Friday, January 25, 2008

Justices Broaden Immunity for Officers

If you think that government agents who steal your personal property should be punished or at least held accountable for such actions, you’re out of luck. The United States Supreme Court has just ruled that what appeared to have been a narrow exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act that preserves sovereign immunity for wrongful acts committed by customs officers, should afford that immunity to all federal law enforcement officers. Henceforth, if you are detained or your property is detained or seized by a government law enforcement official for any colorable government purpose, and your property is mishandled, detroyed, damaged, or stolen, you’ll have no recourse whatsoever. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion in the 5-4 decision.

Isn’t it wonderful to live in a country where the government is accountable?

For more detail, see “Justices Broaden Immunity for Officers,” New York Times, January 23, 2008.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Be Careful What You Read.....

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitutionality of the District of Columbia’s 30-year old gun ban during the Court’s current term, many in the mainstream media are still trying to prejudice the debate through biased reporting in favor of gun control.

In a recent article, the anti-gun bias of Newsday was made crystal clear in the headline to a piece that appeared in announcing that “District attorneys nationwide ask Supreme Court to keep gun ban.” Based on this headline, you’d expect that a significant number of district attorneys from all parts of the country were supporting the District’s gun ban that had been invalidated last year by a federal court of appeals. Wrong! While the headline is designed clearly to leave the reader with that impression, the facts – not revealed in the article – are quite the opposite.

While the article accurately relates that 18 district attorneys have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the D.C. gun ban, what the magazine doesn’t tell you is that this represents less than .7% of all district attorneys in the country! That’s right, only 18 out of some 2,700 district attorneys apparently have gone on record with the High Court supporting the D.C. gun ban. Less than one percent. Hardly a landslide movement. Moreover, while these anti-Second Amendment district attorneys do represent jurisdictions from the east to the west coast, they are hardly representative of the population – virtually all hail from liberal, metropolitan areas such as New York City, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, and Atlanta.

I suppose after all these years of having the Second Amendment bashed by the likes of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, his predecessor Rudy Giuliani, and other liberal mayors, and by much of the media in those cities, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the bias continue even as the Supreme Court is poised to hopefully find the D.C. gun ban unconstitutional, just as did the court below it. I guess that worries the anti-firearms crowd. That’s not a bad thing.