While the nation fusses and fumes over the overturn of Roe v. Wade, two more bad decisions compound the problematic session of the Supreme Court: the decision to deny the right of a state to regulate concealed weapons and the decision permitting some prayers in schools.
Roe has been discussed and harangued. Suﬃce it to say here that the concept known as stare decisis, the decision having been made, it will not be revisited, has long been in place. A decision will not be revisited unless circumstances have changed, eroding its logic. A change in personnel on the court is not grounds for reversing a long-standing decision. Indeed, the religious beliefs of the multiple justices are clearly irrelevant. The court, in saving the lives of fetuses, has put at risk the lives of many women.
The absolute prohibition against state-mandated religion has long been in place. The right of school systems to teach religion is extremely limited. The inﬂuence a high school football coach has over his team is such that if he requests a prayer, he demands a prayer. Thus, a coach’s insistence on a group prayer is the establishment of a religion, however small. It should have been eliminated. It wasn’t.
The reversal of New York’s long-standing (i.e., over 100 years) restrictions on carrying concealed weapons is not only unwise, it is wrong. The Second Amendment has 23 words; the court ignored the ﬁrst 13. Yes, the Second Amendment says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” But these words are preceded by “The need for a well regulated Militia, being necessary for a free State.” SCOTUS has ignored those words.
Read together, those words do not create a constitutionally mandated right of self-defense. Those words read together protect the right of a state to form a people’s military body: a militia, a national guard. And, incidentally, it preserves the right to bear arms.
Furthermore, just like any other amendment, the rights created by the Second Amendment may be limited by reasonable regulation. Viz., one cannot yell ﬁre in a crowded theater. Indeed, the language says “well regulated.”
There is no language, nor intention, to randomly, unconditionally, constitutionally permit carrying of concealed weapons and/or military assault weaponry. In limitlessly preserving the right to bear AR-15s, the court put at risk the entire population.
So, here's the score card. The right to carry concealed weapons: wrong. The right of a school athletic coach to require prayer: wrong. Overturning Roe v. Wade: wrong.
Stephen Moses lives in Palm Springs. Email him at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: U.S. Supreme Court scorecard, by my count: 0 for 3