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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Highlights from Sotomayor Hearing Day 3

I only watched bits and pieces and so I'll just speak to the most interesting thing I noticed. Senator Tom Coburn questioned Judge Sotomayor repeatedly about the second amendment and Judge Sotomayor was very technical about exactly how far the right extended. Suffice to say, Judge Sotomayor doesn't see the 2nd amendment as an absolute right that no government can take away. Senator Coburn later asked Judge Sotomayor if there is a Constitutional right to defend one's self. Judge Sotomayor thought about this question and she answered that the particular question had never come before the court. In other words, one can say that Judge Sotomayor that defending one's self is not a Constitutional right.

Senator Coburn then asked the obvious dichotomy. Judge Sotomayor has also stated that the right to an abortion is settled law. So, the same person that proclaims that a right to an abortion is settled law finds the right to own a firearm only a technical right. This same person also doesn't see a right to defend one self in the Constitution. Senator Coburn asked the nominee how we have gotten to a place where a right to an abortion, not anywhere in the Constitution, becomes settled law while the right to own a firearm is merely a technical right. Judge Sotomayor really didn't have a good answer to this question.

I have always found it curious that many of the same people that furiously defend the right to an abortion also question just how absolute a right to own a firearms is. In fact, the so called right to an abortion comes from another dubious right, the right to privacy. The right to privacy can be inferred from the 4th amendment.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Being secure in one's home against unreasonable search and seizure infers a right to privacy. Of course, a right to privacy is not explicity stated in the Constitution. There is no specific right to privacy. There is also no specific right to protect one's self. Most supporters of the second amendment would infer that the right to own a firearm gives people an inherent right to protect oneself. After all, the primary legal reason for a firearm is to protect one's self.

There appears to be a contradiction in beliefs by Judge Sotomayor. In fact, anyone that believes that abortion is a definitive right that doesn't give the second amendment at least as much deference exhibits, in my opinion, a total lack of logic when it comes to analyzing the Constitution. If the public had anything more than a rudimentary knowledge of the Constitution, the exchange between Coburn and Sotomayor would be the biggest story from the hearings today.

After all, the same person that finds the second amendment as only a technical, but not absolute, right also finds a right nowhere in the Constitution as settled law. These simultaneous stances exhibit a total lack of logic in applying case law and the Constitution to one's application of the law. It's simply inexplicable and it should be grounds for denial from the highest court.

Yet, it's ultimately a minor issue. That's because we have a whole political ideology that wholeheartedly agree with Sotomayor.


Anonymous said...

The same illogical thinking applies to capital punishment. Abortion is good but the death penalty is bad. You cannot discuss this with most of the liberals I know.


Anonymous said...

Even if there isn't a Constitutional right to protect yourself, there's still a common-law right. If anything, the right to self-defense *predates* the constitution.