Need Some Precedent

The Gary Indiana suit is moving forward despite the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.  We’ll probably need to get some precedent from higher courts before this really has any teeth.  It’s very telling of how activist lower courts are willing to be on this issue to ignore a federal law that blatantly applies to this situation.  The people who allowed this to go forward have no place sitting on the bench.

16 Responses to “Need Some Precedent”

  1. straightarrow says:

    “The people who allowed this to go forward have no place sitting on the bench.”-Sebastian

    I wouldn’t say “no” place. They should have a place on the bench in the booking room, while awaiting fingerprinting and photographing prior to arraignment.

    A question. Aren’t these the people you keep trying to convince me we should be treating gently, even unto agreement, to keep from alarming them that we might prefer liberty?

    I can’t see baby steps, or incrementalism working here. And neither can you, unless your vision is very faulty.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Depends on what you mean by treating gently? What are we going to do? Start arresting judges who make decisions that don’t agree with us? Who gets to decide whether a certain decision they make is wrong? You can’t run a free society that way. The reason these judges are on the bench is either because people elected them, or politicians that the people elected put them there.

    It’s not the judges we need to convince, it’s the people that, either directly or indirectly, put them there. You have to convince people to care about freedom, otherwise it’s finished. Most people aren’t going to be convinced to care about freedom by being bullied into it.

  3. straightarrow says:

    Who gets to decide whether a certain decision they make is wrong

    We do. The people who can read. We don’t need to convince the judges we just need to hold them to the law. This is not a matter of opinion. The law says they can’t do that. The judge said “Fuck you.” You sure as Hell can’t run a free society that way.

    The sonofabitches do need to be charged with violating the law.

  4. Sebastian says:

    What happens when people get into power who think judges should be arresting for upholding free speech? What I’m saying is that once you weaken the notion of an independent judiciary, they become hostage to the political branches, and their interests.

    While it pisses me off there is a seemingly endless supply of people on the bench who will say the law means whatever they think it should mean, rather than what it actually says, I’m not sure how you subject the judiciary to arrest for doing something like that, and not subject the judiciary to the political process.

    In short, the system isn’t perfect, but it’s better than the alternative. The only solution that’s going to work is electing politicians who will put better judges on the bench, or voting better judges on the bench (not that I think judges should be elected, but they are in most states to some degree). The only way that happens is by convincing other people that the rule of law is important, and that freedom is important. We will not stay a free people over the long term of most people don’t want it.

  5. straightarrow says:

    Being on the bench does not immunize one from obeying the law.

    If they refuse to obey the law they are criminals. I am so sick of people saying “Who are we to judge?” We are the people responsible to the Constitution and the American ideal.

    Are you saying if a judge commits murder, he should get a pass because otherwise he is being subjected to the political process?

    Are you really saying that?

    The only difference in what happened here and my hypothetical is that my hypothetical puts it in perspective. Or are you saying we should allow judges to break only certain laws? Laws we deem of lesser importance?

    Perhaps we draw the line at kidnap, or rape, or fraud, oh wait a minute, you’re already on record as saying we can’t prosecute them for fraud.

    Do we not give them traffic citations? How about if they are speeding through a school zone and run over 23 elementary students? Do we say, “Hey we can’t subject him to the political process.”

    Politics hasn’t got a damn thing to do with the situation we are discussing. Breaking and usurping the law is the only question before us.

    Or are you supporting the right of judges to choose which laws they obey? Does that stance not negate the legislature? How about we just let judges write the damn law? A judge in Indiana can declare all blue-eyed people felons and incarcerate them. A judge in Oklahoma can decide anybody without Indian heritage is a criminal and incarcerate them. A judge in Idaho can decide anybody who isn’t a potato farmer is a criminal and incarcerate them.

    Or would it be better to hold them to the actual law and provide penalties when they break it?

    As the Indiana Supreme Court did. Their is no opinion here. There is what the law said and what they did in opposition to the law.

    I pray I never become so “reasonable” that I accept what you have just said.

  6. Sebastian says:

    I never said judges should be immune from the law. What you’re suggesting, or appear to be suggesting, is that judges should be subject to arrest and prosecution for interpreting the law improperly. Interpreting the law is part of the judiciaries duties.

    The problem with what you’re suggesting is someone has to decide what constitutes interpreting the law improperly. All of us here know that the way the courts in Gary have interpreted the PLCAA is entirely improper, but I suspect the majority of people in Gary don’t care, or support the lawsuit going forward. So who gets to decide what the proper interpretation of the law is? If the people get to decide that, you have what our founders feared the most…. rule of the majority. If prosecutors get to decide that, what’s to stop a prosecutor from using his power to get a rid of a judge he doesn’t like?

    I’m not saying that judges should be above the law, but there’s no real way to punish them for doing their jobs improperly, because it threatens the independence of the entire judicial branch, and endangers the system of checks and balances put in place by the constitution. The solution to the problem of activist judges is to toss the people out who put them on the bench.

  7. edmfl says:

    Tossing the people out who put these judges on the bench(usually for life) doesn’t do a damn thing about the people that were put on the bench. And interpreting the law according to how they “feel” about a particular law shouldn’t be on their plate; neither should basing a decision on foreign law. And I think that even you will agree on this has become a real problem even at the highest court, Sabastian.

    The real problem as I see it is that judges have become so enamored of their own infalibilty that they have assumed the mantle of ultimate arbitrator. Who needs a legislative or executive branch; too many judges have decided that they can now MAKE law according to how they feel- so they do.
    And if perchance the legislative branch decides to pass a law that counters one of their imperial edicts, why they can just declare that law unconstitutional also.

    So give them a fixed time of maybe five years for an initial sitting then they are gone. And they cannot be reconsidered for another judicial position for five years. So they either go back to work for a living in the real world or they live off their dividends. And I mean every seat from local to circuit to federal.

  8. Sebastian says:

    Tossing the people out who put these judges on the bench(usually for life) doesn’t do a damn thing about the people that were put on the bench.

    It doesn’t, but it takes a long time to alter the makeup of the judiciary. Different states have different ways of dealing with judges. Here they have to face retention elections. I’m not big on electing judges. But in the federal system, you can at least prevent more activist judges from getting on the court if you elect politicians that won’t put them there. Over time, the federal courts will change.

    So give them a fixed time of maybe five years for an initial sitting then they are gone. And they cannot be reconsidered for another judicial position for five years.

    The problem here is that it will be very easy for the political process to have quick effects on the federal judiciary. Currently, it takes a lot of electoral victory, over a long period of time, to change the makeup of the federal courts. Progressives did this over a century. I’m not sure it would be a wise idea to make that easier, so it can happen faster.

  9. straightarrow says:

    If the judiciary cannot be corrected what then happens to those checks and balances you speaking of?

    “The problem with what you’re suggesting is someone has to decide what constitutes interpreting the law improperly.”-Sebastian.

    Absolutely! Someone does have to do that. That is what juries are for. If a jury finds a willful and intentional misapplication of the law then they get to decide.

    In this case, as a perfect example, there is no reasonable or prudent way to ‘interpret’ the law. The law is quite clear and leaves no room for interpretation that could possibly be honestly stretched to include the interpretation that it means the opposite of what is written.

    Do you think an ordinary American is simply too ignorant to be a finder of fact on this issue?

    One of your main points seems to be the difficulty of implementing a process to rein in an outlaw judge. Its not supposed to be easy, if it were then the judiciary could be held hostage. However, in cases of outright corruption, and that is what this is, there must be redress and a process by which to attain it.

    The most compelling part of the entire decision was the number of times they declined to address certain portions of law, stare decisis, and the constitution. Read what is written and you come away with this as their reasoning; “It is what we say it is, because that is what we want.”

    That is criminal and complete dereliction of duty. If we accept your reasoning then the judiciary is the supreme branch of government,not an equal branch, not part of checks and balances, but a tyranny of men in black dresses.

    For that matter, as to who or what body decides the action to be taken against a criminal judge, the legislative bodies of the different division of government can impeach. Ergo, it is safe to assume that the ability to remove and prosecute criminal judges was and is seen as a necessary part of checks and balances. Therefore, though it may be difficult to achieve doesn’t mean it isn’t right and proper to do in cases of such gross misconduct.

  10. Ian Argent says:

    Politics is full of these decisions. It’s a crappy choice – but the alternative is worse. I’m on Sebastian’s side here – the independence of the judiciary is more important than one bad decision.

  11. straightarrow says:

    Mislabeling the issue is not a cogent argument. We are not talking about, nor is this issue about an independent judiciary. It is about an imperial judiciary in this particular case who have taken unto themselves kingly status by violating the law as though by some divine right.

    The court had to ignore and law, precedent, stare decisis and the constitution. Further the defendants motions (that to the point of them not even appearing in the transcripts) were ignored and remain unaddressed. As does every other issue that should have been addressed if they somehow found the law in error. But, they did not do that. They simply said, “This is what we personally desire and fuck you.”

    We are not talking about an independent judiciary here, but instead are talking about a supreme branch of government (for that is the mantle they have illegally and immorally
    chosen)that eclipses the others at whim, and in violation of every law.

  12. Ian Argent says:

    And the decision is being appealed, no? That’s the correct process for protesting the incorrect decision of this court (and make no mistake, I’m just as horrified by it as you).

  13. straightarrow says:

    That is the correct process for addressing the incorrect decision. However, it does nothing to rein in a corrupt judiciary. There is a process for that, which needs to activated.

  14. Ian Argent says:

    Move to Illionois and get them impeached/voted out of office?

    Incidentally, the first court, while I disagree with their finding that the law was unconstitutional, was at least within the boundaries. The fidning of the second court that the law was constitutional, but didn’t apply, was just insane – impeach their asses for inability to read.

  15. straightarrow says:

    Exactly Ian, “within the boundaries” is the operative phrase. Which the second ruling was not, nor even attempted to be.

    “Move to Illionois and get them impeached/voted out of office?”-Ian

    That would help in Indiana, how?

  16. Ian Argent says:

    Not at all. For some reason I thought that Gary was in Illinois. Some idea of it being a suburb of chicago or something. I blame White Wolf studios for that. (I undoubtedly have a very skewed mental version of the Seattle region for similar reasons).

    I’ll take myself of for 50 with a wet noodle now…

    Anyway; I’m not of the opinion that we need a revolution yet. Check back with me in a year to see if my opinion’s changed. Until then; it’s impeachment or recall via ballot (laws permitting); not .45-pink-slip time.