(CNN) – Once again, the U.S. Supreme Court has reached a 5-4 decision with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the decisive swing vote.
The latest case involves the right to own a handgun in the District of Columbia. In this case, Kennedy went with the conservatives, including Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas. The majority concluded that the D.C. law violated the Second Amendment to the Constitution – the right to bear arms.
But Kennedy sided with the liberals in two other major 5-4 decisions, including Wednesday’s ruling that the death penalty could not apply to child rape victims. Last week, he sided with his liberal colleagues, Ruth Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter, and John Paul Stevens in concluding that terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention center have certain legal rights to stand trial.
All of which once again underscores the fragile balance of the court and the fact that the next president probably will have an impressive opportunity to change that balance for the next 20 or 30 years.
As I have pointed out before, John McCain says he likes justices like Roberts and Alito. Barack Obama says he likes justices like Ginsburg and Breyer.
This will be a major issue in the election for lots of Democrats and Republicans. The ramifications on a whole host of issues, not just abortion rights for women, are enormous.
That is quite presumptuous of you to say, last time I checked the election isn't until November.
And leave it to a liberal to cling to the phrase "do what he says." I guess it's the mindless, socialist mentality.
I'm about as "liberal" as they come on some issues. I'm also very conservative on others. Like Obama, I think these labels actually mean very little as a practical matter. For the most part, I have disagreed with just about every position Scalia has taken on pretty much any issue. Until today. The majority's decision was the right one although I frankly think they could have, and should have, gone even further in protecting the right of individuals to own and possess firearms. The dissents made no real sense at all.
I am happy that Obama seems to understand that the constitution should mean what it says. Even in DC. Restricting the right of people to possess handguns in their homes is ridiculous. I wish the so-called "liberal" justices would have recognized that fact and not tried to justify a stupid law.
The word "arms" does not directly translate to "handguns."
Handguns did not exist upon the creation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
yes GUNS KILL
Lisa...guns don't kill anymore than cars kill. IDIOTS kill in both cases! Thats just what this debate needs...more drama instead of common sense discussions.
I want equal pay for equal work in all 50 states. Women, we will not achieve that during a McCain administration.and McCain loaded Supreme Court.
All of this madness in our economy is happening under W's watch. We do not need a third W term. Let us stop the madness,
Obama 2008 and 20012
THE SUPRIME COURT HAS MADE THE RIGHT DECISION.
IF GUNS WERE OUTLAWED ONLY THE OUTLAWS WOULD HAVE GUNS.
Ned to get the other liberals to retire off the bench. McCain08
Let's see. Should I vote for someone who might appoint a conservative judge or someone who is friends with terrorists? Hmm.
This is a deciding factor alone in this election.
We cannot afford to have the most liberal Senator picking the next couple LIFETIME appointments of the Supreme Court!
We may as well kiss this country goodbye!
You Hillary supporters who say you're going to vote for McCain out of spite better think long and hard about the consequences of doing that.
So how are we suppose to win this "war on crime" and "this war on drugs" and the new "war on terror" if we keep arming the criminals? So let me get this straight, America which has the highest crime and incarceration rate in the world is still wondering how other countries with lower crime rates and smaller prison populations do it? Somehow, the right to bear arms seems a little out of context from when it was first written.
Obama Supporter from FL June 26th, 2008 4:24 pm ET
So do knives, Lisa. Should we outlaw those? Cars kill too – are those off the list? What about rope? Someone could hang themselves or another person with rope…
Knives, cars and rope aren't made for the sole purpose of killing. Guns are.
I'm all for Constitutional rights, but the right to bear arms was relevant when there was not adequate protection in place for Americans. It made sense back then. It doesn't make as much sense now. We now have police and other forms of protection.
I am not saying guns should be illegal...but there should definitely be rules and limits. The safety of our communities is too important to allow anyone who wants one to go out and buy a handgun. We need LESS guns on the market, not more.
Overturning Roe v. Wade is the first step. I'll also keep my 2nd Amendment rights thank you very much. If we elect this boy, who knows what crazy left-wing nut jobs he'll nominate to the Court. More than any other reason lets say NO to Dr. No.
Lisa.....I'm sure you can come up with a better argument than that.
It is people that kill.
People need to protect themselves with guns from criminal home intruders. People should have a right to defend themselves.
Kennedy is the only true judge we currently have. Judges arent supposed to be liberal or conservative, they are supposed to be fair. Any court in any land that is always 4 vs 4 with one person bouncing back and forth does not serve justice. I have to say it but there is a major division in this country and the press the election is getting is only working to drive it deeper. Too bad money controls everything and a good canidate that would truly do what is best for the people can never be elected because big money wont let them.
Please vote McCain, people–cost of living will be better as they should be allowed to drill here and drill now –same as all the other countries. I am also pleased that I can keep my gun collection and go to church without being bitter. We really do not know when and on what issues Obama will change his mind on.
Thank you Bill. That's the only non-recycled thought in this thread.
Re: some of the comments above: sure knives and cars can kill people, but they have alternative uses. The sole purpose of guns is to kill.
I don't mind people having the right to bear arms, but there are limits to all rights, which many don't seem to understand.
At last a Supreme Court that isn't packed with constitutional revionists. It's ironic that the cities with the most stringent gun laws are the one with the highest murder rates. Now, if God forbid, the liberal demos take over in Jan. 09 they will try to muster enought votes to repeal the 2nd amendment. Standby to standby!
We already lost our eminent domain to commercial businesses. I hope we don't lose anymore of our constitutional rights. Although a band on semiautomatic guns would be nice, esppecially for the police. I think I like more liberal judges and Sen. Hillary Clinton would make a good one.
All of you Hillary and McCain Women supporters you should take heed to this article. Especially those with children and is child bearing age!
A vote for mccain, a write in for hillary or stay at home and not vote, is the vote for your family's future
Way to go Blitzer – baby-steps. One article without shoving HRC down our throats. Maybe if you practice a lot you'll get used to it.
You can take back an insult.
You can uncurl a fist.
You can retract a switchblade.
You can't "unsqueeze" a trigger.
If responsible gun owners are truly "responsible," why then are our newspapers filled with stories about law abiding citizens dying each day as a result of handgun violence? If guns are so instrumental in protecting lives, as the NRA claims, wouldn't the stories be inverted–countless, heroic tales about law-abiding citizens gunning down villains?