Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Breyer said history stands with the dissenters in the court's decision to overturn a Washington, D.C., handgun ban in the 2008 case "D.C. v. Heller."(insert sigh here)
Breyer wrote the dissent and was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He said historians would side with him in the case because they have concluded that Founding Father James Madison was more worried that the Constitution may not be ratified than he was about granting individuals the right to bear arms.
Madison "was worried about opponents who would think Congress would call up state militias and nationalize them. 'That can't happen,' said Madison," said Breyer, adding that historians characterize Madison's priority as, "I've got to get this document ratified."
Therefore, Madison included the Second Amendment to appease the states, Breyer said.
"If you're interested in history, and in this one history was important, then I think you do have to pay attention to the story," Breyer said. "If that was his motive historically, the dissenters were right. And I think more of the historians were with us."
First of all, any lawyer at all--heck, any intelligent 5th grader--knows that it doesn't matter what the parties to a contract privately believed. All that counts is what they actually put in writing and signed off on. If you go to a car dealership and sign papers agreeing to buy a Kia, it doesn't matter if you are thinking in the back of your mind that you'd really like the Corvette instead. You agreed in writing to make payments for and take delivery of the Kia. That's what's in the contract, so you don't get to sign it then drive out with the Corvette because it's what you "really" wanted. Well the US Constitution is perhaps the greatest contract ever written, and it specifies exactly which powers that We, the People, are giving to the government in exchange for us recognizing and obeying it. In this instance, part of the contract specified that "the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be infringed." (Amendment 2, Ratified by the States in 1791.)
But Breyer, a lawyer since 1964 and a Supreme Court Justice since 1994 (Thanks, President Clinton!) now insists that the writing of a contract means less than the personal values of the people who wrote it.
Breyer, who just published "Making Our Democracy Work," a book about the role of the court in American life, outlined his judicial philosophy as one in which the court must take a pragmatic approach in which it "should regard the Constitution as containing unwavering values that must be applied flexibly to ever-changing circumstances."So in Breyerland, if a mechanic enters into an agreement to fix your car, but he intends all along to cheat you, you should have no legal recourse against him when he does cheat you and returns it still broken after demanding payment for his time because he'd meant to cheat you all along despite contracting with you to fix your car. And his personal values should be considered as a defense, so if he was morally inclined to cheat people, Breyer suggests that he's perfectly entitled to do so, contracts and promised to the contrary aside.
Since the Founding Fathers could not foresee the impact of modern day communications and technology, the only option is to take the values of the Founding Fathers and apply them to today's challenges.
"The difficult job in open cases where there is no clear answer is to take those values in this document, which all Americans hold, which do not change, and to apply them to a world that is ever changing," Breyer said. "It's not a matter of policy. It is a matter of what those framers intended."
Flippancy aside, Breyer's type of thinking is dangerous for another reason too, and that's because it naturally sets him and people like him (other liberals) up as the arbiter and interpreter of the "values" of those long-dead Founding Fathers. Even if we were to try to run our entire country on what a small handful of people who have been gone for over two centuries would have personally liked, we don't really know what that is, do we? Of course we don't. But Breyer and his ilk now presume to know, and I guess that they'll just tell us and we can take their word for it.
Well me personally, I'm thinking that Thomas Jefferson would have agreed with me putting my foot in Breyer's ass. So I guess that Breyer won't have a problem with that should I ever find myself in close proximity to him, right?
Folks, this is why elections are so important. Presidents get to nominate these Justices, who then sit for the rest of their lives and make decisions that affect us all forever. Clinton gave us Breyer and Ginsburg, two of the most destructive Justices as far as individual rights are concerned. Obama's just put two more on--Kagen and Sotomator--both of whom are judicial hacks outstanding only in their personal allegiance to Obama. The people who elected Clinton and Obama also elected these Justices and anyone else that Obama gets a chance to name before we can get him out of there in 2012. (And does anyone who even pretends to love this country and it's freedoms really want a Supreme Court controlled by a 5-4 majority run by Obama picks?) This is why we've got to get serious about Presidential elections. Bush, for his other faults, gave us some great Justices in Roberts and Alito. His father gave is Clarence Thomas and President Reagan gave us Scalia. Come 2012, we need to elect someone who is ideologically tuned properly enough to give us other Justices in that vein. I have no idea who Governor Palin would pick but I'd still trust any of her choices over anyone that Obama or one of his successors might appoint...or anyone like Breyer, who really works at demonstrating that he still doesn't get his job. I mean, seriously...how many people really don't grasp the basic concept that words mean things.
Oh--Breyer weighs in on gun rights for DC residents as well, and he seems to be granting some new permissions:
"Are you a sportsman? Do you like to shoot pistols at targets? Well, get on the subway and go to Maryland. There is no problem, I don't think, for anyone who really wants to have a gun."Well there ya have it, folks. You can now take your guns on the Metro--something that was illegal yesterday--because Justice Breyer says that you can. And I didn't even know that Breyer had been appointed to the Metro Board.