Gorsuch Sides With Scalia
by JC Hall
I thoroughly enjoy listening to and helping my wife, KrisAnne Hall dissect the legal opinions of this current Supreme Court. I have discovered that going through these opinions is one of the best ways to learn about how our system is functioning, as opposed to how it should be functioning. It has also been extremely clarifying to see the blind spots and ideological biases of the various Justices. The US v Davis case is yet another fascinating glimpse into the Constitutional views of the All-powerful Nine-member Band. In this case Justice Gorsuch delivers another powerful defense of Constitutional principles.
In writing the majority opinion for US v Davis, Gorsuch sides with the late Justice Antonin Scalia (Johnson v US). Gorsuch holds in Davis that overly vague criminal laws offend both due process and separation of powers - due process, by failing to give individuals a clear definition of forbidden activity; separation of powers, by forcing the courts, not Congress, to define criminal conduct.
Justice Scalia put the first nail in the coffin in 2015 with his majority opinion in Johnson v US. In Johnson, Scalia declared the very same statutory language before the court in Davis, to be vague and unconstitutional. Justice Scalia wrote, "Government violates this guarantee (due process) by taking away someone's life, liberty, or property under a criminal law so vague that it fails to give ordinary people fair notice of the conduct it punishes, or so standardless that it invites arbitrary enforcement.” (as an aside, too bad Scalia didn’t seem to hold this view consistently when it came to Kelo v New London)
The Supreme Court dealt with the phrase again in April 2018 in Sessions v Dimaya. The majority explained that the Constitution disallowing vague laws, “guards against arbitrary or discriminatory law enforcement by insisting that a statute provide standards to govern the actions of police officers, prosecutors, juries, and judges.” Counting US v Davis, the vague language in these statutes has now struck out three times. Since Gorsuch may have dealt the decisive blow, some may start to notice that his consistent liberty-minded approach on this issue is a real threat to the bipartisan fetish for big government.
Gorsuch seems to operate on a consistent principle that vague statues run afoul of the Constitution. If a citizen cannot know what the law demands of him, then his liberty is in jeopardy. This stirs the ire of both regulatory-minded, control-freak leftists and statist, police-state conservatives.
In the case of civil statutes that empower the government’s vast regulatory behemoth Gorsuch says, “Congress must set forth standards sufficiently definite and precise to enable Congress, the courts, and the public to ascertain whether Congress’s guidance has been followed….A statute that does not contain ‘sufficiently definite and precise’ standards ‘to enable Congress, the courts, and the public to ascertain’ whether Congress’s guidance has been followed at once presents a delegation problem and provides impermissibly vague guidance to affected citizens.” This angers the new, green Marxists. They need vague regulatory authority for unelected bureaucrats to have free reign to legislate through the unaccountable “fourth-branch” of our post-constitutional government.
In the case of criminal statutes, Gorsuch holds that, “In our constitutional order, a vague law is no law at all. Only the people's elected representatives in Congress have the power to write new federal criminal laws. And when Congress exercises that power, it has to write statutes that give ordinary people fair warning about what the law demands of them.” This angers the police-state conservatives who wish to empower the government to run roughshod over the citizens’ liberty in order to stop a “bad guy” from doing “bad things” and then throw the book at him with as many sentence enhancements as possible. (Let’s set aside for a moment the argument that Congress lacks authority to make federal law regarding things NOT FEDERAL in the first place. That’s a blog for another day.)
Kavanaugh, for his part, did his best to make the police-state argument, “Bad guy do bad things. Bad guy must pay.” His dissenting rant against gun ownership as being violent “by its very nature,” has him sounding like some raving leftist, gun-grabber from the House of Representatives, proving that a statist is a statist no matter if he sits on the left side of the sofa or the right.
Since SCOTUS is increasingly seen as the final oracle of truth on all matters whatsoever, we will see how Congress, judges, and others in the legal system adjust to this blow to vague statutory language. Destroying this “wiggle room,” as our founders intended, would be a significant bulwark against the assaults on individual liberty by the regulatory state as well as by the police state. Unfortunately, many Americans will miss the significance of this opinion since so many have been programmed to think in binary terms of left and right. So, they typically interpret SCOTUS opinions like the rest of their reality, by counting the number of “left supporters” versus the number of “right supporters.” So, 99 times out of 100, this story will be reported and interpreted as “Gorsuch sides with left,” or “Conservative Duel: Gorsuch v Kavanaugh.” There is only one dichotomy that matters, Liberty versus Tyranny. None of these guys are perfect, but thus far Gorsuch seems to hold to the principles of liberty more consistently than any of his colleagues.
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The Great American Experience
by KrisAnne Hall, JD
So often I hear from well-intentioned people, "it’s too late to fix what's wrong with our federal government" or "The government is out of control, it’s a good things we have the 2nd Amendment." These statements truly break my heart to the core and here is why:
It is not "too late" and "the right to keep & bear arms" is not our only recourse. We are NOT fighting a king nor do we live in a kingdom. Regardless of how the federal government behaves, we are a Constitutional Republic.
With all due respect to everyone who visits this page- "too late" and "pick up arms" are the lazy, apathetic, and to the extreme- cowardice ways to deal with unlawful acts of our government. Whether it will be admitted or not, both of those statements are the exact same consequence: giving up. Our founders sacrificed EVERYTHING so "too late" & "pick up arms" are NOT the only and not our first options.
The tragedy of all of this that Americans have become so deceived, distracted, and discouraged by errant education & political propaganda that we have been trained into ignorance. As a consequence we feel defeated before we even begin and the absolute truth is- we haven't even begun to use the tools given to us to remedy this government's lawlessness.
There are so many things we ought to be doing, and so many things we must do before we give up. Americans must become educated on the problems & the solutions- because giving up can NEVER be an option & picking up arms should be recognized as sentencing our children and grandchildren to fight a war WE could have avoided with persistent, pro-active, and unrelenting peaceful acts, the acts of a people who know they are members of a Constitutional Republic and not deceived into acting as nothing more than subjects to a king.
So get miffed at the bluntness of my speech, but the truth remains the same. Don't tell me there is nothing we can do. Madison, Jefferson, Mason, Warren, Otis, Attucks, & thousands more went to their graves disagreeing with you.
That is why we created LibertyFirstUniversity.com- to educate- equip- & ignite people into the remedies our founders laid before us. It is why I wrote my book Sovereign Duty- to give every American access to the solutions those who drafted the Constitution put in our hands. We are such a blessed people, given so many benefits from the sacrifices of our forefathers & mothers. It is time we honor them and never allow those sacrifices to be taken in vain or without due gratitude. So as we approach this year's celebration for our Independence, please take the time to study up on
KrisAnneHall.com is dedicated to bringing these solutions to you simply and in a way that anyone can understand.
The foresaw the government we have today & they didn’t leave us defenseless. They passed the mantle to us, it is time for the people to regain knowledge & virtue our founders used as a foundation for this Great American Experience. In love, Samuel Adams voiced this truth as a warning to us, his future:
“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”
Always be, Liberty First!
America- Still Worth Fighting For
by KrisAnne Hall, JD
Our contemporary American experience seems often Orwellian. We have a Congress that denies our Rights in the name of security & political bias. We have a judiciary that often denies the Constitution and violates it by asserting a power to make law. Since 1861, Presidents have assumed power more fitting of a king than an executive. Many patriots have expended a great deal of energy to see our Liberty protected and America’s greatness restored. We are all aware that there are still many struggles ahead and mountains yet to be conquered. But let us be reminded of a hope that is rooted firmly in the original American experience that makes our land so exceptional.