Today, justice is both blind and stupid …


The framers posited that the Supreme Court would be the weakest branch of government, with their role restricted to resolving the constitutionality of legislation crafted by Congress, the legal execution of the law by the Executive Branch, and settling disputes between the states.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Supreme Court has usurped the sole law-making role of Congress and tells the Executive Branch what it can and cannot do – not based upon the original text of the Constitution, but decades of precedential rulings, many of which found rights and powers where none exist in the Constitution or which were flat-out unconstitutional.  We now have a polarized court, with conservatives, pseudo-conservatives, and out-and-out leftists.

In the present instance, it appears that pseudo-conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the lefty liberals on the court to gut one of the most effective deterrents to gun-related criminal activity.

So why am I not surprised that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of criminals on the common sense issue of gun-related enhancements in cases of violent acts?

-- Excerpts --

No. 18–431. Argued April 17, 2019—Decided June 24, 2019

The case …

Respondents Maurice Davis and Andre Glover were charged with multiple counts of Hobbs Act robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery. They were also charged under 18 U. S. C. §924(c), which authorizes heightened criminal penalties for using, carrying, or possessing a firearm in connection with any federal “crime of violence or drug trafficking crime.”

[OCS: Clear, unambiguous, and easily applied – carrying or using a firearm during the commission of a “crime of violence” or drug trafficking offence earns you extra prison time. That is, unless you are a word-parsing defense lawyer looking for any legal hook to get your crook off the hook.]

§924(c)(1)(A). “Crime of violence” is defined in two subparts: the elements clause, §924(c)(3)(A), and the residual clause, §924(c)(3)(B).

The residual clause in turn defines a “crime of violence” as a felony “that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.” Ibid.

A jury convicted the men on most of the underlying charges and on two separate §924(c) charges for brandishing a firearm in connection with their crimes. The Fifth Circuit initially rejected their argument that §924(c)’s residual clause is unconstitutionally vague, but on remand in light of Sessions v. Dimaya, 584 U. S. ___, the court reversed course and held §924(c)(3)(B) unconstitutional.

It then held that Mr. Davis’s and Mr. Glover’s convictions on the §924(c) count charging robbery as the predicate crime of violence could be sustained under the elements clause, but that the other count—which charged conspiracy as a predicate crime of violence—could not be upheld because it depended on the residual clause.

The decision…

Held: Section 924(c)(3)(B) is unconstitutionally vague. Pp. 4–25.
(a) In our constitutional order, a vague law is no law at all. The vagueness doctrine rests on the twin constitutional pillars of due process and separation of powers.

This Court has recently applied the doctrine in two cases involving statutes that bear more than a passing resemblance to §924(c)(3)(B)’s residual clause—Johnson v. United States, 576 U. S. ___, which addressed the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), and Sessions v. Dimaya, which addressed the residual clause of 18 U. S. C. §16.

The residual clause in each case required judges to use a “categorical approach” to determine whether an offense qualified as a violent felony or crime of violence.

Judges had to disregard how the defendant actually committed the offense and instead imagine the degree of risk that would attend the idealized “ ‘ordinary case’ ” of the offense.

Johnson, 576 U. S., at ___. The Court held in each case that the imposition of criminal punishments cannot be made to depend on a judge’s estimation of the degree of risk posed by a crime’s imagined “ordinary case.” The government and lower courts have long understood §924(c)(3)(B) to require the same categorical approach. Now, the government asks this Court to abandon the traditional categorical approach and hold that the statute commands a case-specific approach that would look at the defendant’s actual conduct in the predicate crime. The government’s case-specific approach would avoid the vagueness problems that doomed the statutes in Johnson and Dimaya and would not yield to the same practical and Sixth Amendment complications that a case-specific approach under the ACCA and §16 would, but this approach finds no support in §924(c)’s text, context, and history. Pp. 4– 9.

In a 5-4 ruling, the progressives carried the day with Justice Gorsuch joining the opposition of Ginsburg, Breyer,  Sotomayor, and Kagan. 

The dissent was written by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

Read more at the Supreme Court site. Case No. 18–431. Argued April 17, 2019—Decided June 24, 2019

Bottom line…

Not only does this ruling affect the present case, but it can lead to the release of violent felons who used a firearm in the commission of a crime being released into our communities earlier than expected.

Gorsuch’s rationale for joining the lefties was that “Vague statutes threaten to hand responsibility for defining crimes to relatively unaccountable police, prosecutors, and judges, eroding the people’s ability to oversee the creation of the laws they are expected to abide.” Considering that in many cases is liberal-land, gun-related charges are plea-bargained away by prosecutors seeking an easier conviction – the public be damned. The reason is almost always prosecutorial discretion which should upset Gorsuch greatly.

Kavanaugh, on the other hand, noted “Many factors have contributed to the decline of violent crime in America. But one cannot dismiss the effects of state and federal laws that impose steep punishments on those who commit violent crimes with firearms.”

Leaving us with a significant question: Will the lefties who run the House of Representatives pass legislation that further defines the crime of violence – even if they have to use one of those 1000+ page bills? Probably not because the progressive socialist democrats are busy pandering to the criminal class, including granting felons the right to vote and sit on juries.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS