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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  Today is Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.

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1889 -- 125 years ago: Members of Everts Commandery No. 18, Knights Templar, under Commander H.C. Cleaveland, marched from the Masonic Temple to Trinity Episcopal Church for their annual Easter services.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Nate Hultgren pitched the Augustana College baseball team to a 10-3 victory over Carthage, striking out 11 men and allowing only four hits.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Marvel Leonhardi, a Rock Island High School senior, was the winner of an essay contest on advertising sponsored by The Argus and Advertising Age, a national advertising publication.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Augustana College band drew a crowd of 1,200 people for its annual home concert in Centennial Hall. The size of the crowd was indicative of the fact the band is rapidly approaching the stature of the Augustana Choir.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A benefit to raise money for extracurricular activities in the Rock Island Milan School District will be April 27 at the Quad City Downs harness race track. People buying $17.50 tickets to the second annual "Night at the Quad City Downs" will be entitled to an evening of harness racing and dinner.






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