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"Lower courts need not wait for the Supreme Court the Constitution is the rule of all

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by zeezee, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. zeezee

    zeezee nowheresville Member

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    The Washington State Supreme Court has issued a precedent-setting opinion in the case of State v. Christopher William Sieyes which holds that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights "applies to the states
    via the Fourteenth Amendment" This outstanding opinion was authored by Justice Richard B. Sanders, a
    Supreme Court veteran who clearly understands the history of both the state and federal constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Perhaps what makes the Sanders opinion so remarkable is that it places the Washington Supreme Court ahead of the United States Supreme Court in recognition that the U.S. Constitution's recognition of the right to keep and bear arms applies to all citizens, and should also place limits on state and local governments, as it does on Congress.
    Quoting Justice Sanders, "Lower courts need not wait for the Supreme Court the Constitution is the rule of all courts both state and federal judiciaries wield power to strike down unconstitutional government acts."
    The Sanders opinion was issued February 18, 2010 and its significance quickly registered with gun rights organizations and activists across the map. For example, the National Shooting Sports Foundation hailed the ruling.
    NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane called it "a welcome development and victory for the rights of law-abiding firearms owners."
    This state high court opinion, among other things, effectively "puts on notice" anti-gun groups in the Evergreen State that their continued efforts to impair the rights of legally-armed citizens will face not only growing
    legislative resistance, but intense legal scrutiny. Though not binding on other states, it clears a path for other state supreme courts to follow.
    Despite its brevity at only 24 pages, Justice Sanders' opinion - which was co-signed by five of his colleagues, including Chief Justice Barbara A. Madsen - thoroughly and proactively debunks any suggestion that the authors
    of Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution did not mean specifically what they wrote: "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men."
    Perhaps Justice Sanders put it best when he noted, "This right is necessary to an Anglo-American regime of ordered liberty and fundamental to the American scheme of justice."

    "Lower courts need not wait for the Supreme Court the Constitution is the rule of all courts both state and federal judiciaries wield power to strike down unconstitutional government acts."

    Music to my ears.
     
  2. CounterOfBeans

    CounterOfBeans northwest Active Member

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    So where's the point in having a State Constitution if, in an act of State abuse of its Citizens' basic rights inside its own borders, it seemingly has no power to compel State redress on its own.

    If a State Constitution does have force and effect, logic dictates that that is all that's necessary for a State Citizen to achieve redress at the State level. And Washington does have its own right-to-bear-arms protection at Article I, Section 24, as so ironically cited by the opinion.

    What message is being sent if every State Citizen goes running directly to the federal bill of rights, whether the abuse is State or federal?

    Why bother with the farce of a State Constitution at all?

    Why bother having a State government if its own Constitution's language is made irrelevant by token of its own Citizens and courts defaulting to federal provisions?

    Just not sure what's to celebrate?
     
  3. Ravenous

    Ravenous West Linn, OR Member

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    The federal constitution is the "United" in the United States of America. If the states can start superceding the groundwork of the country, then we are no longer united. Each state is not it's own country, I see nothing wrong with this ruling.
     
  4. CounterOfBeans

    CounterOfBeans northwest Active Member

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    It would sure help me to know what it was about what I wrote that caused you to think I was somehow talking about States "superseding the groundwork of the country", i.e. the Union. Not sure how you pulled that out of my words.
     
  5. Ravenous

    Ravenous West Linn, OR Member

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    Yea ummmm.... I honestly misread your post. :eek:
     
  6. zeezee

    zeezee nowheresville Member

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    Our government, our constitution was set up as a state run government, the feds were only given power in certain areas, it was never intended for the feds to run our daily lives or to tell the states what they can and cannot do. IMHO linclon did us wrong by not allowing states to remove (sp susceed) themselves and not remain a seperate state(s) and we are paying for it now.
     
  7. CounterOfBeans

    CounterOfBeans northwest Active Member

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    Which, based on you saying this, I honestly don't understand how you can celebrate the ruling at the center ring of your post. If you are familiar with the 14th Amendment's designed intent, you would know that it's beneficiaries are federal citizens, not State Citizens. The 14th created for the first time, a federal citizenry. And it is for the benefit of these federal citizens that the 14th does what it does in the States. The 1872 SCOTUS case called The Slaughterhouse Cases was the first time the SCOTUS was called on to define what the 14th Amendment (1868) was intended for and it has never been overruled. It IS still active stare decisis. Rulings that lead you/us to believe it applies any other way are from activists legislating their agenda from the bench. I'll spare you the extensive, unambiguous opinion language from Slaughterhouse. It would be more helpful just to read it yourself if you haven't already. It's quite the read.
     
  8. zeezee

    zeezee nowheresville Member

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    I ain't no lawyer or historian, just trying to understand what is going on in my life. Evidently you are much more knowledgeable on this subject than myself, so please tell us more. If this story I posted is not in our best interest, please explain.
    Thanks
     
  9. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    I think any positive ruling by any court that is pro-gun gives pro-gun lawyers more ammo to use to support gun rights.
     
  10. CounterOfBeans

    CounterOfBeans northwest Active Member

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    Zeezee, I totally appreciate and thank you that you are trying to understand what's going on, but especially your willingness to put your understandings about this Washington case on hold out of respect for "our best interest".

    My curiosity about the same things has put me through a personal education experience that has given me a fondness for reading and studying law, non-professionally. I am not a lawyer and I do not offer legal advice, but I feel that what I've learned is of value to anyone who wants to peer a little deeper behind the veneer of what we've been told about the law.

    The explanations for the statements I made above deal with a complex web of how common everyday terms (when they're used in the law) serve to mislead us in ways that we can't easily detect, but ways that whittle away at our rights. If you can hang tight, I'm working on my response to your posting and I will try to make it as concise and useful as I can. Thanks