Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Best of the Web Today: The Extreme 'Centrist' - WSJ.com

Best of the Web Today: The Extreme 'Centrist' - WSJ.com: "More important, the examples he gives of "regulation" of First Amendment rights are not that at all. They are, instead, generally applicable criminal laws. The "freedom of religion" example illustrates the point most clearly. A murderer who raised a free-exercise defense would be laughed out of court. But a Second Amendment defense would be equally frivolous. No gun-rights absolutist claims that the right to keep and bear arms entails the right to use them to murder others in cold blood.

The denial of gun rights to felons and mental patients, by contrast, can be described as a regulation, and the Supreme Court more or less affirmed its constitutionality in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). But imagine an equivalent rule applied to First Amendment rights. A blanket ban on speech, worship or public assembly by felons or mental patients would be plainly unconstitutional. Contrary to Metcalf, the Second Amendment right is unique, not typical, in the degree to which it is subject to regulation."

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