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NRA’s constitutional fraud: The truth behind the “right to bear arms”

  • The notion that the framers meant for every nut to have unlimited guns is a sham. Here's the little-known reality.
  • How the NRA Enables Massacres

Heather Digby Parton, Salon

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lapierre_happy-620x412.jpg Wayne LaPierre (Credit: Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

Monday, June 2, 2014 |  In the wake of the horrific Isla Vista, California, mass killing, Americans have once again engaged the debate over gun proliferation. Victims’ families issue primal cries for regulation of these deadly weapons and gun activists respond by waving the Constitution and declaring their “fundamental right” to bear arms is sacrosanct. Indeed, such right-wing luminaries as Joe the plumber, who not long ago shared the stage with the Republican nominees for president and vice president, said explicitly:

“Your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights.”

Iowa Republican Senate candidate Jodi Ernst, known for her violent campaign ads in which she is seen shooting guns and promising to “unload” on Obamacare, had this to say when asked about Isla Vista:

“This unfortunate accident happened after the ad, but it does highlight that I want to get rid of, repeal, and replace [opponent] Bruce Braley’s Obamacare. And it also shows that I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. That is a fundamental right.”

Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby," is a contributing writer to Salon.

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Related:

How the NRA Enables Massacres, Cliff Schecter, Daily Beast

As a shooting spree leaves seven dead in California, the gun lobby is trying to thwart attempts to study gun deaths and officials who see gun violence as a public health crisis.

 

 

Wide Majorities Losing Faith In John Roberts' Supreme Court, Want Term Limits

  • Those surveyed said that Supreme Court justices were more likely to be carrying out a personal or political agenda than working to render a fair and impartial judgment, an opinion that cut across party lines. 
  • Overall approval of the Supreme Court has been falling since its 5-4 Bush v. Gore decision handed the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000, according to Gallup.

Ryan GrimHuffington Post

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SCOTUS%20Bldg%20w%3Astorm%20Clouds.jpg05/07/2014 | An overwhelming majority of voters would support sweeping reforms to the Supreme Court, as trust and confidence in the institution has eroded in recent years, according to a new survey by the Democratic-aligned firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

Wide majorities disagree with the recent 5-4 party-line rulings that have upended a century of campaign finance law and tilted the rules in favor of the extremely wealthy and major corporations. The landmark Citizens United ruling was opposed by a whopping 80-18 margin. The more recent McCutcheon decision, which lifted caps on total giving, was said by a 51 percent majority to be likely to create more corruption, while 8 percent suggested it would lead to less.

Ryan Grim is the Washington bureau chief for the Huffington Post

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Modern-Day Slavery in America's Prison Workforce

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  • Why can't we embrace the idea that prisoners have labor rights?
  • The Great American Chain Gang
  • Drug Cocktail Used In Executions Is Too Painful To Use On Animals

Beth Schwartzapfel, American Progress

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ap071022053418.jpg?itok=BdniJa5i Sandra Amritt, a cook for the Onslow County Jail, prepares a tray for the day's lunch Oct. 22, 2007, in Onslow County, Jacksonville, N.C. AP Photo/The Daily News, Don Bryan

Laurie Hazen has bad taste in men. “They’re my downfall,” the 41-year-old jokes in her Massachusetts accent. “I have to really stay single.” An ex-boyfriend first introduced her to prescription drugs, she says, a habit she maintained through the course of another relationship, with another addict, and through two stints in prison, most recently in 2012 for writing fake prescriptions.

When she arrived at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Framingham, Hazen left behind a job as a records manager for a fiber-optics company. Her $14-an-hour salary had covered food, utilities, and rent on the modest apartment she shared with her boyfriend and her teenage son. She would have been putting some money away, too, if her paycheck hadn’t also been covering the couple’s drug habit. As it was, like many inmates, she went to prison with no savings and, because her boyfriend was locked up too, had no one on the outside to send her money. Her son went to live with his dad.

Beth Schwartzapfel is a freelance journalist living in Boston. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Mother Jones, The Nation, and other publications.

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Drug Cocktail Used In Executions Is Too Painful To Use On Animals, Simon McCormack, Huffington Post

  • Veterinarians in at least one state are barred from using a three-drug formula used on several inmates, including Clayton Lockett last week. 
  • For-Profit Corporation Seeks Protection of its "Religious Freedom"

 

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The Latest Affirmative Action Decision Isn't Just About Race

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The Supreme Court's decision sweeps away decades of equal protection precedent.

Patricia J. Williams, The Nation

20140503/1399135998_9883.jpg Source: abovethelaw.com

May 2, 2014  |  The name of the Supreme Court’s latest case involving university admissions describes the battle lines: Schuette, Attorney General of Michigan v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary. When the Court found for Schuette, headlines declared the decision a landmark ruling against affirmative action. But technically, the Court did not retreat from its prior holdings: race sensitivity is still a constitutionally permissible criterion when weighing the applications of similarly qualified candidates.

The case addressed a challenge to Article I, Section 26, of the Michigan Constitution, which altered the decision-making capacity of the regents and trustees of the state’s public university system. Section 26 took away those boards’ ability to use otherwise constitutionally permissible race-sensitive criteria for admissions—i.e., a backdoor way of banning affirmative action in the state. Schuette was also a broad capitulation to an old notion of states’ rights, allowing localities to opt out of federal equal-protection measures designed to dismantle segregation. Following this ruling, states can merely override those measures, one by one. The bottom line? What is expressly permissible as a matter of the US Constitution is now forbidden in Michigan. Not only that, it has removed affirmative action in Michigan from the democratic process. Where once these policies were negotiated through elected university boards, requiring a degree of popular will, Section 26 has ended discussion with a blanket ban.

Patricia J. Williams, a professor of law at Columbia University and a member of the State Bar of California, writes The Nation column "Diary of a Mad Law Professor."

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Drug Cocktail Used In Executions Is Too Painful To Use On Animals

Veterinarians in at least one state are barred from using a three-drug formula used on several inmates, including Clayton Lockett last week. 

 

Simon McCormack, Huffington Post

 

n-CLAYTON-LOCKETT-large570.jpg Clayton Lockett

05/07/2014 | The drug cocktail used to execute an Oklahoma inmate who writhed on the gurney before eventually suffering a massive heart attack is deemed too painful to use on animals, according to a new report by The Constitution ProjectI'll.

Veterinarians in at least one state are barred from using a three-drug formula used on several inmates, including Clayton Lockett last week. Lockett, who was convicted in 2000 of murdering a 19-year-old woman, died almost two hours after the lethal injection drugs were administered.

 

Simon McCormack is a Crime and Weird News editor for the Huffington Post.

 

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