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Stephen Breyer: Your Constitutional Rights vary with geography

Written By : Chris Wysocki
December 12, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer appeared on Fox News Sunday this morning. He spoke to his interpretation of the Founding Fathers’ intent with regard to gun control. Hint — as an ultra-liberal Mr. Justice Breyer is totally in favor of as much gun control regulation as possible. After all, he authored the dissenting opinion in D.C. v. Heller in which the majority affirmed the right to keep and bear arms clearly articulated in the Second Amendment.

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What struck me most about Breyer’s reasoning though was this bon mot:

“We’re acting as judges. If we’re going to decide everything on the basis of history — by the way, what is the scope of the right to keep and bear arms? Machine guns? Torpedoes? Handguns?” he asked. “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.”

“Get on the subway and go to Maryland.”

Mind-boggling really, isn’t it? Gee little black girl, do you want to go to the same school as white girls? Well, get on the subway and go to Maryland!

So mister, what if you are in a wheelchair? This doctor’s office has stairs. If you want to see an accessible doctor, get on the subway and go to Maryland!

I wasn’t aware that our Constitutional Rights were geographically dependent. That is what Stephen Breyer is saying here. The right to keep and bear arms only exists in specific, discrete locations within the United States. And more disturbingly, there are places where our rights most certainly are not applicable.

Like airports. I just know that somebody is gonna bring up airports. But guess what? The regulations for transporting firearms through an airport are actually quite reasonable. Not so for the D.C. gun ban of which Mr. Justice Breyer is so enamored.

I’m no Constitutional scholar. I don’t even play one on TV. But I’m starting to think that Stephen Breyer isn’t much of one either. Exactly which of our rights does he deem to be fungible, their applicability established not by law but by arbitrary lines on a map? And do they sell that map in the SCOTUS gift shop? Because I’m pretty sure I’m going to want a copy.

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Cross-posted from WyBlog.us.  Follow me on Twitter @WyBlog.

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