Friday, March 22, 2013

Unintended Consequences

Sometimes we do something to strengthen freedom and it has consequences that we never intended.  For example, in November of last year, the voters in Louisiana strengthened our Constitution as it pertains to gun rights.  The text of the amendment is as follows:
The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.
Sounds great, doesn't it?  Except we've been having a big debate about what that means, and what is now illegal and what is not?  According to Eugene Volokh, a state district judge gave us a possible answer this week.
Today, Louisiana Judge Darryl A. Derbigny, in State v. Draughter (La. Crim. Dist. Ct. Mar. 21, 2012), held that the Louisiana ban on felon possession of guns violates this provision. 
Go to the link for a complete analysis, but the Court's reasoning is that Louisiana's statute forbidding felons from owning guns is unconstitutional because it is overly broad and doesn't meet the test for strict scrutiny, which much preserve a compelling government interest before being upheld.  I'm not a lawyer, but I know that Louisiana  like other states, has felonies that don't  require force, violence, or drugs.

I'm sure that the state will appeal, but when you make possession of a firearm a fundamental right, you've got to make sure that all your other ducks are in a row.   Let Freedom Ring!


Termite said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.....

Windy Wilson said...

Maybe some of those felony classifications won't stand up to strict scrutiny, either.

This might be a fun time to audit a Con law class provided the professor wasn't a left-of Mao commie (I know, Left-of-Mao is in the job description).

Aglifter said...

Yup. Strict Scrutiny is the standard which should be applied to restrictions on any of the fundamental rights.

Which means that a prohibition on felons being in possession will fail - which is exactly as it should be.

Cybrludite said...

Doesn't have any effect on the Federal laws on being a felon in possession, right?