By Roger J. Katz, Attorney at Law and Stephen L. D'Andrilli
Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act: Attacking The Core Of The Second Amendment Through The Veneer Of Promoting Public Safety.
What Does The Rule Of Law Really Mean?
Kolbe Vs. Hogan
New York, NY -(Ammoland.com)- Politicians love to pontificate, tirelessly, grandiosely, often meaninglessly.
We hear them say that our Country is ruled by law, not by men, proclaiming, indefatigably, assiduously, pompously, but ingenuously, how important the rule of law is in a free Democratic Republic and how much importance they attach to the concept of the rule of law—that is to say, how much importance they attach to the concept of the rule of law over men as opposed to law ruled over by men.
Yet, as with any overused expression—the rule of law phrase no less so than any other expression becomes trite, over worn.
The phrase has been, through much misuse and overuse by politicians and political pundits and hacks, reduced to cliché with little if any real effect and efficacy behind it. It is recited with little thought and care as to its import. So, we should step back and ask what the phrase means as used in the sentence: our Country is a Nation ruled by law, not by men. What does that sentence as a proposition to live by—for the people to be governed by—really mean, were it in fact adhered to, rather than given mere lip service? It means just this: no person, regardless of position, wealth, status, or station, stands above our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our system of laws, our jurisprudential authority. That is the intent at any rate, lofty as that intent is, and so often disregarded.
We, Americans, are supposed to be governed by laws, but laws and jurisprudential standards, consistent with the dictates of our Nation’s Constitution, sublimely overseen by our Nation’s Bill of Rights. That is as the framers of our Nation’s Constitution with its preeminent Bill of Rights intended. That is as the founders of a free Republic envisioned. That is as our Nation was always supposed to be. What happened to change this?
Quietly, subtly, seemingly irrevocably we are sliding into the throes of tyranny, which, by definition, means a Nation ruled by men—by the dictates of men—not by law.
How Tyranny Arises In A Free Republic
How may tyranny arise in a free Republic—in our free Republic?
Tyranny arises in one of three ways. It arises, first, when our Legislative Branch drafts and enacts laws that subvert our Constitution or subvert our Bill of Rights. We see this, firsthand, through Congressional enactment of laws that undermine the searches and seizures clause of the Fourth Amendment and Congressional enactment of laws that whittle away at the right of the people to keep and bear arms as codified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We see this also when laws designed to protect the integrity of our borders are not adhered to. How often do we hear by Congressional Democrats and by Congressional Centrist Republicans that the Nation’s immigration laws are broken—a scarcely disguised phrase that means we have millions of illegal immigrants in our Nation whom—some would argue—cannot feasibly, from a pragmatic standpoint, be returned to their native Countries or that—as others may argue— ought not, from some moral imperative, be returned to their native Countries; and, so, we should amend our immigration laws to allow these illegal immigrants to remain in our Country, providing all of them with amnesty and, eventually, with de facto, if not de jure, citizenship.
Yet we ought to ask, before Congress either amends our present immigration laws or repeals the laws outright and rewrites the laws in full, how is it that we have eleven or twelve million illegal immigrants in our Nation? Where did they all come from? How did they happen to be here? It is not as if eleven or twelve million immigrants surreptitiously crept across our borders overnight. They came in dribs and drabs over decades. That would suggest that our present immigration laws are not broken at all and that they never were broken. It is simply that the federal Government never adequately, zealously enforced the laws we have. Similarly, it may be convenient and useful for some to say that we have a problem with gun violence and that we should curtail civilian citizen ownership and possession of firearms. But, to account for gun violence, is the problem to be found in the millions of law-abiding civilian citizens who own and possess firearms or is it, rather, in the lack of enforcement of federal and State criminal laws that the problem of gun violence truly rests? Do we then ask of Congress that it enact further gun laws directed against the citizen civilian population? Would that really address the problem of gun violence that is the product of criminal misuse of firearms? Tyranny arises when Congress—the First Branch of Government—either fails to enforce the useful laws—those designed to preserve and strengthen our Nation’s values and traditions, and our rights and liberties—or enacts useless or bad laws—laws at odds with our values and traditions, and at odds with our sacred rights and liberties.
Tyranny arises, second, when the Chief Executive of the Nation, the Second Branch of Government unilaterally undermines our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, occurring through executive edict and fiat, essentially subsuming the functions of the Legislative Branch, unconscionably into the Executive Branch. We saw this firsthand with Barack Obama’s misuse of executive directives, most glaringly, those directives weakening our immigration laws and those directives weakening the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and those directives aimed at weakening our moral codes.
We would have seen this through the misuse of executive directives had Hillary Clinton assumed the Office of the U.S. President. Where a U.S. President ignores the laws enacted by Congress or where a U.S. President actively contravenes the laws of Congress, or where a U.S. President creates his or her own laws through edicts and directives adverse to the laws laid down by Congress, thereby becoming a law unto himself, this is tyranny. This means our Nation is ruled by men, not by law.
In these two instances the Legislative and Executive Branches of our Government often take their orders from powerful, secretive interests, desirous of supplanting the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the pursuit of personal nefarious interests at odds with the rule of law, at odds with the Separation of Powers Doctrine, and at odds with the rights and liberties and protections secured for the benefit of the American people under the Nation’s Bill of Rights. Thus, we would see our Country proceeding inexorably toward ruin. We would see our Country, as an independent, sovereign Nation and as a free Republic, in jeopardy.
But, there is a third threat to our Nation’s continued existence as a free Republic and as an independent sovereign Nation, second to no other Nation.
Tyranny arises, third, when our Judiciary–the third Branch of our Government—comprising our Federal Courts–go awry, ignoring its own case law precedent, peppering and lacing case decisions, not with the law as it exists, but with law as individual jurists would like that law to be, creating new “law” out of whole cloth—new law that undermines, rather than safeguards, our Bill of Rights—new law that supports a jurist’s personal philosophical convictions and beliefs—such personal philosophical convictions and beliefs that, taken to the extreme, disassemble our sacred rights and liberties—that, taken to the extreme, supplant our rights and liberties with artificial constructs, denigrating the very idea inherent in our legal system, namely that our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, reign supreme—second to those of no other nation, and no group of nations, and no international tribunals.
The threat to our Nation—our Nation as a Free Republic, grounded in and overseen by our Bill of Rights, codifying natural law, our fundamental rights, supreme, emphatic—is most serious, most grievous, and most egregious when that threat derives from an overzealous, freewheeling Federal Judiciary, operating from a personal philosophical perspective, one at odds with the import and purport of our Nation’s Bill of Rights, one in contravention to clear case law precedent that promotes uniformity, consistency in our body of law.
The threat posed by a federal judiciary that eschews case law precedent constitutes a serious breach and the most serious threat to our Nation and to the rule of law, for the federal Judiciary, as the Third Branch of our Government, as the interpreter of law, is the final bastion of “the rule of law.”
If a federal judiciary forsakes its duty under the law, tyranny arises in the most devious way imaginable, for it is in the third Branch of Government—with its learned practitioners of the law—most adept at subverting the law if it so chooses—doing so secretly, within the interstices of complex terminology and argot—that the lay American public becomes hoodwinked, thinking that its rights and liberties are other than the way the public might think–less than they may have imagined–less than they really are. That is where the true subversion of the rule of law occurs.
The Second Amendment case ((Kolbe vs. O’Malley, 42 F. Supp. 3d 768 (D. Md. 2014); vacated and remanded, Kolbe vs. Hogan, 813 F.3d 160 (4th Cir. 2016); rev’d en banc, Kolbe vs. Hogan, 849 F.3d 114 (4th Cir. 2017)), illustrates how far some federal courts will go to decide cases in contravention to United States Supreme Court precedent, doing so through dissimulation, through dissembling; and, in so doing, acting in league—whether conscious or not—with those unscrupulous interests in Congress and with those sanctimonious interests in the mainstream media, and with those hardened, confident, powerful, shadowy, ruthless interests behind the scene—to undermine our most sacred right—the right of the American people to keep and bear arms in their own defense, in defense of their families, and in defense of all American people— against tyranny.
It is one thing for Courts to denigrate the sanctity of the Second Amendment through misapprehension of the law. It is quite another for Courts to denigrate the sanctity of the Second Amendment through deliberate misapplication of the law. Unconscious misapprehension of the law in judicial decision-making may be pardonable although its impact on the lives of Americans is harmed just the same, albeit contained. Deliberate misapplication of the law in judicial decision-making isn’t pardonable. It operates as a betrayal. That betrayal suffuses itself throughout the body of our Nation’s law, throughout the entirety of our system of law, throughout our jurisprudence, weakening the very heart of the Constitution—the Bill of Rights, negating the principle that we are a Nation ruled by law, not by men.
Part Ten of the Arbalest Quarrel analysis of the disastrous Fourth Circuit Kolbe decision follows forthwith, where we begin our in-depth analysis of the lower U.S. District Court of Maryland that first decided Kolbe. We explain how the lower Federal Court contravened U.S. Supreme Court case precedent, rendering a decision wholly at odds with the holdings and reasoning of District of Columbia vs. Heller, 554 U.S. 570; 128 S. Ct. 2783; 171 L. Ed. 2d 637; 2008 U.S. LEXIS 5268 (2008).
About The Arbalest Quarrel:
Arbalest Group created `The Arbalest Quarrel' website for a special purpose. That purpose is to educate the American public about recent Federal and State firearms control legislation. No other website, to our knowledge, provides as deep an analysis or as thorough an analysis. Arbalest Group offers this information free.
For more information, visit: www.arbalestquarrel.com.