GUN SLINGING JUSTICE
By Jim Kent
Like everyone else who claims to be a fundamentalist (or for this purpose an originalist) in their chosen pursuit, Mr. Justice Thomas in his U.S. Supreme Court opinion on gun permits (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/20-843_7j80.pdf) is picking and choosing--although in his case, he is not picking and choosing from any bits of the Constitution, or of Anglo-US judicial tradition, or even real history. He is following the instructions of Distinguished Minority Leader “Yertle the Turtle”, the President-Eject, the child-killers of the NRA, and his wife. Of these, only the last named can actually fire him, but he wants all of his puppet masters to like him. Mr. Justice Thomas has always been a pathetic and incompetent toady, and must have been greatly relieved to be joined on the Court by others of that ilk so perhaps he may be less noticeable.
Nobody should be surprised by this, but people seem to be. That's rather more mysterious than what's been happening. People will go round to the Supreme Court building to protest, but this is the stupidest waste of time available in US politics. If you are protesting what the Supreme Court does, you lost at least years ago and maybe decades. And, of course, in a few years or decades when a new Court undertakes to throw out all the rubbish this one has perpetrated, the surviving members of this era will cloak themselves in stare decisis, clutching their pearls and swooning at the very notion of jettisoning established precedent.
There is a lamentable and dopey belief abroad in the land that Supreme Court justices are somehow better, or at least more intellectually honest, than ordinary mortals. This has never been true, no matter the Court's prevailing ideological composition. They are human, or at least most of them are, and so they do what their mommies and daddies brought them up to do.
Still, something like the amicus brief submitted by a group of distinguished historians (https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/20/20-843/193309/20210921191001002_20-843%20bsacProfessorsOfHistoryAndLaw.pdf) is a good idea. Like the January 6th Committee's report, it won't have any immediate effect but will establish a record of what's real which will come handy in future. In the meantime, let's not pretend we expect actual evidence to change the minds of either our right-wing or our left-wing crazies or their sycophants in the press.