Letter: Read Constitution, then Supreme Court decisions


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Posted Online: Jan. 03, 2013, 3:16 pm
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To the letter, "Constitution brilliantly written; now read it," I must respond that reading it is not enough.

In 1803 Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison declared that the U.S. Constitution says exactly what the U.S. Supreme Court says it says. Every court since has agreed.

In the decision of the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, the major decision was that the district could not place certain requirements on gun owners such as requiring a trigger lock. The decision delighted the right and the gun lobby but the total ruling was really quite liberal.

In the final decision, Justice Antonin Scalia stated that the phrase stressed in the letter, "A well regulated militia," is merely prefatory and adds no value to the Second amendment. I cannot think of another example of the court stating that any other phrase in the Constitution ought to be just ignored.

Additionally, Justice Scalia invented a new Second Amendment constitutional right, the right of self-defense. A right to self-defense is not mentioned anywhere in the U.S. Constitution and therefore ought to be left to the states or the people as the constitution stipulates.

It is indeed a good start to read the U.S. Constitution, but you cannot stop there. You must know what the Supreme Court says it says.

James Tucker,
Riverdale



















 




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1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments.
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1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually.
1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area.
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