Stevens Calls the Right to Arms a 'Property Right' (for Him, the Ultimate Insult)

In his McDonald v. Chicago dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens asserts:

The right to possess a firearm of one’s choosing is different in kind from the liberty interests we have recognized under the Due Process Clause.…It does not appear to be the case that the ability to own a handgun, or any particular type of firearm, is critical to leading a life of autonomy, dignity, or political equality…

In some respects the substantive right at issue may be better viewed as a property right. Petitioners wish to acquire certain types of firearms, or to keep certain firearms they have previously acquired. Interests in the possession of chattels have traditionally been viewed as property interests subject to definition and regulation by the States.

Stevens' opinion that the right to armed self-defense is not very important was decisively rejected not only in McDonald but also in D.C. v. Heller, based on strong historical evidence that the people who ratified the Second and 14th amendments had a different view. But consider the implications of his suggestion that we view the right to keep and bear arms as a property right. Stevens, who sees nothing wrong with the forcible transfer of property from one private owner to another as long as it's done pursuant to a "plan," means this as a put-down. But contrary to his implication that states are free to define and regulate it however they choose, property is explicitly protected by the Fifth Amendment: People cannot be deprived of it without "due process," and it cannot be taken for "public use" without "just compensation." The 14th Amendment's moribund Privileges or Immunities Clause arguably provides additional protection for property rights.

Furthermore, the right to keep and bear arms is not the only constitutional right that depends on property. What about "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures"? Under Stevens' reasoning, it would be reduced to a "property interest" that is "subject to definition and regulation by the States." Likewise freedom of speech or religion, to the extent that they depend on the use of property such as computers, paper, ritual objects, and houses of worship. How meaningful would these rights be if you had them in theory but were forbidden to own and use property needed to exercise them?

I noted some puzzling rhetorical questions in Justice Stephen Breyer's McDonald dissent earlier today. I'll have more on the dissenters' complaints in my column tomorrow.

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  • ||

    Gack, choke, puke

  • Jordan||

    Barfman? Is that you?

  • ||

    I could only wish.

  • JB||

    That is what Stevens does.

    He is a cock-sucking little bitch.

    I look forward to him dying soon and joining Bryd in hell.

  • WS in PA||

    Another case of judicial cranial rectosis.

  • ||

    The next time Cavenaugh is going on about what a great President Ford was, you guys might want to remind him that Ford gave us this turd.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I knew he sucked, but I didn't know what a truly evil sack of shit ratdoosh he was.

  • John Paul Stevens||

    "When only an invasion of a property right is involved, there is a greater likelihood that a damages award will make a person completely whole than when an invasion of an individual's bodily restraint and punishment has occurred." - Ingraham v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651, 701 (1977) (me, dissenting.)

    So even if the government takes your property, just take the check, and then fuck off. It's the American way, citizen!

  • Guns for babies||

    Ratfucker!

  • chode||

    Regardless of whether it's the American way, citizen, it's constitutional:

    "[N]or shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." -- Amend. V

    Not only is the government not prohibited from taking your property, the only limit is that it must provide you with just compensation.

  • ||

    The language of the 5th amendment does not authorize the state to take your property without your consent. If the framers had intended that the state had such a power, why didn't they say so?

    You are making the same mistake that so many other sheople make: You buy the propaganda which has been spoon fed to you by your statitst parents, teachers and others.

  • ||

    Consent? What chu talkin' 'bout?

  • ||

    The individual is the principal, the state the agent. Thus, if the principal does not consent to the compensation offered by his agent, the compensation, by definition, is not "just."

  • ||

    Quite the stretch. First I've seen where "Just" does not equal "Fair Market Value". Cite?

  • ||

    So I show up at your house. I like it. I offer a fair market price. You must take it and move out even if you don't want too?

  • ||

    MP, given that natural rights philosophy undergirds the Declaration of Independence, almost all original state constituions and the federal constitution and that the founding generation was dominated by natural rights adherents, one is correct in positing that the principal is the individual and the state is the agent.

    So, is the agent, alone, to decide what is a just price for his principal's property? To argue in the affirmative is looney tunes. It defies all logic.

    Again, does the language of the amendment declare that "the state shall have the power to take private property without the owner's consent provided that the price paid is just?"

    It does not. In construing the meaning of a constitution, by what logic is one compelled to indulge the agent with powers over his principal not specifcally, irrefutably granted?

  • ||

    Then why doesn't the amendment say "private property shall not be taken for public use, period"? Obviously if the owner is willing to sell at the price the govt offers to pay, there's no need for the amendment to authorize this.

  • ||

    So, when in doubt, indulge the state?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Sorry, LM, but this is a bad read on your part. They would not have used the word "taken" if they meant what you wish they meant. Also, what Tulpa said.

  • chode||

    You're not the government.

  • ||

    Maybe Im too optimistic but I sense that the public in general, and the mainstream media, are more skeptical about gun control, maybe because violent crime keeps going down while more states allow CCW and the federal AWB has sunsetted. I've noticed lots of news stories talking about McDonald as a "gun rights" case, not a "gun control" case.

  • Waggoneer||

    For"autonomy, dignity, or political equality" a person needs the right to self defense. Armed resistence to those that would deprive you of all three.

  • ||

    I guess Stevens is ignorant of the fact that any majority in history which sought to commit genocide first disarmed the targeted minority.

  • Earth First, You Second||

    This

  • West Texas Boy||

    Why even bother with genocide? It's a lot easier to just oppress people (that is, you don't necessarily have to kill them) if you have them outgunned and they can't fight back.

    The ENTIRE POINT of the Bill of Rights is that that the founders had personally experienced life under an oppressive tyrannical government and wanted to put safeguards into the government that they were conceiving so as to prevent the new government from trying to pull the same shit that the old government had done. Letting the people keep their guns, and therefore retain the right to fight back if need be, was obvious to them.

    You can argue semantics about there the comma is placed and what "militia" means, but goddammit, you cannot in good faith argue that its allowable for fuckers like Richard Daley and anyone in DC to decide that they can take guns away because they're icky. The issue is not whether they are icky, the issue is that you can't take them away, fucker, so go find something else to meddle with instead.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Sorry, didn't conclude...

    It's busybody petty tyrant fuckers like these blue state mayors who hate guns and think they know better who the goddamn 2nd Amendment was intended for in the first place.

  • ||

    I really wish I had the time to read these opinions in full, because based on the first paragraph above, I agree with Stevens. Substantive Due Process is an incredibly weak foundation for gun rights.

    I also see the Property angle. The right to own a firearm does not equal the right to self defense. The reasoning behind the ownership right is self defense, but a lack of an ownership right is not a lack of a right to self defense. Self defense is a right that's defensible via SDP. Firearm ownership is not.

    That's why Thomas should have won the day. You don't need logical contortions with P&I. With P&I, the 2nd amendment comes into play much more assertively than with SDP.

  • ||

    Substantive due process is an amazingly weak foundation for any non-procedural rights. (Like, say, free speech, or the right to buy condoms).

    It's not clear why the right to bear arms is less worthy of protection under the due process clause than the right to buy condoms, except that Stevens likes condoms and doesn't like guns.

  • ||

    The rational basis for gun control is much clearer than that for banning birth control. And it was the lack of a basis for a ban that won the day in Griswold, not a right to buy condoms.

  • ||

    Have you read Griswold? There's no reason to believe that the court was applying rational basis review.

  • ||

    My bad. I tend to lump in Overbreadth with Rational Basis, and they're clearly distinct.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    The alleged rational basis being....

    I only ask because the recent history makes it quite clear that gun control either doesn't help, or perhaps hurts slightly when it comes to controlling violent crimes in this country and in this era.

  • ||

    I loved the MSM take on McDonald. They showed Chicago and talked about the prevalence in Chicago of gun violence over the past several days. Not once did they make the connection that even with prohibitive restrictions on gun ownership, somehow the criminals managed to get guns while the law abiding populace was disarmed. Then they used the violence to illustrate why gun control was necessary.

  • juris imprudent||

    The double irony is, no one loves violent crime more than the MSM - it makes their ratings tingle.

  • ||

    Agreed. From what I've read on the topic, substantive due process was essentially created out of thin air, while P&I is plain text.

    Color me surprised that SCOTUS went for the Rube Goldberg route.

  • ||

    P&I goes places where the Supremes don't want to go. ie, striking down state licensing restrictions left and right.

  • juris imprudent||

    What statist wouldn't love the implications of Slaughterhouse? Doesn't matter if you're liberal or conservative - it has something for everyone.

    You expect them to overturn that?

  • Goober||

    I'm pretty sure that this was a ploy to get Kennedy on board.

    Remember that in Heller, the court was careful to steer clear of, say, Assault Weapons Bans and the like. I think this was largely because if they took too big a bite, Kennedy would have never signed on.

    As you note, SDP is a murky, shifting foundation and the court can play a lot to justify Assault Weapons bans and the like. On the other hand, P&I would have made a logically clear line of progression that would have made a lot of law and precedent incompatible. So once again, I expect that Kennedy was uncomfortable with the latter.

  • ||

    Stevens has an amazing two step. First, he calls the due process clause the "liberty clause" (because the language says that no one shall be deprived of "something, liberty, or something without due process of law".) Second, gun ownership is apparently a property right, and therefore doesn't affect a "liberty interest" and is not worthy of concern.

    Now if I could just remember what those two "somethings" were . . .

  • Fluffy||

    Stevens isn't the only one to disdain property rights.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING.....google_cnn

    The ACLU is suing Wal-Mart because they drug test their employees and fired some guy who takes medical marijuana.

    Because Wal-Mart's property right isn't important to the ACLU.

    This semi-threadjack is intended to demonstrate that I acknowledge the ACLU's imperfection and will criticize them when they fuck up. Carry on.

  • ||

    Companies all over the country drug test and fire employees for failing them. Funny that they picked out Wall Mart.

  • ||

    You won't see them pick on law enforcement agencies for doing the same.

    I'm not a fan of drug testing anyway. If they had a test to see if you're high when you come to work, I wouldn't be against it. But no job should ever be able to dictate what you do after work, and on your own property.

  • ||

    I agree with you that it is a terrible policy. But you don't have to work there. I am not sure what to think.

  • SIV||

    no job should ever be able to dictate what you do after work, and on your own property.

    So work somewhere else. I oppose the government telling a private employer they have to drug test but employers should be able to hire or fire whoever they like, for whatever reason

  • ||

    I live and work in California. My employer has a randon drug testing policy. Out of curiosity I asked if medically prescribed MJ would result in termination if detected on a random test. They said yes. I asked if MJ becomes legal in the fall, would a positive result still lead to termination. They said yes.

    Their house, their rules.

  • Rand Paul||

    This, fuckers.

    (oh shit... I- I- I take it back!)

  • Sudden||

    They picked out Walmart because they needed to do something to appease their contributors on the left who were disgruntled about Citizens v United and the ACLU's opposition to the DISCLOSE act.

  • ||

    Are you calling wal-mart employees, property?

  • ||

    The ACLU is suing Wal-Mart because they drug test their employees and fired some guy who takes medical marijuana.

    Because Wal-Mart's property right isn't important to the ACLU.

    In this case, Wal-mart drug tested because the worker was injured at work. The point of the testing is to see if you were under the influence when the accident happened.
    But as we all know, MJ shows up in a drug test even if you aren't high.

    I am with the ACLU on this. What good are medical MJ laws when people can lose their job over using medicine that helps them.

    This is discrimination. They don't fire people for taking Percoset or Oxycontin or any other medicine even if they take it while on the job and it impairs them.

    Medical MJ is legal, and the employee was never was high on the job. Why should MJ be different?

    The right of the individual to use the medicine of their choice and to earn a living outweighs the right of Wal-Mart to fire you for your choice of medicine that is perfectly legal under state law.

  • Jordan||

    The right of the individual to use the medicine of their choice and to earn a living

    Nobody owes you a living or a job at Wal-Mart.

  • ||

    ""Nobody owes you a living or a job at Wal-Mart.""

    Granted, but it's still bullshit to get fired for doing legal activities on your own property.

  • ||

    Not seeing what the problem is with a company setting it's own internal rules for employment at that company.

  • ||

    Not seeing what the problem is with a company setting it's own internal rules for employment at that company.

    There's a real problem with it.

    I don't think anyone except loonie libertarians want to live in a world where they people can get fired because they have to take percoset or vicodin or any other drug when they have an illness.

    People shouldn't have to choose between their job with it's arbitrary rules and their health and well being.

    This is the problem with libertarians in general.

    You want to cut social welfare and unemployment benefits, allow companies to shit-can employees who do their job just fine for being sick and taking medicine and then rail about the deadbeats who "dont want to work".

    Is this how you expand liberty? By allowing private entities to control the private lives and medical decisions of their workers?

    Vive la liberté (for the powerful that is)

  • Jordan||

    By allowing private entities to control the private lives and medical decisions of their workers?

    They aren't controlling shit. He agreed to work for them under those terms.

  • Tony||

    Maybe there should be terms between Wal-Mart and the society it's allowed to operate in about when it can and can't fire workers.

    Not everyone will be a Wal-Mart, so I don't see why they get all the rights while everyone else is essentially a serf in your world.

  • Jordan||

    Not everyone will be a Wal-Mart, so I don't see why they get all the rights while everyone else is essentially a serf in your world.


    Everyone has the same rights. You get to limit access to your property just as Wal-Mart does.
  • Jordan||

    Blockquote fail.

    Not everyone will be a Wal-Mart, so I don't see why they get all the rights while everyone else is essentially a serf in your world.

    Everyone has the same rights. You get to limit access to your property just as Wal-Mart does.

  • ||

    Maybe there should be terms between Wal-Mart and the society it's allowed to operate in about when it can and can't fire workers.

    Maybe if "society" wants to dictate the terms under which Wal-Mart conducts its business, "society" should pony up some capital and buy an ownership interest in the company. Otherwise "society" can go fuck itself.

  • Tony||

    Maybe if "society" wants to dictate the terms under which Wal-Mart conducts its business, "society" should pony up some capital and buy an ownership interest in the company. Otherwise "society" can go fuck itself.

    Well we pay for its security, the roads that lead to its stores, the organization of a stable and prosperous society that supplies it with customers, and its ability to exist as a corporation in the first place. So they can follow our rules or go to China and follow theirs. For some reason I don't see them opening many stores in places with small and inept governments.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Well we pay for its security, the roads that lead to its stores, the organization of a stable and prosperous society that supplies it with customers, and its ability to exist as a corporation in the first place.

    The government provides your security and your roads. It is a very sick person who says that because we grant the government some powers that they therefore are all-powerful. It takes an even sicker person to basically out-and-out state that the government should act as the Mafia. "Gosh, that's a really nice Wal*Mart you have there...be a shame if we stopped providing 'security'".

  • ||

    Where is it written that they must work there? All employers will have the exact same rules?

    Do we even know if this person went to the company with a letter from his doctor stating that he was under his/her care and was prescribed this medication?

    I don't think anyone except loonie libertarians want to live in a world where they people can get fired because they have to take percoset or vicodin or any other drug when they have an illness.

    If taking a drug made it dangerous to operate machinery, it certainly does matter. It's completely relevant. But, I have no idea whether or not the guy was under the influence or not in this case.

    Look, it's very simple, this is a business arrangement in the form of a contract. The employer sets out the terms under which employment is possible. The applicant is then free to reject these terms and look elsewhere or negotiate to modify the terms, if possible.

    Is this how you expand liberty?

    Liberty is generally expanded when the state refrains from asserting its values over the values of the contracting, consensual parties.

    Weren't you talking about at-will employment the other day and how the firing of someone (Weigel?) in an at-will situation made it a non-issue?

  • Fluffy||

    No matter how absurd Wal-Mart's employment decisions are, it's their money and they get to spend it however they want.

    Claiming that I am not free if Wal-Mart gets to make up their own minds about whether to give me money or not is like claiming I'm not free because Miranda Kerr gets to make up her own mind whether or not to give me head.

    "Oh how horrible!" laments ChicagoTom. "Only loony libertarians want to live in a world where hot chicks get to decide who gets all the good blowjobs! Is this how you expand liberty? By giving all the blowjob power to hot chicks? Viva la liberte - but not for ugly middle aged guys, I guess." [Sad face]

  • MJ||

    "Oh how horrible!" laments ChicagoTom. "Only loony libertarians want to live in a world where hot chicks get to decide who gets all the good blowjobs!"

    You think ChicagoTom is Bill Maher?

  • ||

    People shouldn't have to choose between their job with it's arbitrary rules and their health and well being.

    If you don't like your employer's arbitrary rules, quit and find an employer with less arbitrary rules, or start your own competing business and see if those rules suddenly seem quite so arbitrary when you're trying to meet payroll.

  • SIV||

    So don't work for employers that choose to pull bullshit moves like that.

  • ||

    Nobody owes you a living or a job at Wal-Mart.

    No one owes anyone a job, but an employee who has been doing a good job for 5 years and takes perfectly legal MJ for their cancer deserves to keep his job unless there is real cause.

  • ||

    Agreed. But that makes this a stupid corporate policy. Not a legal issue.

  • ||

    Agreed. But that makes this a stupid corporate policy. Not a legal issue.

    I disagree. It's discriminatory.

    And I am pulling for the victim.

  • ||

    At what point in your worldview is discrimination acceptable?

  • ||

    At what point in your worldview is discrimination acceptable?

    The default would be never.

    Now on a case by case basis we can look at exception if you can justify some type of reason for the discrimination.

    But otherwise, never.

  • ||

    "Never" means that when I need to hire someone, I should pick the person at random.

    There's always a basis for discrimination. That's why I asked what your boundary was. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service is discrimination. Ladies Night is discrimination. No obese women at strip clubs is discrimination. Charging fat people for two seats is discrimination.

    Discrimination is everywhere. Always. And that should be OK in almost all circumstances, given the immense variety of possible ways to discriminate.

    So is Never still your answer?

  • wheelock||

    Love to see an answer to this. +1

  • ||

    "And I am pulling for the victim ex-employee."

    So am I; it sounds like a raw deal.

    Still, that doesn't change the fact that Wal-Mart should be free to set its terms of employment as it sees fit.

  • Jordan||

    I think it's shitty of Wal-Mart too, but nobody's rights have been violated.

  • ||

    """I think it's shitty of Wal-Mart too, but nobody's rights have been violated.""

    You've basically been arguing that your employer has a right to usurp your rights as a condition of employment, and you have a right to accept it or not.

  • Jordan||

    No, I haven't. I'll repeat what I said a few minutes ago: If I write a newspaper article calling my boss an asshole, I'll probably be fired, but my 1st Amendment rights have not been violated.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Uhhhhh.... You don't have a right to a job at Wal-mart.

    Similarly, the Dixie Chicks (the quintessential popular example of "trampled rights") don't have a right to be on the radio.

    Go smoke your pot and spout your opinion all you want. Your rights are immaterial to this debate.

  • Sudden||

    takes perfectly legal MJ for their cancer deserves to keep his job unless there is real cause.

    Assuming thats true. I live in California, Medical MJ state, and everyone here knows you can get a bullshit prescription for anything from insomnia to narcolepsy to IBS to "headaches" without any hassle or genuine medical inquiry. The whole law is just a half-assed decriminalization (not that I have a problem with decriminalization, I just rather prefer the full-assed variety). I'll accept your points regarding the discriminatory aspect (even if I don't agree that Walmart violated any of the petitioner's rights in doing so providing his terms of employment clearly specified the ability to drug test in such cases), but please don't feed me the hyperbolic cancer patient BS.

  • Sudden||

    I stand corrected. I hadn't read the article intro until just now. It really was cancer, a rare form of nasal cancer at that. (although unless he was undergoing chemo, I can't see what the basis for the weed was... I didn't get far enough into the article to see if he had chemo treatments going on)

  • ||

    takes perfectly legal MJ for their cancer

    OK, have you seen the light on the Supremacy Clause or the Interstate Commerce Clause, ChiTom? Because unless one of those nullifies federal drug laws, medical marijuana is not legal anywhere in the US.

  • West Texas Boy||

    who has been doing a good job for 5 years

    See, this is where you fuck up. If the employee does the drugs, then, in Wal-Mart's mind, he wasn't actually doing a good job.

    And that is Wal-mart and Wal-mart's decision alone to make. Not yours. If you don't like it, go start your own five-and-dime and run it how you see fit.

  • ||

    ""and the employee was never was high on the job""

    Assuming that's true, shouldn't the pro-property right folk back this guy's right to do whatever legal activities he wants on his own property?

  • Jordan||

    Yep. I also support Wal-Mart's right to fire him for what he does in his free time on his own property, just as I support your right to ban me from your house for what I do in my free time on my own property.

  • ||

    What good are your rights if you're not allowed to exercise them.

  • Jordan||

    Nobody is preventing him from exercising his rights. If I write a newspaper article calling my boss an asshole, I'll probably be fired, but my 1st Amendment rights have not been violated.

  • ||

    What good are your rights if you're not allowed to exercise them.

    Wal-Mart would totally agree with you that their rights to determine who to hire and fire should not be abridged.

  • ||

    No one has said that his right to do what he wants on his own property were in question. What he does on the property of others is the issue.

    In this case he had a substance in his blood that the property owner didn't approve while operating equipment or performing work on that property.

    I don't like it anymore then you do, but it is Wal-Mart's property.

  • SIV||

    Sure but he doesn't own WalMart.

  • Earth First, You Second||

    "I am with the ACLU on this. What good are medical MJ laws when people can lose their job over using medicine that helps them."

    Well, at my company, if you are under a doctor's care and are prescribed medication that impairs your judgement, the corporate code of conduct dictates that you stay home. No exceptions. That's what short-term and long-term disability insurance is for.

    I believe in the legalization of weed, but I sure as hell don't want to be working around a fork truck driver who's high on the chronic.

  • ||

    Well, at my company, if you are under a doctor's care and are prescribed medication that impairs your judgement, the corporate code of conduct dictates that you stay home. No exceptions. That's what short-term and long-term disability insurance is for.

    He wasn't high at work. he smoked in the evenings, his judgment was never impaired.

  • ||

    Oh yeah, you would really be afraid of being next to a forklift operator high on the chronic-given the overwhelming evidence that being high on the chronic causes forklift accidents.

  • ||

    Last post was for Earth First.

  • ||

    "This is discrimination. They don't fire people for taking Percoset or Oxycontin or any other medicine even if they take it while on the job and it impairs them."

    Actually they do fire you for that sort of thing. My employment handbook specifically prohibits me from coming to work impaired by any substance, legal or otherwise.

    If I'm being medically treated in a way that impairs my judgement or performance, I'm expected to take sick leave and stay at home.

  • ||

    Actually they do fire you for that sort of thing. My employment handbook specifically prohibits me from coming to work impaired by any substance, legal or otherwise.

    Wal-mart though doesn't, as Jerry below pointed out.

    He was fired specifically for the MJ, not the other pain-killers he took while on the job.

    That's pretty discriminatory.

  • ||

    CT-

    What about the employee's property rights in his job?

    Another thing: What about the humongous subsidies going to Walmart? I distinguish outright subsidies from tax breaks as the former is welfare while the latter is Walmart's money.

  • Fluffy||

    In the absence of a signed employment contract the employee has no property rights in his job.

    Saying an employee has a property right in his job is exactly the same as saying that Blockbuster has a property right in my yearly video rentals and I should have to keep shopping there even if I want to join Netflix.

  • ||

    Fluffy, you do know that there are just oodles of cases that hold that an individual has property interests in his employment.

    FREEDOM OF CONTRACT is not a one way street.

  • ||

    FREEDOM OF CONTRACT is not a one way street.

    You are very correct.

    He was free to quit his job at any time for any reason, right?

  • ||

    Well, to answer that question, one must examine the entirety of the contractual relationship between the parties. Do you know all of the facts?
    I do not presume to know them all.

    However, I do know that Walmart is a rent seeking welfare addicted purveyor of mostly inferior quality products. I don't want any more of my property confiscated for Walmart's benefit.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Subsidies are irrelevant. Otherwise, you could argue that no college student has any rights whatsoever, because the entire student-loan industry is subsidized.

  • Obama DOJ||

    Medical MJ is legal,

    Bwwwaaaahhhhhaaaahhhhhhaaaa!

  • Jerry||

    In accordance with state law, Joseph at no time ingested marihuana in the workplace, and never performed duties of any kind for Wal-Mart while under the influence of marihuana. Joseph made do with his other prescription painkillers throughout the workday and used the marihuana once daily when he got home from work.


    So being high on oxycodone is not a problem?

  • SIV||

    From a libertarian perspective WalMart could require everybody to come to work drunk if they want.

  • ||

    No, it could not. A rent seeking welfare recepient has no right to require one to come to work inebriated.

  • ||

    Can they require employees to refer to customers as "negros"?

  • ||

    Which customers?

  • ||

    """Substantive Due Process is an incredibly weak foundation for gun rights.""

    Yeah, but it makes more since if you want to allow restrictions, no?

  • ||

    Not sure where you're going with that. SDP will only restrict, not expand, the Police Power.

  • ||

    How will it restrict police or state powers other than an absolute ban? They can still pass laws that restrict gun ownership for various reasons. Wouldn't that be more difficult to do under P&I?

  • ||

    OK, I think I see where you're going. Basing incorporation of the 2nd on SDP gives SCOTUS more wiggle room to define acceptable vs. unacceptable firearms, while basing incorporation on P&I narrows that wiggle room somewhat.

    I'd have to agree with that.

  • ||

    Exactly. That's why I'm not cheering victory for gun rights. From my perspective, these so called victorys are more so for the anti-gun crowd. Sure it ends their outright ban, but crafty lawmakers will figure out new way. I'm guessing by making too many, or too difficult, hoops to jump through. We'll see laws that require you to have liability insurance with the fees set by the state, very intrusive background checks with many disqualifiers, and high fees.

  • King Louis XIV||

    Now you're talking!

  • PIRS||

    So if the right to bear arms is a property right firearms can be taken via eminent domain and sold to companies that can use them to increase the tax base of the community. Do I have that right?

  • Sonia Sotomayor||

    That sounds about right.

  • ||

    I thought eminent domain only applied to real estate property.

  • PIRS||

    True, but if they were intellectually honest they would understand the logic is the same.

  • King Louis XIV||

    It does not appear to be the case that the ability to own a handgun, or any particular type of firearm, is critical to leading a life of autonomy, dignity, or political equality…

    I agree!

  • ||

    Don't lose your head over it.

  • King Louis XIV||

    Guillotines serve no valid sporting purpose and therefore should be exclusively in the hands of state actors.

  • juris imprudent||

    L'etat n'est pas vous!

  • Stevens||

    "due process," and it cannot be taken for "public use purpose" without "just compensation."

    Fixed.

  • bubba||

    I think Stevens's logic makes sense if the topic is something like California's gun list. Your right to self defense does not require access to every model of every firearm. But, it does require that there be some reasonable list of options.

    In the Chicago case, there are essentially no options.

    Stevens is essentially saying that the refusal of a State to provide voting booths to particular precincts is just a squabble about the physical voting booths. A mere question of property.

  • ||

    I think you'd have to come up with a good compelling reason for any gun being excluded from the list. Just as the government has to come up with compelling reasons for speech restrictions.

  • Spartacus||

    It does not appear to be the case that the ability to own a handgun, or any particular type of firearm, is critical to leading a life of autonomy, dignity, or political equality…

    Know how I know you're a clueless moron?

  • MJ||

    "How meaningful would these rights be if you had them in theory but were forbidden to own and use property needed to exercise them?"

    You are precisely right, but not an insignificant number of people in favor of abominations like McCain-Feingold thought "money is not speech" was a killer argument.

    Stevens by no means is alone in his foolish disparagement of property rights.

  • ||

    "How meaningful would these rights be if you had them in theory but were forbidden to own and use property needed to exercise them?"

    Try putting a pirate radio or tv station on the air, and then using a First Amendment version of that argument on the FCC jackboots who arrive shortly thereafter to confiscate or smash your equipment.

    FCC delenda est.

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