Ashcroft Deconstructed

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Exposing Rightwing Corruption : One Thread

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Violence Policy Center (VPC) learned this week that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is opposing an effort by law professors David Yassky and Carl T. Bogus-who are friends-of-the-court in U.S. v. Emerson-to have the recent VPC study, Shot Full of Holes: Deconstructing John Ashcroft's Second Amendment, considered by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Emerson case. The VPC study analyzes Attorney General John Ashcroft's May letter to the National Rifle Association in which he reverses longstanding Justice Department policy and argues that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. The request by the attorneys came after appellee Timothy Joe Emerson submitted the Ashcroft letter to the court for consideration. Paradoxically, the Department has not voiced opposition to Emerson's introduction of the Ashcroft letter.

The DOJ calls the VPC study an "unauthorized supplemental brief." Yet the VPC analysis of the Ashcroft letter introduced by the two attorneys is directly related to Emerson's submission of the letter and would actually support the Department of Justice's-as opposed to Ashcroft's-position in the case.

In Emerson, a federal judge in Texas, Sam R. Cummings, flouted more than a century of Supreme Court precedent to find that the defendant, under an active domestic violence restraining order that prevented him from possessing firearms, had his Second Amendment rights violated.

"Justice Story in his commentary on the Second Amendment, Justice Story interprets the right that the amendment protects as tied to militia service. Justice Story wrote:

1890. The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition from a sense of burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights. No Recess For Ashcroft Hypocrisy

Ashcroft Deconstructed

-- Cherri (jessam6@home.com), August 10, 2001


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