13 May 2008

Trip To Gettysburg Inspirs Justice Souter

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Souter says he no longer is even tempted to ask himself, "why do I have to judge this case" following an emotional and inspirational trip to Gettysburg, Pa. battlefield.

From the Las Vegas Sun:

"In a rare public address Tuesday, Souter admitted that at least one Supreme Court case _ he didn't name it _ once prompted him to ask, "Why do I have to resolve that case?" He found an answer last year when he and his law clerks and secretaries visited the battlefield in Pennsylvania where the Civil War changed course in July 1863. Illustrating how a single act can alter history, Souter noted that the commander assigned to hold the far end of the Union line had employed a bayonet charge in a desperate maneuver -- one that ultimately ended a Confederate attack.

"It seems a fair assessment that one of the pivots of American history was at that place, at that moment," he said. Looking back at his complaint about difficult cases, Souter said, "I could not ever again, under any circumstance, say it is unfair that I have to do this."

I hope, also, that Justice Souter, as he is looking at the Heller case and formulating his opinion, remembers the sacrifice of so many for EVERY one of our civil rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, and how what the Framers intended when they were written. Revisionist history is dishonest.

And, if he is a student of the Civil War, he will remember that some of the earliest gun control laws passed in the United States were designed to disarm newly freed slaves.

The racist origins of what ultimately became Washington D.C.'s 30-year-ban on handguns are embarrassing, and worth remembering . . .

No comments: