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Flo Maureen Sielaff
JUNE 11, 2002

On June 10th the U.S. Supreme Court determined that further review of the Emerson and Haney cases (two men charged with carrying pistols without a license in the District of Columbia seeking the dismissal of their cases) wasn't warranted. Some are reporting that this action came without comment, but I'm reminded that silence often speaks volumes in itself, and that silence can be "golden". If the Court commented this 'could' mean that consideration had been given, and that the "right of the people to keep and bear Arms" are questionable words, that the meaning isn't clear (despite the multitude of legislated restrictions).

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy had stated ( Judicial Ethics and the Rule of Law ), "The law is a promise. The promise is neutrality. If the promise is broken, if there is no neutrality in the enforcement, in the administration, in the interpretation of the law, then the law as we know it ceases to exist." He'd further said that once in awhile he had to ask himself, "Am I controlled by some hidden bias, some predisposition, some predilection, some prejudice that even I cannot see? What is it that is urging me to decide the case in this particular way?"

With regards to this issue the Supreme Court hadn't commented since "US v. Miller" in 1939 (allowing that only guns suitable for regulated militia members were suitable; providing fodder for gun control advocates). Since Ashcroft had stated (in May of 2001) that "therešs an individual right to own a gun, but there are also reasonable restrictions", the Court could continue to abstain from comment by wordlessly utilizing an excuse provided by a staff member of the "Executive" branch. According to many, it did! (Despite " The biggest component of the Gun Control debate is whether existing gun laws are sufficient, or whether more gun laws are needed ".)

The 3rd canon of ethics within the Code of Judicial Conduct states, "A judge should perform the duties of the office impartially and diligently." (More specifically, "A judge should be faithful to and maintain professional competence in the law, and should not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor, or fear of criticism.) This would have been a proper time for Justice Kennedy to have reminded himself and his peers of his prior questions and statements. But, he and others conveniently walked away without addressing what should be considered "reasonable" with regards to restrictions. The Court took the easy way out of further conflict regarding gun control and left the citizens at the mercy of current (and further) gun control laws. A Court with integrity would have faced this controversy right now, and taken decisive action against the many encroachments upon this right. Course, even the Justices should be able to utilize their 5th (or should they?). For that's apparently what they did, leaving myself and others to comment instead.


Flo can be reached through Truth Resources:

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