New Jersey – -(AmmoLand.com)- As the crack of freedom rings out across the nation in the wake of our election for President of the United States, all kinds of bills are popping up for the next legislative session.
It's clear that the people have spoken and Joe Biden is our president-elect!!… I jest, as we are wading into some of the muddiest waters in election history of most everyone’s lifetimes.
The crack of freedom is not only undermined by the continual speculation on what the actual results are but that this is or was, in fact, a very close race. What may come from Trump’s challenges to the election results remains to be seen. However, we need to be posed and positioned for an anti-freedom Biden Presidency.
The country is fairly split, and anti-freedom lawmakers should not be clicking their heels saying “the people have spoken” and thus introduce laws that would limit any rights of the people, specifically the 2nd Amendment.
More and more people are embracing firearm ownership and many of them may have voted for Biden.
It seems across the nation that lawmakers are emboldened by a Biden win, and all kinds of new legislation have been introduced. With these bills being proposed on the state and national level, of course, freedom limiting measures are being brought up. Beyond the legislative, there are murmurs that Biden’s team has already met with the head of the ATF with plans to do what? Speculation says the banning of arm-braces, a concern that was uncovered in a recent NJ state OPRA request shows the anti-gun group Moms Demand Action in correspondence with New Jersey policymakers (see OPRA W160618 Moms Demand Action Phil Murphy New Jersey 6-25-2020). Further, the regulation of 80% lowers, to make “ghost guns” unavailable might be on the menu. Rumors are flying.
What a Biden presidency would mean to the 2nd Amendment and what gets done executively remains to be seen, but we should take his word at it that he’s no friend to lawful gun ownership. The ATF has been running out of their lane as it is, and what other damage they’re going to do is up in the air. This is further compounded by legislation introduced to increase the scope of the ATF’s abilities to regulate.
Would a Biden presidency mean the United States entering back into the UN Small Arms Treaty (a scary proposition)?
One thing that continues to be clear, is the progressive agenda and its assaults on the system when America does not go their way. The progressive agenda does not try to work within the rules like Trump does with his vote count challenge that is within the rules. No, instead, they try to change them to favor one agenda.
Enter H.R. 8424: Supreme Court Term Limits and Regular Appointments Act of 2020
Scene in HR 8424, the Supreme Court Term Limits and Regular Appointments Act of 2020, introduced September 29, 2020. Interestingly enough, this bill did not pop up in the wake of this year’s election, as many have, but only a scant 11 days after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Not only is the introduction of this legislation telling because it’s a clear way to try and change the goal post concerning Supreme Court Justices, but it also highlights how disgusting and distasteful some could be by bringing such a bill up not even a full fortnight after RBG’s passing.
The bill proposes that Supreme Court Justices only serve 18-year terms and that every two years the president will get a chance to appoint two new justices. The current court would be exempt from these provisions, so this is clearly a long game that is being played. On a personal level, I’m not sure how I feel about the idea of justices having term limits, sure, this could be a good thing, potentially a bad thing.
I think before turning their sights on the courts, congress should be discussing instituting term limits for themselves, prior to projecting on another branch of the government. A little housekeeping perhaps?
The troubling part of the proposed bill is not so much the 18-year terms, and again, arguments can be made either way on that. But rather, the more troubling thing is the bill is a direct retaliation and response to the Garland appointment that did not see the light of day, and how Trump was able to fill that seat. The stonewalling of Garland can be talked about for years to come, and the more progressive-leaning individuals, as they lick their wounds on that loss, had a new nightmare come to fruition, the death of RBG right before the election.
In all rights, RBG should have retired under Obama’s watch if she was particularly worried about securing her seat with a justice that would support policies similar to her own (legislating from the bench). She rolled the dice and lost. Regardless, the Senate followed the rules, as they did during the Garland appointment, it's just the rules that did not suit progressives.
The dangerous provision of HR 8424 is this:
If the Senate does not exercise its advice and consent authority with respect to a President’s nominee to the Supreme Court within 120 days after the nomination, the Senate shall be deemed to have waived its advice and consent authority with respect to such nominee, and the nominee shall be seated as a Justice of the Supreme Court.
This is clearly an agenda to move the goal post on the selection of Supreme Court Justices when there is an upcoming election. Let’s change the rules to suit our needs so this never happens again. When the shoe is on the other foot, conservatives do what they usually do, pick themselves up by their bootstraps, and carry on.
In a United States that did not have judges and justices trying to legislate from the bench, maybe this would not be a bad thing? I don’t know. But what I do know is that justices and judges are legislating from the bench all the time, not looking into the history, text, and tradition of the Constitution, rather leaning on “feelings.” We cannot continue to have a country that has the executive branch or judicial branch create laws. We must maintain a system to protect what little is left of this ideal. That means constitutionalists in the courts. Strong and originalist judges and justices, at this juncture, are the only stop-gap the US has to safeguard against executive overreach and malfeasance of the law in lower courts.
I don’t think HR 8424 will make it anywhere, as most bills don’t. However, we’d be remiss to not at least point out what is in the playbook. About those term limits that Donald Trump wants/ed in a second term?
Maybe we should be writing our legislators to impose limits on how long members of Congress can stay in office.
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey's draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii .