Jacob Sullum on how a correct SCOTUS ruling on gun rights could “prepare the ground for a renaissance of economic liberty.”
[I]n 1872 the Supreme Court declared that the “privileges or immunities of citizens” included only those rights that were created by the Constitution (such as the right to petition the federal government), not the pre-existing rights the Constitution was designed to protect. The Court therefore upheld a slaughterhouse monopoly created by the state of Louisiana, an infringement of economic liberty that the three dissenting justices saw as a violation of the Privileges or Immunities Clause.
Those privileges or immunities, the dissenters said, include “the right to pursue a lawful employment in a lawful manner, without other restraint than such as equally affects all persons.” That view reflects the original understanding of the 14th Amendment, which holds great promise as a bulwark against arbitrary interference with economic freedom. The Supreme Court should seize this opportunity to revive it.
Speaking of gun rights, of which we have very few left in California, the clock is ticking on two very, very bad bills. One would make it nigh impossible (for non-criminals) to buy ammo, and the other tramples on both First and Second Amendment rights. If the governor does nothing by October 11th they both become law. So it’s vital to let him know he should veto SB 585, the Cow Palace gun show ban, and AB 962, the Ammunitions Sales Restrictions bill.
There’s an automated phone droid at 916-445-2841 (you have to press 1 for English!) which will let you easily register opposition for one bill at a time. So you’ll have to make two calls. The line is often busy, but you can keep redialing and get through. Since it’s a phonebot you can call any hour of the day or night.
You can (and should) also fax governor Schwarzenegger at 916-558-3160, and send him an “email” via his web site. It’s a simple two-step process.
Then do all three again the next day. He needs to feel the heat on this.