Second Amendment

Clinton's Constitutional Contempt

While Trump does not know what the Constitution says, his opponent doesn't care.


Donald Trump claims he has read the Constitution. If so, he did not retain much.

As a Yale Law School graduate, Hillary Clinton presumably has a better idea of what the Constitution says. But as she showed in her debate with Trump last week, that does not mean she cares.

Clinton promised her Supreme Court nominees "will stand up and say no" to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. As usual when she discusses the case, Clinton neglected to mention that it involved suppression of a movie that made her look bad.

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court concluded that a conservative group organized as a nonprofit corporation had a First Amendment right to present Hillary: The Movie on pay-per-view TV while Clinton was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Her determination to overturn that decision by appointing justices who agree with her that blocking the movie was consistent with freedom of speech—or, failing that, by pushing a constitutional amendment that blesses such self-serving censorship—looks no less petty and constitutionally insensitive than Trump's ambition to "open up our libel laws" so he can more easily use the legal system to punish and silence his critics.

Clinton's eagerness to suppress speech that offends her is also apparent in her history of supporting laws that the Supreme Court later found to be inconsistent with the First Amendment, including the Communications Decency Act, the Child Online Protection Act, and restrictions on the sale of violent video games. She even tried to ban flag burning after the Court had deemed such laws unconstitutional.

More recently, Clinton has joined Trump in pre-emptively dismissing First Amendment concerns about efforts to eliminate online speech that encourages terrorism. "You're going to hear all of the usual complaints—you know, 'freedom of speech,' etc.," Clinton said after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino last December.

She was right. As the American Civil Liberties Union notes in a report on Clinton's positions, "Further restricting content that is potentially terrorism-related would not only lead to arbitrary, haphazard enforcement, but it also would inevitably sweep in speech that reflects beliefs, expressive activity, and innocent associations with others that are protected by the First Amendment."

Unlike Trump, Clinton is hostile to the Second Amendment as well as the First, notwithstanding her assurances to the contrary. During last week's debate, she said the Supreme Court should not have overturned a District of Columbia law that she described as a "reasonable regulation" aimed at protecting "toddlers" from gun accidents by promoting safe firearm storage.

Clinton did not mention that the D.C. law banned ownership of handguns, the most popular weapons for self-defense, and required that long guns in the home be kept unloaded and either disassembled or disabled by a trigger lock at all times, making it impossible to legally use them for self-defense. Apparently the "individual right to bear arms" that Clinton claims to support does not include the right to own a handgun or the right to use a rifle or shotgun for self-defense in the home, which the Court recognized as a "core lawful purpose" under the Second Amendment.

When it comes to the Fourth Amendment, Clinton's support for the PATRIOT Act and encryption limits illustrates her tendency to sacrifice privacy in the name of security. Clinton's warmongering, including her advocacy of President Obama's illegal and disastrous intervention in Libya's civil war, shows she has little respect for the Constitution's limits on executive power, just as her belief in a federal government that has a solution for every problem shows she has no regard for the principle that Congress may not exercise powers the Constitution does not grant.

Trump's blatantly unconstitutional positions, such as his support for revoking birthright citizenship and his openness to registration of Muslims, tend to make a bigger splash than Clinton's. But Clinton clearly poses a bigger threat in at least one respect: She will be our next president, and Trump won't.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: Gary Johnson Responds to Evan McMullin's He's-Not-a-Real-Libertarian Critique: 'I've Been the Nominee of the Libertarian Party Two Cycles!"

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  1. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s not be hasty.

    We’ll have at least 4-8 years to talk about Hillary’s silly positions.

    If you want a meaningful swipe at Trump, now’s the time.

    1. LOL – joyous and hearty.

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    2. Hillary will disappear from politics after her loss by a landslide to Trump.

      Voted today. All but a few people in line were wearing Trump gear. White, black, asians in Trump gear and I did not see a tv camera anywhere.

  2. Luckily, Trump will be president and not Hillary. Then we have President to deal with.

    Even better is that after losing the election, Hillary will disappear from politics.

    1. President Trump that is.

    2. Even better is that after losing the election, Hillary will disappear from politics

      Are you kidding? That woman’s going to keep pursuing power even after her final major stroke renders her incapable of walking or speaking.

      1. On the contrary, I think she’ll disappear once she does become president. I don’t know what handlers will be running the show (possibly Bubba), but a triumphant President Hillary will retreat to the place in the White House with no stairs to navigate and resign herself to snapping at staffers and Secret Service agents from whatever railing she can find to lean against.

        1. …and watching an endless loop of ‘Thelma and Louise’.

          1. Will she still watch Susan Sarandon movies after this election?


        2. Bullshit. This gal is going to be a very….it sickens me to even write this term….”hands-on” President. Remember, Shrill-Bot thinks this is HERS (and should have been earlier, save some dopey, attractive, dynamically speaking, urban rabble rouser, untouchable by his mere racial demography). She is not simply going to, “disappear,” as you say.

          She’s got HillaryCare to implement, a Hyde Amendment to totally heart stake, and oodles and oodles of Alphabet Soup Agencies to get on with the business of graft, corruption, war mongering, and expanding the scope of a Progressive SCOTUS. She will do this , and will rely on any amount of amphetamine and formaldehyde cocktails to do so until she croaks.

          1. Yes to all of those things, but she’ll be operating behind the scenes.

          2. I may be just an old country doctor, but I can say with certainty she’s near death. She’ll be comatose for most of her truncated term.

            1. The interesting thing is that if she does win and die, we get Kaine, who will simply be another prog (though with a larger front porch than usual). Conversely, Trump gets in and suffers a “Vince Foster”, and we get Pence.

          3. She’s messianic. She thinks she was put on this earth to rule us poor idiots because we’re too stupid to run our own lives. She’s the living embodiment of the famous CS Lewis quote about the tyranny of good intentions.

          4. This gal is going to be a very….it sickens me to even write this term….”hands-on” President.

            So? like Herbert “Wonder Boy” Hoover?

          5. Sounds like HRC is gonna be FDR for a New Century.

        3. I agree. You’ll never see her except for the occasional fake press conference on her plane.

        4. I’m with Groovus on this. If you want to watch a grown woman make the rest of society suffer for her daddy issues, there’s not better catalyst than Hillary Rodham Clinton. I wouldn’t be surprised if she starts a shooting war with Russia at this point just to show all those wicked males that she’s capable of fighting too, DAAAAAAAD.

      2. We need a good new zombie series. The Walking Dead has been going downhill.

    3. Do you still think Trump is going to win NY state?

      1. Oh yeah. Its all about the blue collar workers this election. Blue collar workers are Trump voters.

    4. Hillary isn’t going to disappear from politics until someone throws a bucket of water on her and she melts, screaming, into a smoking pile of clothing.

    5. Not “disappear from politics”,but be imprisoned for her crimes,and law regarding some of them requires she be disqualified from any government position. So she’s not going to disappear,but be BOOTED from politics,banned for life.
      I suppose she could be a campaign manager or lobbyist,but that’s “beneath her”.

  3. Yes Clinton is terrible on fundamental rights. However, Trump is terrible squared. It might seem like he doesn’t know the Bill of Rights, but in fact he has laid out systematic plans to eviscerate each and every clause. Even the Second Amendment – he has promised to make lists of people who should not have guns. And he threatens to shoot people walking down the street – like Duterte of the Philippines, whom he so admires. So we really dodged the bullet on this – no pun intended.

    In fact Trump knows the Constitution quite well and planned to systematically eviscerate it – he is definitely a modern day wannabe-Hitler. The denial of this obvious fact is both fascinating and troubling. Also ironic – the left is at odds over whether the pathology is Trumpophobia (aka Godwin’s Delusion) or Trumpagnosia (Clinton-conspiracy theory). Dare they bite the hand that fed them?

    Jill Stein approves this message.

    1. Clinton wants to severely curtail the 2nd Amendment, Trump wants to restrict it for a subset of people (wrongfully in my view). Trump’s totally worse. Hillary has talked about overturning Citizens United and takes the side of the Title IX loving psychos while Trump wants to modify the the slander and libel laws (again, wrongfully in my view). Trump’s totally worse.

      The fact is Clinton is much worse then a Trump on most constitutional issues but your silly Hitler fantasies have warped your ability to think straight.

      1. I’m fully aware that Trump fires people on the TV, and that he talks big blowhard stuff in real life about building walls. But there’s some chance that his blowharding is just that. With Hillary, we know with 100% certainty how horrible she will be in every way. Even if Trump turns out to be as bad as some are predicting, there’s still no way he can be worse than Hillary, she’s pure evil.

    2. “Wannabe Hitler”. Yep never heard that about a republican before. Such a compelling argument….

      If that’s all you got, shut the fuck up.

      1. If Jesus appeared from Heaven and ran as a GOP candidate, they would say the same things about him. I’m not comparing Jesus and Trump, I’m just saying how immoral and corrupted the DNC and their puppet media are.

        1. Jesus said “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

          Just quoted to point out that hating Jesus was a popular thing to do.

          1. Hating Mitt Romney was quite the popular thing not too long ago.

            Now he’s held out as what the GOP should have nominated instead of Trump.

            1. I would have settled for a spider monkey with a “vetoed” stamp…

    3. Trump says a lot of dumb things for show because he’s not a politician and doesn’t know the language, but he would backtrack on most of them.

  4. “As a Yale Law School graduate, Hillary Clinton presumably has a better idea of what the Constitution says.”


    1. Though not well enough to pass the bar…

  5. I just want to see Reason write one article about Clinton that doesn’t have BUT TRUMP in it. Just fucking one. I’m waiting.

    1. Was this article about hillary? I only read the first and last paragraphs.

    2. You’ll get those after the coronation election.

    3. Reason owns everything she will do. When the inevitable “I never thought she’d be this bad” articles start flowing next year, it will be comic gold.

    4. It wasn’t BUT TRUMP. It was AND TRUMP.

  6. “As a Yale Law School graduate, Hillary Clinton presumably has a better idea of what the Constitution says.”

    At Yale, they learn the text of the Constitution so that they can explain it away.

    1. It’s more a “know your enemy” thing.

  7. Looking at that picture…, where the hell are the drone strikes when you really need one?

    1. Speaking of drone strikes, Clinton’s silence on this suggests she’s also comfortable with Obama’s violation of the 5th amendment as well.

      1. Either that or absence seizures.

      2. the 6th and 10th as well

  8. Trump’s blatantly unconstitutional positions, such as his support for revoking birthright citizenship and his openness to registration of Muslims, tend to make a bigger splash than Clinton’s.

    I thought I read that he had moderated both of those.

    1. Oh, a “moderate” Muslim registry. Well, that’s ok then.

  9. The Constitution does not grant birthright citizenship. “Subject to the jurisdiction thereof” means personal jurisdiction not territorial. We know this because obviously anyone born in the country is already subject to territorial jurisdiction.

    1. You can be born in the US but not subject to its territorial jurisdiction.

      1. I think they need to pass a law that restricts future birthright citizenship to those legally present in the United States. If the court strikes it down, amend the constitution.

      2. he’s saying that does NOT make you a US citizen. Citizenship is properly for children born to US citizens. (both parents,not just one.) Children born to people here illegally are not US citizens. Nor should they be.

  10. There has never been a determination of birthright citizenship that I am aware of, but there is a principle or two of law that could correlate I think: unjust enrichment and doctrine of clean hands. By breaking the law to come here, and being here illegally it would seem to me that any “fruit” would also be born of that illegal action and be granted full rights and benefits of citizenship.

    1. Those are reasons to deny citizenship or a visa to the illegal immigrant. We don’t normally apply such “punishments” for lack of a better word to the offspring

      1. it’s NOT a “punishment”. they are rightfully citizens of their parents nation,not ours. TANSTAAFL. No freebies.

        That gives them incentive to come here illegally,to get their kid US citizenship. Sorry,uh uh.Nope. No deal.

    2. By breaking the law to come here, and being here illegally it would seem to me that any “fruit” would also be born of that illegal action and be granted full rights and benefits of citizenship.

      Many and, IIRC, most illegals come here legally and overstay their visas. They’re usually deported under “illegal presence” which is a civil infraction (like jaywalking and many traffic violations), not a crime and is handled by civil procedures, not criminal.

      As for the so-called “anchor babies”, they can’t sponsorship citizenship for their parents until they turn 21 and, if their parents were here illegally, the parents have to remain in their home country for 10 years after the child turns 21.

      Many so-called “anchor babies” are actually children of Chinese parents who fly to the US for a shopping spree (I’ve seen lots of pregnant Chinese woman at Citadel and Camarillo Outlets arriving on buses) and then give birth and return to China with their baby after recovering. There are several reasons to do this:

      * Better medical care in the US.
      * Avoid China’s one-child policy.
      * US citizenship for child to make it easier for the child to enter US schools, particularly universities.
      * Better employment prospects in the US compared to China.

      One downside of this is that the child has to pay US income taxes on their earnings anywhere in the world.

      1. Now to do all this, you have to be fairly well off? these aren’t poor Chinese buying round trip tickets to the US, staying for a month or two (legally!) in Rancho Cucamonga (not a cheap part of LA), paying cash for US medical care, blowing tons of money on Coach bags and other luxury brands, and bringing the baby and purchases back home.

        See “Chinese Maternity Tourists and the Business of Being Born American”

  11. If we’re doing something with the Constitution, rather than effectively repeal the First Amendment, I’ve got some better ideas:

    1) Balanced budget amendment

    2) Prohibit collective bargaining by government employees.

    3) Fix the commerce clause.

    1. Return election of Senators to the state legislatures, rather directly to the people.

      1. +1 Federalism.

    2. To have a Balanced Budget Amendment, you need some way to enforce it. The Feds will just declare their own budget balanced and you haven’t gained anything. This can’t be done by SCOTUS. I propose as part of this, a separate branch/office independent of Congress and the President with the authority to audit Federal agencies and determine if a piece of legislation adheres to the requirements of whatever the BBA says (the Comptroller General?). I don’t know how this head of this would be chosen,though. I’m leaning toward the House choosing the member(s) with a 2/3 vote. Details to be ironed out, of course.

  12. Also, Hillary’s problems with the Constitution are a secondary concern when she’s actively demonstrating a complete disregard for the rule of law.

    Her cronies paid the wife of the FBI agent who was investigating her $675,000!

    The most crooked national politician in modern history is about to get executive privilege, the bully pulpit, and the power to pardon.

    And she wouldn’t hesitate to pardon herself.

    1. But, but., but – do you have 100% positive proof that they excused her because of that money?

  13. And thus we get Sullumn’s cry de coer about how hard it is to support Hillary. Everything Reason ever says about Hillary is always followed by the caveat “but Trump is worse”!!

    1. Where does Sullum indicate he supports or anybody should grudgingly support Hillary in the article? Also, where does he say that Trump is worse? In fact, he explicitly says Trump is better in terms of the second amendment.

      I think it’s fine to call people out when they say dumb things about Trump v. Clinton, but making shit up isn’t any better, John.

  14. The best justification for voting Trump instead of Clinton is that the press and Congress itself is more apt to keep a check on him.

    1. Trump isn’t awful in every way that matters.

      Hillary kinda is.

      I don’t think Trump is out to subvert the law and enrich himself and his cronies.

      I think Hillary is.

      I don’t imagine Hillary does anything without asking, “What’s in it for me?”, and I think that extends to questions of foreign policy and everything else, too.

      I despise Obama for where he stands on myriad issues, but Hillary is unacceptable.

      If there’s a God, he’s either gonna save us from Hillary, or Hillary is a punishment he’s inflicting on us.

      1. Hillary will be a one term President.
        Assuming the R’s don’t nominate another fascist clown.

        1. Did you mean zero term president? I thought you did.

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  16. Sadly, you’ve utterly ignored Trumps long antipathy to the 2nd Amend., and his support of entirely Clinton-esque gun restriction laws…..

  17. The author needs to review the constitution him self. Trump’s position on the two cited are not really in the constitution but are court rulings which he has a duty and a right to dispute.

  18. The essence of Clintonism is a contempt for the US Constitution and our natural rights.

    Clintonism is the idea that a Strong Woman, with Her Central Committee, knows what’s best for you – a mere individual without rights.

    Under Clintonism – only She, with Her Central Committee, may grant you – a mere individual – rights as She and Her Central Committee – see fit.

    Take the issue of marijuana.

    Hillary Clinton: More ‘research’ needed on marijuana…..marijuana/

    So while it’s true this plant has been around for thousands of years, and no one has died from merely using it, can we be certain that it can’t harm anyone?

    No – that’s why She, with Her Central Committee – must study it – for however long it takes.
    And then She, with Her Central Committee, may decide if it is OK for you – a mere individual – to use.

    So you – a mere individual – are granted rights as seen fit – by Hillary Clinton, and Her Central Committee.

    Hillary Clinton is pro-choice.

    She – with Her Central Committee – chooses what’s best for you – a mere individual.

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  20. Hillary wants to gut the first amendment to silence the peasants
    She wants to gut the second amendment to disarm the peasants
    She has the 95% of the media as her personal Pravda
    She has corrupted the State Department, the FBI, and the DOJ as merely the Secretary of State
    Has hired goons to disrupt the political rallies of her opponents

    Tell me who is supposed to be Hitler again.

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  22. I see no problem with removing birthright citizenship when it’s not both parents being US citizens,or the “anchor baby” garbage,AS LONG as it’s done Constitutionally,by Amendment,and not by laws enacted by Congress. In fact,I consider it essential to the survival of America. If you’re here illegally,and have a baby,it should not be a US citizen. That part might be doable by properly interpreting the “subject to the jurisdiction thereof ” part of Amendment 14. Illegals are not “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” of the US,they are foreign citizens,and not here legally.

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