Wednesday, June 30, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms 2nd Amendment Rights

Article first published as U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms 2nd Amendment Rights on Blogcritics.

Gun owners across the nation’s ownership rights were reaffirmed by the nation's highest court on Monday, June 28. This came about when the Supreme Court Justices in a 5-4 decision ruled in the case of McDonald v. Chicago, which challenged Chicago’s handgun ban, by stating that the 2nd Amendment right “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel co-sponsored an amicus brief by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in the McDonald lawsuit by Chicago community activist Otis McDonald challenging Chicago’s handgun ban. The amicus brief was signed by 38 attorney generals who supported a nationwide right to bear arms.

The ruling will have little effect on states such as Arkansas whose state constitution includes a provision protecting their “constitutional right to keep and bear arms within their state.” The Supreme Court made it clear that their ruling does not strike down states’ ability to impose restrictions on gun ownership, but it does restrict the states from imposing an outright ban. One of the regulations that will not be affected is the concealed carry permits issued in the state of Arkansas.

Will their decision allow regulations that appear to be unreasonable to gun owners? It does not prevent such action, so it obviously would be something to be worked out in the courts when it occurs.

Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, each wrote a dissent noting that, unlike the Washington case, Monday's decision "could prove far more destructive — quite literally — to our nation's communities and to our constitutional structure."

With this ruling cities should be able to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists while respecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. How many states and cities that this decision will affect are unknown, but it proves to be a victory for the supporters of the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Arizona State Senator challenges the 14th Amendment

Article first published as 14th Amendment Rights Coming Under Fire on Blogcritics.

As I stated in an earlier article and blog, Congress needs to look closely at the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in regards to automatic citizenship to see if the wording is valid today, compared to the times it was passed into law. The Immigration issues being presented by the law passed by the State of Arizona is going to include the 14th Amendment at one point or another, because there is no way that you can deport an undocumented immigrant with a family member born on United States soil.

It is not surprising that the politician who proposed the immigration law approved by the State of Arizona would be bringing the problem to the steps of Congress. Our leaders adopted the 14th Amendment in 1868 they did not foresee that the nation that they loved would be forced into deciding whether an individual born in the United States could or could not be a citizen when their parents are not legal.

The law that is going to be diverting attention to the Constitution was introduced by Arizona state senator Russell Pearce and passed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, and allows law enforcement officers to check for proof of citizenship if they suspect that the person detained might be in the country illegally, thus making it a violation of state law.

Senator Pearce now wants it to be declared that children born to illegal immigrants be denied citizenship because of the parents’ status. The 14th Amendment states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside.”

Legislation similar to Sen. Pearce's ideology on citizenship was introduced at the federal level by Rep. Nathan Deal, R-GA, in 2009. At this time, it is stalled. If Congress does not take on the immigration problem, it perhaps will become one of the biggest issues they have ever faced in their careers. Their action or inaction is going to become a political platform in the near political future.

The immigration problem Not only affects the numbers crossing the border, but the economy as well. Next to slavery, illegal immigrant workers are the cheapest work force in this area of the country, helping the economy with their income and low cost employment. That seems to be California’s biggest concern, other than that their elected officials may have some relatives about to be deported.

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