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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished reading through the D.C. vs. Heller oral arguments transcript from the Supreme Court case, and I have to say it was quite interesting. Though I admit I only followed about 70%-80% of the text (I was reading it fairly quickly), I was quite enthralled by all of the viewpoints of both the presenters and the Justices. I don't think a firm conclusion can be drawn from these arguments, though I do think there were plenty of hints indicating where the S.C. might head on this case. Still, there was just enough in there that worries me to the point of putting me on heightened alert while we wait for a ruling.

I would be thrilled if a ruling came out on the 9th, the same day as the purported release of the 2nd generation iPhone, and other various Apple related goodies. What a day that would make!

So, my question is, has anybody else read through the entire transcript? If so, what were your prevailing thoughts as you did?
 

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You can also listen to the arguments at
http://cdn3.libsyn.com/guntalk/HellerCo ... 70bfdd2bfa
Listening may allow you to catch more of the intended meaning. You can more easlily pick up on the mood of the quesitons and comments and the intonations of the justices.
 

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Dang you, macwise!

When I saw the thread title, I thought "Wow! SCOTUS has made their ruling!". I was all geared up to read the opinion.

I'll go back to waiting anxiously...

More on topic:

Yeah, SCOTUS arguments typically are fascinating, and all the more so when they're arguing an issue you care about. Experienced court watchers recommend not reading too much into the questions and comments of the justices during oral arguments, though; they often take positions contrary to their true opinions in order to extract arguments that support their real ideas. Then again, they often say what they think.

My opinion about their opinions is that they seem to be taking it almost as a given that the RKBA is an individual right, and that they'll rule that way. What I'm really waiting to see is what standard of scrutiny they want to apply to laws in determining their compliance to the second amendment. If it's strict scrutiny, we can expect to see all sorts of firearms legislation being found unconstitutional.

Strict scrutiny requires that for a law that infringes a constitutional right be constitutional it has to:

1. Serve a compelling government interest. There's gotta be a really important reason, and the law has to actually achieve it.
2. Be narrowly tailored. The law has to achieve the goal without avoidable side effects.
3. Be minimally restrictive. There cannot be a less restrictive way to achieve the goal.

I think if they go that route, large portions of the FOPA and GCA will fall. Even the NFA may be at risk. Unfortunately, the fact that all those long-standing laws would be endangered by a strict scrutiny ruling is an argument against applying strict scrutiny. SCOUTS tries not to strike down long-standing laws that affect large portions of the country, on the theory that if they were really bad they'd have been challenged before.

If they go with a rational basis or intermediate scrutiny standard, then it's harder to say how that would affect the laws on the books. DC-style bans are probably going to fall, but beyond that it's hard to say. Assault weapons bans are probably allowable under a rational basis standard.

In addition to the level of scrutiny they apply, the justices might also detail some limitations -- areas where reduced scrutiny can be applied.

It's going to be very interesting to see what the ruling says.
 

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swillden said:
Dang you, macwise!

When I saw the thread title, I thought "Wow! SCOTUS has made their ruling!". I was all geared up to read the opinion.

I'll go back to waiting anxiously...

More on topic:

Yeah, SCOTUS arguments typically are fascinating, and all the more so when they're arguing an issue you care about. Experienced court watchers recommend not reading too much into the questions and comments of the justices during oral arguments, though; they often take positions contrary to their true opinions in order to extract arguments that support their real ideas. Then again, they often say what they think.

My opinion about their opinions is that they seem to be taking it almost as a given that the RKBA is an individual right, and that they'll rule that way. What I'm really waiting to see is what standard of scrutiny they want to apply to laws in determining their compliance to the second amendment. If it's strict scrutiny, we can expect to see all sorts of firearms legislation being found unconstitutional.

Strict scrutiny requires that for a law that infringes a constitutional right be constitutional it has to:

1. Serve a compelling government interest. There's gotta be a really important reason, and the law has to actually achieve it.
2. Be narrowly tailored. The law has to achieve the goal without avoidable side effects.
3. Be minimally restrictive. There cannot be a less restrictive way to achieve the goal.

I think if they go that route, large portions of the FOPA and GCA will fall. Even the NFA may be at risk. Unfortunately, the fact that all those long-standing laws would be endangered by a strict scrutiny ruling is an argument against applying strict scrutiny. SCOUTS tries not to strike down long-standing laws that affect large portions of the country, on the theory that if they were really bad they'd have been challenged before.

If they go with a rational basis or intermediate scrutiny standard, then it's harder to say how that would affect the laws on the books. DC-style bans are probably going to fall, but beyond that it's hard to say. Assault weapons bans are probably allowable under a rational basis standard.

In addition to the level of scrutiny they apply, the justices might also detail some limitations -- areas where reduced scrutiny can be applied.

It's going to be very interesting to see what the ruling says.
+ 1

Tarzan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
swillden said:
Dang you, macwise!

When I saw the thread title, I thought "Wow! SCOTUS has made their ruling!". I was all geared up to read the opinion.

I'll go back to waiting anxiously...
Sorry, if I'd have known the title led one to think the ruling was made, I would have worded it differently. Or maybe I wouldn't. :D

caldweller said:
You can also listen to the arguments at
http://cdn3.libsyn.com/guntalk/HellerCo ... 70bfdd2bfa
Listening may allow you to catch more of the intended meaning. You can more easlily pick up on the mood of the quesitons and comments and the intonations of the justices.
Thanks, I think I will listen to this as well. I was wondering if this was around, but in the course of reading it I got too involved and just kept at it. I'm glad I read it, and now when I listen, I think I'll get more out of it. I could tell there were some parts that would be interesting to hear the tone in the room.

swillden said:
Strict scrutiny requires that for a law that infringes a constitutional right be constitutional it has to:

1. Serve a compelling government interest. There's gotta be a really important reason, and the law has to actually achieve it.
2. Be narrowly tailored. The law has to achieve the goal without avoidable side effects.
3. Be minimally restrictive. There cannot be a less restrictive way to achieve the goal.
Thanks for clarifying. This is something I wasn't exactly sure on. I couldn't tell if strict scrutiny meant that it would loosen laws, or restrict them.

Now that I more fully understand, I imagine the face of the US could change quite drastically if strict scrutiny were applied. Let me count just a few ways:
-BATFE will now be referred to simply as "BATE", a naming convention more applicable to it's legacy, not so much current and future practices.
-Blue and Yellow ATF jackets will now read "ATE", while agents will have the choice to declare themselves in ways such as "eight, eight, eight", or "A-T-E, put your tobacco down NOW!" upon entering hostile premises.
-The FFL order will be rescinded, leaving a wake of gun shops eager to modify their licenses to read "fFU', an acronymic double entendre meaning both "freedom of Firearms - Unrestricted", and the sentiment of gun owners giving one big "Federal..." well, you get the point
-The passing of the "Gun Control" era will lead to the "Dumb Control" era, where, while criminals will continue to prey on the weak and easy targets, the targets themselves will change - to other criminals (and liberals)
-We will be known around the world as the "One Eyed Nation", as city ordinances restricting discharge of BB guns within city limits will be done away with allowing kids to once again shoot out their friends' eyes en masse
-Poaching will become a national sport - FINALLY!
-The position of President of the United States will be done away with, as Presidential assassinations will happen even before an official nomination takes place, reducing our nation to a "superpower of two equal branches of government"
-Spurs and felt hats will once again become the prevailing fashion items in youth culture. We will see a surge in iPod six-shooters (previously considered AOW) taking center stage as the pop culture icon of the aught's and the deca's
-Gang-related shootings will be eclipsed by elementary school-age OK Corral-esque shootouts over lunch money disputes and bike rack conflicts.
-While violent crime will drastically be reduced, gun violence will go way way up. We will see at least a 99.5% murder rate in the US alone, with outlying countries and provinces experiencing at minimum a 7% increase of oxygen availability.
-The Swiss will become the new inhabitants of the land masses formerly known as the United States of America by non-hostile takeover, and will inherit all of our arms in civility, making the place of the worlds old superpower the worlds new superpower. While many Americans will be sad to be dead, most will look down and smile upon the "New America", forged by their blood.

That is my prediction of how it will play out.
 
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swillden said:
SCOUTS tries not to strike down long-standing laws that affect large portions of the country, on the theory that if they were really bad they'd have been challenged before.
I don't believe that. And to support this assertion, I present the following:
Declaration of Indpenednece said:
... Experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
The SCOTUS doesn't believe that a law's justified by its long establishment. SCOTUS is merely behaving the same way everyone already does and has for millenia: People are afraid of genuine liberalism -- the kind that is willing to sluff off the wicked traditions of the fathers and stand for people's actual rights.

It's work. It's risky. There's no guarantee that the unforeseen side effects of change will be better than the known side effects of our customary oppression. Why gamble with making it worse when you can rely on it just being tolerably bad?
 
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