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Old March 13, 2013, 12:59 AM   #6
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,701
Welcome, all. By all means have a look at Spat Mcgee's post on the Constitution.

A few things:

Originally Posted by SouthronPatriot
...Moreover, the first 10 Amendments, the Bill of Rights, are precious God-given fundamental rights that are to be applied in all 50 States; they are basic human rights if you will. Nonetheless, politicians, not only federal but local and state as well commonly violate the 2nd Amendment. Why the double standard?...
There can be, and often is, disagreement about what the Constitution means when applied to certain situations. Resolving those types of disagreements are the one of the things that courts do.

Until the Supreme Court decided Heller in 2008, a lot of people, including some courts, believed that the Second Amendment described a collective right. The Court's decision in Heller made it clear that the Second Amendment described an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Until the Supreme Court decided McDonald in 2010, court decision had held that the Second Amendment didn't apply to the States. Now that's been changed as well.

So there are now more than 70 lawsuits around the country dealing with core RKBA issues.

Originally Posted by SouthronPatriot
...violations on the 1st Amendment by any State, county, city or district would NEVER be tolerated by the federal government?
Except under rare circumstances, it's not up to the federal government to enforce the Constitution. If a State, or if the federal government does something that some people believe is wrong, there are various ways to challenge that act. One of the most common ways in in court, and one basis for challenge is that the governmental action violated the Constitution. So in a sense it's really up to individual, private litigants to enforce the Constitution.

It's also well established in the law that constitutionally protected rights are subject to limited regulation. The rights described by the First Amendment have certainly been regulated in a number of ways.

While the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, assembly and religion, we know there has been a history of certain regulation of speech, assembly and religion. A few examples are:
  • Laws prohibiting such things as false advertising, fraud or misrepresentation, as well as laws requiring certain disclosures in connection with various transactions, would absolutely survive a challenge to their validity on Constitutional grounds even though such laws do impinge on the freedom of speech. Among other things, such laws serve compelling state interests related to promoting honest business and helping to preserve the integrity of commercial transactions. They tend to be only as broad as necessary to serve that function.

  • If you are offering securities or certain other types of investments to the public, your written solicitation materials will have to first be approved prior to use by one or more regulatory agencies. If you are selling medicines in interstate commerce, your labeling will have to be approved in advance by the FDA, and you will have to have demonstrated, through hard, scientific data, that any claims or representations made are true. These are also laws that abridge freedom of speech, and yet they are regular enforced.

  • Laws respecting the time, place and manner of speech or assembly have also survived Constitutional challenges. Thus a municipality may require that organizers obtain a permit in order to hold an assembly or a parade and may prohibit such activities during, for example, the very early morning hours. Such regulations would be permitted only to the extent necessary to serve the compelling state interest of protecting public health and safety. Any such regulations, to be constitutionally permissible, could not consider the content of the speech or assembly; and they would need to be applied in an even handed manner based on set guidelines and not subject to the discretion of a public official.

  • In the past, laws prohibiting polygamy have been upheld against challenges that they violate the right to free exercise of religion. And if someone’s religion required the practice of human sacrifice, he can not expect to successfully hide behind the First Amendment if prosecuted for murder (or assisting a suicide if the victim were willing).
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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