So, just to argue from a different angle, an angle that goes straight to rights cherished by the left, I would enjoy an anti-gunner's explanation of how Stevens' opinion of the 2nd Amendment (or the general anti-2nd agenda) meshes with the foundation for penumbral rights, where generalized "privacy' rights exist and how abortion, reproductive and sexual orientation rights are secured.
For those that do not know, the "origin" of those rights has been found in the "emanations" and "penumbras" of the rights expressly enumerated in the Bill of Rights, it also relies on the principle embodied in the 9th Amendment:
- "[The] specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance. See Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 516-522 (dissenting opinion).
Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)
Stevens has signed onto opinions that have cited and quoted and even quoted himself in opinions he has written, Harlan's famous dissent in Poe v Ullman. Justice O'Connor, quoted below, expressly elevated Harlan's dissent to the opinion of the Court (with which Stevens concurred):
- "Neither the Bill of Rights nor the specific practices of States at the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment marks the outer limits of the substantive sphere of liberty which the Fourteenth Amendment protects. See U. S. Const., Amend. 9. As the second Justice Harlan recognized:
- "[T]he full scope of the liberty guaranteed by the Due Process Clause cannot be found in or limited by the precise terms of the specific guarantees elsewhere provided in the Constitution. This `liberty' is not a series of isolated points pricked out in terms of the taking of property; the freedom of speech, press, and religion; the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures; and so on. It is a rational continuum which, broadly speaking, includes a freedom from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints, . . . and which also recognizes, what a reasonable and sensitive judgment must, that certain interests require particularly careful scrutiny of the state needs asserted to justify their abridgment."
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)
Some questions for discussion:
How does Stevens' interpretation of the 2nd Amendment fit into the right to keep and bear arms being a link in the "rational continuum" of individual liberty protected from federal (and state) injury?
Can a right that is found to exist in the "emanations" and "penumbras" of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights be more respected, more vital and more secure than a right that is actually enumerated in the Bill of Rights?
Can an anti-gunner's hostility for the the 2nd Amendment and gun rights in general, actually call into question the legitimacy of securing the rights to abortion and other reproductive choices or even the gains made in LGBT rights?