Keep and Bear Arms
Home Members Login/Join About Us News/Editorials Archives Take Action Your Voice Web Services Free Email
You are 1 of 415 active visitors Saturday, August 13, 2022
Main Email List:

State Email Lists:
Click Here
Join/Renew Online
Join/Renew by Mail
Make a Donation
Magazine Subscriptions
KABA Memorial Fund
Advertise Here
Use KABA Free Email




Keep and Bear Arms - Vote In Our Polls
Do you oppose Biden's anti-gun executive orders?

Current results
Earlier poll results
2488 people voted



» U.S. Gun Laws
» AmeriPAC
» NoInternetTax
» Gun Show On The Net
» 2nd Amendment Show
» SEMPER FIrearms
» Colt Collectors Assoc.
» Personal Defense Solutions



Keep and Bear Arms


Archived Information

Top | Last 30 Days | Search | Add to Archives | Newsletter | Featured Item

High court has another chance to whittle down federal power

High court has another chance to whittle down federal power
by Vin Suprynowicz

In the famous (but still too lonely) Lopez case, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in 1995 to strike down the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, ruling that banning guns from neighborhoods surrounding public schools is not within the powers delegated to the federal Congress under its constitutional mandate to "regulate commerce ... among the several states."

Congressmen had extemporized that the founders meant to give them power to regulate the places where firearms might be carried, since parts of many firearms are manufactured in certain states, and then assembled or sold in other states. The high court laughed this out of the room, thank goodness. Local public schools are not involved in the business of imposing tariffs or duties on interstate freight -- if such a law could be justified as affecting "interstate trade," there would be nothing left which could not be so justified.

Now, in a 7-4 ruling handed down March 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit has gone further down this same path, throwing out provisions of the federal Violence Against Women Act of 1994.

While the appeals court doubtless has sympathy for rape victims -- the case in question involves a freshman at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, raped by a member of the football team who received little more than a slap on the wrist -- a clear majority nonetheless held such offenses are matters for the jurisprudence of the several states, dismissing as absurd another congressional rationale under the commerce clause, this one holding that violence against women is a federal matter since it "deters potential victims from traveling interstate, from engaging in employment in interstate business, and from transacting with business in interstate commerce ... by diminishing national productivity, increasing medical and other costs, and decreasing the supply of and the demand for interstate products."

Concurring with the majority, Circuit Court Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III dismissed such tortuous nonsense: "The Commerce Clause,"' he said, "must contain some limitations if its language is not to be completely excised from the Constitution." If the courts fail to re-instate such limits, the states will become "mere marionettes of the central government," Judge Wilkinson warned.

Of course rape is a terrible crime and should be harshly punished when the facts are clear -- but by state authorities, not distant bureaucrats in Washington. So has the court now held, and so far so good.

Now, in a new case out of Maine in which arguments were heard March 31, the U.S. Supreme Court has yet another opportunity to rein in the power of the federal government and increase the autonomy of the states, this time perhaps even restoring some measure of their intended effectiveness to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

The high court -- of which a slim 5-4 majority has repeatedly held out for restoring more state sovereignty in recent years -- is expected to rule by June on whether state governments can be sued in state courts by employees seeking to enforce federal labor law.

A group of probation officers sued Maine in federal court in 1992, saying they were unfairly being denied the time-and-a-half overtime pay guaranteed by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

While their initial lawsuit was pending, the Supreme Court ruled in 1996 that the Constitution's 11th Amendment shields states from being sued against their will in federal court. So the probation officers refiled their lawsuit in state court, still depending on the federal law.

Maine's courts, however, ruled that the 11th Amendment makes states immune from state court lawsuits that would be barred in federal courts, though federal labor officials may still sue the state in attempts to enforce such federal edicts.

The probation officers' Supreme Court appeal has brought quite a collection of supporters out of the woodwork, from the National Association of Police Organizations to a coalition of publishers worried about their right to sue states over alleged copyright infringement.

But no matter whose oxen are gored, the fact remains that under America's original bargain, we are guaranteed a central government of limited powers, sharply delineated, while most rights and prerogatives remain in the hands of the people or the (now 50) sovereign states, each guaranteed its own, separate, republican form of government.

After 66 (or is it 86?) years of usurpations by the grifters and permanent perfumed potentates of Washington, we are still a long way from restoring that ideal. But at least the courts appear to be finally headed -- however haltingly -- back in the right direction.

Vin Suprynowicz is one of the most articulate spokesmen serving on the front lines of the Freedom Movement we have. Vin's timely and well written articles are syndicated in newspapers all around the country, and they circulate around the world freely on the Internet and in Libertarian publications. He is the author of Send in the Waco Killers, the book that tells the details the media failed to tell in plain English. The best way to get Vin is to subscribe directly to the e-mail distribution list for his column. Send a request to with "subscribe" in the subject line.

It is an honor to host this man's work, and we encourage you to visit his site and read his book. To read other articles by Vin on this site, click here. You can also see his full archives at these two sites:

Printer Version

Our Founding Fathers were proud that Americans were trusted with arms because they knew that only when people are armed could they truly be thought of as free citizens. And that's where the circle closes. Those who want to deprive you of your right to keep and bear arms are intending to deprive you of your freedom, period. Like the criminals their policies encourage, these elitists know that it is always best to disarm victims before you enslave them. Charley Reese

COPYRIGHT POLICY: The posting of copyrighted articles and other content, in whole or in part, is not allowed here. We have made an effort to educate our users about this policy and we are extremely serious about this. Users who are caught violating this rule will be warned and/or banned.
If you are the owner of content that you believe has been posted on this site without your permission, please contact our webmaster by following this link. Please include with your message: (1) the particulars of the infringement, including a description of the content, (2) a link to that content here and (3) information concerning where the content in question was originally posted/published. We will address your complaint as quickly as possible. Thank you.

NOTICE:  The information contained in this site is not to be considered as legal advice. In no way are Keep And Bear Arms .com or any of its agents responsible for the actions of our members or site visitors. Also, because this web site is a Free Speech Zone, opinions, ideas, beliefs, suggestions, practices and concepts throughout this site may or may not represent those of Keep And Bear Arms .com. All rights reserved. Articles that are original to this site may be redistributed provided they are left intact and a link to is given. Click here for Contact Information for representatives of is the leading provider of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificate solutions used by enterprises, Web sites, and consumers to conduct secure communications and transactions over the Internet and private networks., Inc. © 1999-2022, All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy