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Saturday, November 05, 2005 

Machine Gun Sammy?

Hey, look! Another gross distortion of Judge Alito's record!

While browsing Volokh during Blogger's downtime, I found a link to this press release from the Brady Campaign. They claim that Alito is pro-machine gun because he ruled that Congressional power to regulate these guns is limited. It's a federalism issue. This is a role for the states. States are more than capable of regulating these weapons (and they have).

King Volokh the Wise also has this insight on the press release and its well formed logic...
The press release also quotes Jim Brady as saying, "[T]he man I worked for, who gave us Sandra Day O'Connor and signed the 1986 machine gun ban, would be shaking his head." Well, Sandra Day O'Connor was one of the Court's leaders in reasserting the limits on federal power. Under the Brady Campaign's logic, Justice O'Connor must "favor legalized possession of guns in school zones" — and of course she must "favor legalized violence against women," since she also voted to strike down the federal Violence Against Women Act on the grounds that such matters are the constitutional province of the states.

Yet presumably, if Jim Brady is praising Sandra Day O'Connor, he must not really think that she "favors legalized possession of guns in school zones," and he must not be ready to dub her "Guns-in-School-Zones Sandy" — he must understand that her vote had to do with who decides what to do about possession of guns in school zones (the states or the federal government), and that states would remain free to outlaw such possession. Why then does his organization say that Judge Alito "favors legal machine guns"?

I love how everyone is kissing Justice O'Connor's ass. This is the same Justice O'Connor that (as mentioned above) limited the power of the federal government to regulate guns near schools, the same Justice O'Connor that voted to allow executions of criminals under the age of 18, and the same Justice O'Connor who wrote the very difficult to meet ineffective assistance of counsel standard of the Court. I have a feeling that a lot of the people who are currently bowing at the feet of our first female Justice would be turned off by a lot of her jurisprudence. But as long as she votes the right way for abortion and affirmative action she a-ok, right?

Expect a Democratic Senator to question Judge Alito about this issue. I'm sure the whole "machine guns are scary!" angle will be worked to the extreme. States can make laws too. They have the broad police power, so they can do much more than Congess should. Congress should be limited by its enumerated powers. Hopefully, Justice Alito will continue the Court's devotion to federalism.

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