Notes From Babel

Who Cares About the Constitution?

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Not Pittsburgh city council member Tonya Payne. Upon the passage of a controversial, and probably unconstitutional, gun ban, Ms. Payne remarked:

“Who really cares about it being unconstitutional?” said Councilwoman Tonya Payne, a supporter. “This is what’s right to do, and if this means that we have to go out and have a court battle, then that’s fine …

We care about laws being constitutional, Ms. Payne, for the same reason we don’t simply sweep all laws aside and solve our problems in the most expedient way we can imagine. We care about the rule of law not because it is the best way of combating crime–certainly we could achieve this more effectively by vesting unfettered discretion in a crime czar. No, we care about it because it guarantees the only way of life that has any objective basis for regarding crime as morally evil, and may thus undertake to root it out. When we leave the rule of law behind, we are no different from gangsters.

Unfortunately, Ms. Payne’s attitude will soon be shared by the very top level of our government.

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Written by Tim Kowal

November 27, 2008 at 2:06 am

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