The Council has Spoken 070210


How was I to know
She was with the
Russians, too?
Lawyers, Guns and Money – Warren Zevon

This week’s winning posts were both about recent Supreme Court decisions concerning the second amendment and the funding of religious organizations. Hey, we’ve got lawyers, guns and money this week!

Wolf Howling, in his triumphant return to the council, won this week’s Council vote with The Supremes – Guns & The War On Christianity, in which he discusses the Hastings and McDonald decisions.

The McDonald decision, authored by Justice Alito, was notable for several reasons beyond just the holding of the case. One, the decision was again 5 to 4, with Justice Stevens writing the dissent in which he argued for applying tests that would allow the activist wing to make of the Second Amendment a nullity. Justice Scalia responded to Justice Stevens in a separate concurrence. The arguments by Stevens and Scalia frame the battle ongoing between originalists and liberal activists. The McDonald decision was one largely based on the original intent of the drafters of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. The Stevens dissent proposes alternative theories to undermine the Second Amendment that, as Scalia points out, are wholly subjective and, in reality, are nothing more than legal cover for the personal opinions of the activist judges.

On the non-council side, the winning post by Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy examinesConstitutional Rights that Put Lives at Risk in relation to the McDonald decision:

Whether we are talking about guns, speech, or other rights, there are going to be cases where, as a practical matter, it is impossible to prevent death by measures short of restricting the right itself. For example, allowing Nazi speech in the Weimar Republic may have greatly increased the risk that the Nazis would come to power, by which point it was too late too prevent them from killing large numbers of people. Similarly, once free speech by Redeemers and ex-Confederates allowed them to seize control of southern states, it was politically impossible for the federal government to protect black rights against them — at least not without much greater violence than might have sufficed to prevent the Redeemers from organizing in the first place.

Council Winners

Non Council Winners