Tuesday, June 29, 2010

SCOTUS: Here we go again

Ugh. You know, when I started blogging four years ago, it was supposed to be a personal journal about random geekery and my impending fatherhood and whatever stupidity would happen to occur to me over the course of a workday. I didn't think it would transform into all politics, all the time, but here's another post on an appalling ruling by the Roberts' Court.

Surprisingly, the SCOTUS made a shitty 5-4 decision in striking down Chicago's ban on handguns. Who'd've thunk it? Anyways, they concluded that your right to own a toy that kills people outweighs my right to you know, be alive.

Seriously, the dangerously anachronistic second amendment guarantee a right to bear arms (as part of a well-regulated militia). It doesn't guarantee the right to bear a specific arm of your choice. How hard is this to understand? If you really need a gun to protect your family, shotguns or rifles are readily available, and they have the added feature of not being easily concealable so that you can hide them in order to murder civilians and law enforcement officers.

Prior to his Senate run, I knew Al Franken as an SNL performer and author. (He was heavily involved behind the scenes, but I knew him only as Stuart Smalley.) If you had told me that he would become one of the most articulate voices in the history of the United States Senate, I would have derided it as ridiculous. And yet, he comes out with statements like this:

"I think we've established very convincingly, we did during the Sotomayor hearing, that there is such a thing as judicial activism. There is such a thing as legislating from the bench. And it is practiced repeatedly by the Roberts court, and it has cut in only one direction, in favor of powerful corporate interests and against the rights of individual Americans. "

"So here is my point, General Kagan. Citizens United isn't just about election law. It isn't just about campaign finance law. It's about seat belts. It's about clean air and clean water. It's about energy policy and the rights of workers and investors. It's about health care. It's about our ability to pass laws that protect the American people even if it hurts the corporate bottom line.

As Justice Stevens said, it's about our need to prevent corporations from undermining self-government."

In conclusion, Portugal is a land of contrasts and Al Franken is pretty awesome

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