Heller and felons
Don Kates has an article in the NY Post on the topic.
"Unfortunately, modern legislatures have added a host of trivial felonies. For instance, in California an 18-year-old girl who has oral sex with her 17-year-old boyfriend has committed a felony. The courts should rule that conviction of such a trivial felony can't deprive such a "felon" of her right to arms."
This is my issue with the felon in possession laws. If you bounce a check for $1,000, you're a felon. A felony is not what it used to be, any more than a million bucks is not what it used to be.
To play devil's advocate for just a minute, even the most violent of felons don't lose their 4th Amendment rights and a host of other rights once they are set free by liberal parole boards. In many states they even get to vote again. So, how is the 2nd Amendment right distinguished from the 4th and these others?
Posted by: Jim at July 22, 2008 10:37 AM
an interesting article on this issue is at:
Posted by: David M. McCleary at July 22, 2008 11:06 AM
It's a balancing act, and a contentious one. For sure, there are many acts for which you can receive a felony but not represent a physical danger to others around you (drug possession comes to mind). In other words, some felonies just shouldn't be.
But .... do/should "serious" felons/criminals (e.g. violent ones) have ALL the rights of other Americans? Do illegal immigrants have ALL the rights of other Americans? Do legal immigrants (but non-US citizens) have ALL the rights of other Americans? Which rights to they have, and which rights have they not? How to decide?
At the founding, were dangerous criminals and non-citizens alike considered to be exactly the same as other Americans in rights and priviledges? I think not ... I think that dangerous criminals were considered hideous animals and were killed pretty much straightaway. It's called criminal control, something for which we have little stomach for, anymore, in this day and age of violent felons cycling through our "justice" system.
I don't know ... I am pretty Libertarian in my thinking, but OTOH it also seems pretty sure to me that violent criminals have too damn many rights and priviledges in our country. Finally, then, how shall they be reformed if they have all the rights and priviledges as all the rest of us? In some ways, natural selection itself should be removing those violent/predatory ones from society.
Posted by: Carl in Chicago at July 22, 2008 01:20 PM
more on th esubject
Posted by: David M. McCleary at July 22, 2008 01:27 PM
Do you remember meeting Justice Scott of the Kentucky Supreme Court in Loisville?
I just checked for the case Justice Scott mentioned, his dissent in Posey vs Commonwealth. It was decided Februrary 23, 2006. His dissent goes into this very subject for anyone who might be interested further.
Posted by: David E. Young at July 22, 2008 02:59 PM
Posted by: David M. McCleary at July 22, 2008 05:09 PM
The url for Posey vs Commonwealth, which is a pdf file, is:
Posted by: David E. Young at July 22, 2008 07:23 PM