accused in testimony during his Senate confirmation hearings by Anita Hill of sexually harassing her when she worked for him at the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights and at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, dismissed the allegations in a statement to NLJ through his spokeswoman. “This claim is preposterous and it never happened,” he said.

Thomas’ office didn’t immediately respond to POLITICO’s request for comment.

Smith concluded her Facebook post, which included additional revelations that she was date raped in college, “accosted in a bar and groped by an acquaintance,” by remarking that she was speaking out not because of the presidential election or Trump but because, “Enough is enough.”

“Donald Trump said when you’re a star, they let you do it; you can do anything. The idea that we as victims let them do it made me mad,” she told NLJ, explaining why she went public. “Sure enough, Justice Thomas did it with I think an implicit pact of silence that I would be so flattered and star-struck and surprised that I wouldn’t say anything. I played the chump. I didn’t say anything.”

She suggested she didn’t speak up at the time because while she was “shell-shocked,” she was “also there for work” and “had a job to do.” Smith posed with Thomas for a picture after the dinner but said she was “conflicted” about it.

“On the one hand, I really liked Justice Thomas,” she said. “He was clearly smart, engaging, and hilarious—he had a booming and totally infectious laugh. On the other hand, I was so confused about what had happened. It had transgressed such a line.”

 

A second story on Thomas today, discussing the Court Nomination process. As one of the Judges whose nomination was one of the most contentious in history…He has something to say.

Actually the best question is at the end of the article where he wonders if the court may have some role in its own undoing as a respected institution. Like all those 5-4 decisions?

Justice Thomas: ‘We’re destroying our institutions’

That the judicial nomination process has grown so politicized in recent years is evidence that Washington “is broken in some ways,” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Wednesday.

Speaking at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Thomas did not directly address the vacancy left on the high court when Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly in February. But when asked about the open seat, he replied, “At some point, we have got to recognize that we’re destroying our institutions,” according to a Bloombergreport.

Republicans have steadfastly refused to hold a confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Scalia, insisting on waiting until after the presidential election before the seat is filled. Democrats have been largely unsuccessful in their efforts to pressure the GOP into taking up Garland’s nomination.

With Scalia gone and the Republican Senate in no hurry to replace him, the court’s eight justices are split evenly along ideological lines. That 4-4 tie has left the court unable to settle some contentious cases, which revert to the lower court’s ruling when the justices are deadlocked. But in an interview earlier this week, Justice Stephen Breyer said such narrow decisions are relatively rare and added that the court has functioned before with an even number of justices.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) agreed, suggesting this week that his party could indefinitely block the Supreme Court nominations of a Democratic president. The conservative firebrand said “There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices.”

Thomas, who was himself confirmed only after a contentious hearing that focused on allegations of sexual harassment against him, said the popular notion that the Supreme Court is an overly politicized institution is at least partially the fault of the court itself.

“I don’t think people owe us, reflexively, confidence. I think it’s something we earn,” he said. “Perhaps we should ask ourselves what have we done to not earn it or earn it.”

 

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Black Conservatives

 

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Clarence Thomas to Retire From Supreme Court After Election

This is a BIG Game changer for the courts! And, providing Hillary wins, could be a major turn around for the country in terms of restoral of Civil Rights, Individual Rights, and the shutdown of the worst excesses of the Xtreme Court.

End of conservative Supreme Court: Clarence Thomas may be next to leave

Justice Clarence Thomas, a reliable conservative vote on the Supreme Court, is mulling retirement after the presidential election, according to court watchers.

Thomas, appointed by former President George H.W. Bush and approved by the Senate after a bitter confirmation, has been considering retirement for a while and never planned to stay until he died, they said. He likes to spend summers in his RV with his wife.

His retirement would have a substantial impact on control of the court. The next president is expected to immediately replace the seat opened by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, providing a one-vote edge in the court that is currently divided 4-4.

Should Thomas leave, that slight majority would continue if Donald Trump becomes president. If it’s Hillary Clinton, then she would get the chance to flip two Republican seats, giving the liberals a 6-3 majority.

And, conservatives fear, that could switch to a 7-2 majority if Republican Justice Anthony Kennedy, already a swing vote, retires. He will be 80 next year.

We recently reported that if Clinton wins the presidency, her majority liberal court could stay in power at least until 2050.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2016 in Black Conservatives

 

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Uncle Tommy Clarence, Asleep In Court…

His vote is already decided…So he doesn’t need to hear the case.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Black Conservatives

 

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HBO Special Reviews Clarence Thomas vs Anita Hill

The biggest failure by the Democrat Party since passing the Civil Rights Act and earning the black vote was the confirmation of Clarence Thomas. In a bow to conservative racism, President George HW Bush nominated Thomas – and lost any possible confidence and ability to attract black votes for the next 40 years. Of course Republicans are whimpering at the retelling of events, because they know they stole one from the Yellowback Donkeys.

Anita Hill in 2013

 

HBO’s ‘Confirmation’ sparks conservative backlash even before its debut

HBO’s dramatic retelling of Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against Justice Clarence Thomas at his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991 doesn’t debut until Saturday, butconservative critics have already come out in full force to discredit it.

Although Kerry Washington, the film’s star and executive producer, has claimed that the goal of the film is not to declare “winners and losers” in their politically and racially charged clash, supporters of Thomas have criticized the television movie as an attempt to rewrite history to serve a liberal agenda.

“Anita Hill looks good, Clarence Thomas looks bad, and the rest of us look like bumbling idiots,” former Sen. Alan Simpson recently told The Hollywood Reporter.

In a separate interview, former Sen. Jack Danforth told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that “The script that they sent me is just totally wrong. It’s a hybrid of fact and absolute make-believe.”

The band of cowards included Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy

The most vociferous opponent of the film has been Mark Paoletta, an attorney and veteran of the George H. W. Bush White House who worked to shepherd Thomas’ nomination through the U.S. Senate. He considers the justice a “good friend.” Paoletta has been making the media rounds decrying “Confirmation”  — although he has yet to see the finished film, he obtained what he believes to be a “late draft” of the screenplay — and he has even launched a website dedicated to debunking its assertions: confirmationbiased.com.

“What I’m interested in is bringing out the facts that I don’t think are represented in this movie and then people can make their own decisions and they can look at my background and draw their own conclusions,” Paoletta told MSNBC on Friday. “This movie in my view leaves out a lot of the troubling testimony that showed that Anita Hill’s story didn’t add up.”

Among the issues Paoletta has raised is what he considers the film’s lack of emphasis on alleged inconsistencies in Hill’s testimony, as well as the fact that, despite her accusations of sexual harassment, she stayed in contact with Thomas and continued to work with him a second place of employment (The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)l He also claims it misrepresents how and when she shared her story with the Senate and FBI investigators, and what he calls its “ludicrous” portrayal of a second Thomas accuser, Angela Wright, who did not testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991, for reasons which remain in dispute

The segment does concede that when Thomas’ hearings concluded, the public overwhelmingly believed his version of the events by a margin of 47 to 24 percent among registered voters, according to a NBC News/Wall St. Journal poll. (Some polls placed the margin wider at 60 percent to 20 percent.) But it also points out that just a year later, sympathies in that same survey swung back Hill’s way by a 44 to 34 percent margin.

“A lot of people initially were put off by her coming forward. It was hard to listen to what she said. It was gross,” Mark Crispin Miller, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, told The Baltimore Sun in 1994. “But that initial feeling of revulsion has passed. People now have thought about it and realized women don’t have to take this anymore.”

Other facts may have also swayed Americans to believe her: One of Hill’s most prominent antagonists, author David Brock, later retracted his attacks on her, and others have since come forward tocorroborate elements of Hill’s account. In addition, Hill reportedly passed a polygraph test amid the hearings and a hagiographical documentary on Hill was released in 2014. Thomas’ very conservative bent and relative silence on the court has also infuriated many progressives….Read the Full Article Here

 

 

 

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With Scalia Dead, Uncle Tommie Clarence Speaks For the First Time in 10 Years

Amazing what no longer being required to have his nose up Scalia’s derriere has done for the man. He can actually take a breath and say something…

Clarence Thomas Just Asked His First Question in a Decade on the Supreme Court

For 10 years, Justice Clarence Thomas has sat on the bench of the Supreme Court through innumerable oral arguments without asking a single question. That all changed today.

On Monday morning, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Voisine v. United States, a complex and arcane case involving domestic violence and gun ownership. The case initially seemed to revolve around a technical question of criminal intent. Stephen Voisine was convicted of “intentionally, knowingly, orrecklessly caus[ing] bodily injury or offensive physical contact” to his girlfriend following a domestic dispute. As a result, he was stripped of his ability to own a gun, because United States federal law indefinitely bars individuals convicted of “a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from owning firearms. Voisine now argues that “recklessly” causing violence—as opposed to knowingly or intentionally—shouldn’t disqualify him from possessing a gun under federal law.

Arguments were somewhat dry until the last few minutes, when Ilana H. Eisenstein, an assistant to the solicitor general representing the federal government, was preparing to finish up and take her seat. Just before she left the lectern, Justice Clarence Thomas spoke up, asking his very first question from the bench in a decade. The entire court perked up. Everyone shifted forward in their seats, and there was a look of shock on many spectators’ faces. We in the press section nearly fell out of our seats, though the other justices kept admirably cool, with only Chief Justice John Roberts swiveling his head in evident surprise.

Thomas noted that a conviction under the federal statute in question “suspends a constitutional right”—the right of individuals to own guns, as established in 2008’s decision, District of Columbia v. Heller. The government argues, Thomas explained, that “recklessness” in using physical force against an intimate partner is “sufficient to trigger a misdemeanor violation that results in the suspension of what is at least as of now still a constitutional right.” (Thomas appeared to be extremely aware that Hellerwas a 5–4 decision, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, which could be on the chopping block if the balance of the court shifts to the left.)

The justice, speaking calmly but forcefully, then pointed out that under the federal law, a domestic abuser doesn’t actually have to use a gun against his partner to lose his gun rights. He need only commit some form of domestic abuse, with a firearm or without it. Thomas struck a tone of puzzlement with a tinge of irritation. “Therefore,” he said, “a constitutional right is suspended—even if [the domestic violence] is unrelated to the possession of a gun?”

Eisenstein retorted that individuals who have previously battered spouses have an exponentially higher risk of injuring their spouse with a firearm in the future. But Thomas dug in, asking whether any other law indefinitely suspended an individual’s constitutional rights for recklessly committing a crime. What if “a publisher is reckless about the use of children in what could be indecent displays?” he asked. Could the government “suspend this publisher’s right to ever publish again?” Is suspending First Amendment rights substantively different from suspending Second Amendment rights?

At that point, Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer jumped in to help Eisenstein. (Kennedy joined Heller but isn’t a Second Amendment absolutist like Thomas; Breyer dissented from Heller.) Kennedy mentioned laws that indefinitely regulate sex offenders’ liberty, though it was a weak example, because those laws do not suspend any fundamental rights absolutely and indefinitely. Breyer veered away from Thomas’ question, noting that Voisine wasn’t directly arguing that the federal law violated his Second Amendment rights. (He had argued that earlier, actually, but the Supreme Court refused to consider that question when it agreed to hear the case.) Instead, Voisine pushed the doctrine of “constitutional avoidance”—essentially arguing that the federal law might infringe upon his right to bear arms, and so the court should rule for him on other grounds to avoid having to decide that vastly more monumental question.

 

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Black Conservatives

 

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Uncle Tommie Clarence and Guns

Last week only 2 of the 9 Justices wanted to tr the case of a community banning assault weapons. The author of this piece believes the issue is that Uncle Tommie Clarence doesn’t understand the law… Wrong. It is just Uncle Tommie keeping his nose as far up Scalia’s Derriere as possible. Ergo situation normal for Uncle Tommie.

Historian explains why Justice Clarence Thomas doesn’t understand the Second Amendment

The other week the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park, a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that left intact the city’s law that denied anyone in the community the ability to have assault weapons or large-capacity magazines. In a dissent from the denial of certiorari, Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, wrote that the other Justices refusal to review the case “flouts” the Court’s holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, and in doing so relegated the Second Amendment to a “second-class right.” What Justice Thomas found “doubly wrong” was the Court’s acquiescence to state and local governments deciding “which firearms [the] people may possess.”

What is particularly interesting about Justice Thomas’s dissent is it embodies aspects of both originalism and living constitutionalism. On the one hand, Justice Thomas criticizes the Seventh Circuit’s opinion on the grounds it failed to properly consider the scope of the Second Amendment “when the people adopted” it. He then proceeds to criticize the Seventh Circuit for not recognizing the number of contemporary Americans who own assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As Justice Thomas put it, “The question … is not whether citizens have adequate alternatives available for self-defense,” but “whether the law bans types of firearms commonly used for a lawful purpose—regardless of whether alternatives exist.”

Here, Justice Thomas’s call to respect the framers’ Second Amendment, yet adhere to a modern “common use” test perfectly highlights the difficulty when employing history in law—that is finding a jurisprudential balance between the past and the present. While Justice Thomas places a historical premium on the ownership of weapons so long as a significant number are available in American society at large, he virtually ignores the history of state and local firearms regulations to quell violence, prevent crime, and mitigate public injury. Some of these regulations were even aimed at prohibiting dangerous weapons, particularly in densely populated areas. These historical facts conflict with Justice Thomas’s doctrinal reasoning, do they not?

Perhaps Justice Thomas’s point is that history dictates that state and local governments should not be allowed to outlaw firearms which are universally accepted in other jurisdictions. That is, the Second Amendment requires a national standard as to what firearms may or may not be prohibited. But history does not favor Justice Thomas. From the Reconstruction Era to the late twentieth century a variety of regulations touching upon dangerous weapons existed at the state and local level. In fact, up to 1979, forty-three states allowed their respective cities, towns, and localities to enact more stringent firearm regulations to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.

Today, of course, the landscape of firearms regulations is vastly different than it was in years past. At the urging of the National Rifle Association (NRA), most states have adopted firearm preemption laws prohibiting cities, towns, and localities from enacting stricter firearms regulations. This shift began in 1975, when the NRA stated it would no longer compromise on gun control, period. It was a position that hardened following the NRA’s 1977 Cincinnati Revolt, when the organization’s membership rededicated and reformed the organization with the express purpose of combating gun control. As a result of this reformation, not even laws requiring comprehensive background checks, allowing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention toresearch gun violence, or prohibiting the sale of firearms to suspected terrorists are blessed with the NRA’s approval.

The NRA was not always unwilling to compromise on gun control. In 1924 for instance, the NRA used the analogy of regulating the driving of motor vehicles with the handling of firearms in public: “It would seem … a logical part of any public safety program that before a man is given a weapon and empowered to use it, for the authorities to make certain that the chances of damage to life are reduced to a minimum.”

Up through 1967 the NRA claimed it “always has … and always will be ready to do what is best for America,” to include never placing its organizational goals or firearm heritage “ahead of the nation al welfare.” This included supporting such gun controls as disarming every individual who has committed a felony, crime of violence or has a “notoriously bad character,” legislation that required firearm purchasers to identify themselves, firearm dealers to maintain records of sales, parental consent before selling a firearm to a minor, and a seven day waiting period before purchasing a handgun.

There was even a point in time, in 1937, where the NRA did not object to a law requiring the registration of Magnum revolvers in the same vein as machine guns and sawed-off shotguns. The NRA’s rationale was the Magnum “performs no practical function for the sportsman which cannot be as well or better performed by arms of standard type,” and therefore “it is impossible to defend the Magnum against legislation which would have the practical effect of limiting its sale to agents of the Federal, States, and local police.” The NRA’s admission that prohibiting the Magnum was acceptable because any “practical function,” to include homebound self-defense, could be accomplished by “arms of the standard type” is significant, for it is the very same rationale that Justice Thomas criticized the Seventh Circuit for employing inFriedman v. Highland Park. Needless to say, it is curious how what was once considered acceptable and constitutional gun control in years past, by all parties, suddenly “flouts” the Constitution.

The overall point to be made is the Seventh Circuit did not relegate the Second Amendment to a “second-class right” as Justice Thomas claims. History refutes such a conclusion. The fact of the matter is the modern perception of the Second Amendment as guaranteeing broad firearm rights in both public and private is just that—modern.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2015 in Black Conservatives

 

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