Wednesday, May 17, 2006

WISupremes Can't Read English

The Wisconsin Constitution's 25th Amendment reads as follows:

The people have the right to keep and bear arms
for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any
other lawful purpose.

Except, of course, in ShirleyLand, (formerly known as the State of Wisconsin.)

In a decision released today, the ShirleyCourt decided that carrying a concealed weapon in your car when you are carrying large amounts of cash in the middle of the night is not "a right" for "security."

And the Tooth Fairy awards quarters, yah.

...under both Hamdan and Cole an individual generally has no heightened interest in his or her right to bear arms for security while in a vehicle. This
principle follows from Hamdan's repeated focus on the heightened interest in that right in the individual's home or privately owned business.

Tell THAT to the victims of car-jackings, Shirley. Here's why the ShirleyCourt said that:

...carrying a concealed weapon allows individuals to more easily act violently on impulse.

Sure. Having a weapon means that you're likely to shoot the SOB. I don't know why Shirley didn't invoke "the children" here. Regardless, the assertion is insulting and demeaning--but we'll have to get used to that with the ShirleyCourt.

These objectives are highly salient when an individual carries a concealed weapon in a motor vehicle. Of particular concern is the potential danger to law enforcement officers if an individual is carrying a concealed weapon during the course of a traffic stop. Given the frequency of contacts between law enforcement and motorists, individuals carrying concealed
weapons in motor vehicles present a greater overall risk to law
than do individuals carrying concealed weapons in their homes or privately-owned businesses.

This is a flat-out lie. In the entire history of CCW permits, across the entire USA, there has been only ONE incident wherein a CCW holder pulled a gun on an officer during a traffic-stop. It so happens that the CCW holder in that case was--you guessed it--an ex-cop.

ShirleyCourt decided that since the tavern-owner in the above case did not demonstrate that his location was dangerous, nor that he really, really believed he needed the weapon for purposes of self-defense, and since the tavern-owner did not keep the weapon IN his place of business, he couldn't possibly have any real serious concerns about carrying $X,000.00 in cash around in the middle of the night.

Right. What he really needed was to beg, "Teacher, May I" according to ShirleyLogic.

The ShirleyCourt, in utter disregard for reality, found that 'there is no reason to distinguish between one's home, business, or car,' but simultaneously held that a Wisconsin citizen does NOT:

have a colorable claim of a constitutional privilege to carry a concealed weapon in his or her vehicle for security.

Lemmesee, heah, Gomer. You can have a weapon in your house, which 'cannot be distinguished from your car,' but you CANNOT have a weapon in your car. Uh-huh.
In ShirleyLand, "hav[ing] the right to bear arms...for security.." does NOT apply to situations in which someone may actually need security, unless you will be in "imminent danger" and can prove it (in advance) of actually BEING "in imminent danger." This is nutso-Kafka.
In ShirleyLand, you may have a weapon for personal protection only if the Carjacker Alliance sends out advance notice of their planned activities at Mayfair.

To his credit, Justice Crooks (joined by Roggensack and Wilcox) dissents:

Yet, in light of our constitutional amendment which grants Wisconsin citizens the right to bear arms "for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose," a statutory prohibition on carrying concealed weapons at all times, under all circumstances, the sole exception being for peace officers, is not a reasonable exercise of the state's police powers.

(Proving that Justice Crooks CAN read English.)

And then Crooks raises a familiar refrain (see Sykes citation in this blog):

This court cannot create exceptions to Wis. Stat. § 941.23 to cure that statute's constitutional defects. That is the job of the Wisconsin Legislature.2 It is well-established in Wisconsin law that "'[w]here the language used in a statute is plain, the court cannot read words into it that are not found . . . even to save its constitutionality, because this would be
legislation and not construction.'

ShirleyCourt oversteps its bounds regularly, because Shirley wants to RULE!--not merely adjudge.

The majority, instead of striking down the statute, attempts, yet again, to do the job of the legislature and to judicially rewrite Wis. Stat. § 941.23.


Well, the Court has ruled. Now let them enforce their ruling.


M.Z. said...

Maybe we could just ban criminals, and we wouldn't need guns. Make a law against robbery, and our problems will be solved. Nevermind the half dozen or so taxi cab drivers who were shot in 2004. I'm sure the court is convinced the cabbies have no claim to security. Of course judges in Milwaukee county need secured parking ramps due to the supposed threats on their lives. People who are actually shot in the course of doing business don't have this right. Sickening.

Rick Lugari said...

Terrible decision, and it's clearly counter to your state constitution, but I have a problem with the wording of your constitution. It reads as if the state is granting a "right" to the people, rather than recognizing that the people already have this right and the state can't infringe on it.

It may sound like semantics, but it's not because any "right" granted can be taken away. Meaning it is really nothing but a nice sounding privilege. Even forgetting about the antics that have neutered the Second Amendment, the language lends itself favorably for robed tyrants to pass it off as a privilege.

Maybe a push for amending the state amendment is in order. I'm just sayin'...