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Constitution as a defense

Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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10/10/2013 1:49:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
There a two different aspects to this:
1. Using the Constitution as a matter of law to challenge current law, or use as a defense against a crime that shouldn't be, because it is unconstitutional.
2. Using the Constitution as a rebuttal for an idea or principle.

Using gun control:
1. It cannot be illegal for me to own a hunting rifle because the 2nd amendment allows me to. Therefore, being charged with a crime for owning it on my property is improper.
2. Gun control is wrong because of the 2nd amendment.

I take issue with the second use of the Constitution as a defense.
The reason? Because the Constitution can be amended, and if it were, then where is your argument?

Example of gun control:
You can't take my guns away because of the 2nd amendment.
28th amendment repeals the 2nd amendment.
There is no argument anymore.

So, my question:
Do you think people who use the Constitution as a defense for ideas are lazy and stupid, or just trying to make their point quickly (and poorly)?
My work here is, finally, done.
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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10/10/2013 7:59:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/10/2013 1:49:15 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
There a two different aspects to this:
1. Using the Constitution as a matter of law to challenge current law, or use as a defense against a crime that shouldn't be, because it is unconstitutional.
2. Using the Constitution as a rebuttal for an idea or principle.

Using gun control:
1. It cannot be illegal for me to own a hunting rifle because the 2nd amendment allows me to. Therefore, being charged with a crime for owning it on my property is improper.
2. Gun control is wrong because of the 2nd amendment.

I take issue with the second use of the Constitution as a defense.
The reason? Because the Constitution can be amended, and if it were, then where is your argument?

Example of gun control:
You can't take my guns away because of the 2nd amendment.
28th amendment repeals the 2nd amendment.
There is no argument anymore.

So, my question:
Do you think people who use the Constitution as a defense for ideas are lazy and stupid, or just trying to make their point quickly (and poorly)?

Just because it can be amended does not change the validity of the argument. The US constitution is the highest law in the land; it trumps all other laws, including state constitutions. To violate the constitution would be to violate the law. Until the constitution is amended that argument remains valid.

Future changes to the law have no impact on the present status of the law. You shouldn't drive 60mph in a 50mph zone, even though it can be changed to a 60mph zone. Currently it is a 50mph zone, so if you go 60mph you would break the law.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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10/10/2013 10:00:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/10/2013 7:59:03 AM, DanT wrote:
At 10/10/2013 1:49:15 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
There a two different aspects to this:
1. Using the Constitution as a matter of law to challenge current law, or use as a defense against a crime that shouldn't be, because it is unconstitutional.
2. Using the Constitution as a rebuttal for an idea or principle.

Using gun control:
1. It cannot be illegal for me to own a hunting rifle because the 2nd amendment allows me to. Therefore, being charged with a crime for owning it on my property is improper.
2. Gun control is wrong because of the 2nd amendment.

I take issue with the second use of the Constitution as a defense.
The reason? Because the Constitution can be amended, and if it were, then where is your argument?

Example of gun control:
You can't take my guns away because of the 2nd amendment.
28th amendment repeals the 2nd amendment.
There is no argument anymore.

So, my question:
Do you think people who use the Constitution as a defense for ideas are lazy and stupid, or just trying to make their point quickly (and poorly)?

Just because it can be amended does not change the validity of the argument. The US constitution is the highest law in the land; it trumps all other laws, including state constitutions. To violate the constitution would be to violate the law. Until the constitution is amended that argument remains valid.

How is this not an appeal to authority?
So, I should be able to speak out against the government because there is a law that says I can?
If I ask you why you should be able to, is your answer simply because the Constitution says you can, or do you have a more in-depth reason as to why you can?

Future changes to the law have no impact on the present status of the law. You shouldn't drive 60mph in a 50mph zone, even though it can be changed to a 60mph zone. Currently it is a 50mph zone, so if you go 60mph you would break the law.

I didn't say it has impact on the law, I am talking about the justification of the law. Isn't it an appeal to authority to say that because the government says I can, I should be able to?

How many times do you hear that drugs are bad because they are illegal? The fact that it is illegal (or legal) does not address the validity of the law in of itself; it only addresses the consequences of the law (the fact that something currently is a crime or not). If it did, then juries should not be able to nullify laws by refusing to convict.
My work here is, finally, done.
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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10/10/2013 2:47:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/10/2013 10:00:00 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 10/10/2013 7:59:03 AM, DanT wrote:
At 10/10/2013 1:49:15 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
There a two different aspects to this:
1. Using the Constitution as a matter of law to challenge current law, or use as a defense against a crime that shouldn't be, because it is unconstitutional.
2. Using the Constitution as a rebuttal for an idea or principle.

Using gun control:
1. It cannot be illegal for me to own a hunting rifle because the 2nd amendment allows me to. Therefore, being charged with a crime for owning it on my property is improper.
2. Gun control is wrong because of the 2nd amendment.

I take issue with the second use of the Constitution as a defense.
The reason? Because the Constitution can be amended, and if it were, then where is your argument?

Example of gun control:
You can't take my guns away because of the 2nd amendment.
28th amendment repeals the 2nd amendment.
There is no argument anymore.

So, my question:
Do you think people who use the Constitution as a defense for ideas are lazy and stupid, or just trying to make their point quickly (and poorly)?

Just because it can be amended does not change the validity of the argument. The US constitution is the highest law in the land; it trumps all other laws, including state constitutions. To violate the constitution would be to violate the law. Until the constitution is amended that argument remains valid.

How is this not an appeal to authority?
Because the constitution the law, and laws are a system of rules. The constitution is not an opinion. An appeal to authority is when you appeal to the opinion of an authority figure, not when you follow the rules set by an authority figure. The constitution does not say it is right or wrong to ban guns, it says the government is prohibited from banning guns.

It is one thing to say the government should be allowed to ban guns, it is another thing to say they have the authority to ban guns. The government does not have the authority to ban guns, regardless of whether they should or should not ban guns. Banning guns is not a Federal power, but that says nothing about whether it should be a government power. If the US believes it should be a government power, they can amend the constitution in order to allow it.

So, I should be able to speak out against the government because there is a law that says I can?
No. Having a right to do something does not make it is the right thing to do. The reason the right was encoded in the constitution is because the founders believed you should have that right, but having that right does not make it right.

I have a right to cuss out my grandmother, but that does not make it the right thing to do. I have a right to piss on my couch, but that does not make it the right thing to do. I have a right to write on my bedroom wall, but that does not make it the right thing to do. I have a right to toss my TV out the window, but that does not make it the right thing to do.

Having a right just means you are entitled to have or do something, it does not mean having or doing it is correct.

If I ask you why you should be able to, is your answer simply because the Constitution says you can, or do you have a more in-depth reason as to why you can?

My constitutional rights would be used as an argument on why I should be allowed to do something, ie why the government does not have the authority to prohibit me from doing something.
Whether or not that legal entitlement should be amended out of the constitution would require a more in-depth reasoning.


Future changes to the law have no impact on the present status of the law. You shouldn't drive 60mph in a 50mph zone, even though it can be changed to a 60mph zone. Currently it is a 50mph zone, so if you go 60mph you would break the law.

I didn't say it has impact on the law, I am talking about the justification of the law. Isn't it an appeal to authority to say that because the government says I can, I should be able to?

No. The Law says you cannot go over 50MPH, but that does not mean you should be limited to 50MPH. If it is more reasonable to go 60MPH, you can use that rational to amend the law to change the speed limit. Going 60MPH in a 50MPH zone simply because it is more logical that it should be changed to a 60MPH zone would violate the law. Until it is changed to 60MPH you cannot go 60MPH or you will get a ticket.

Until the constitution is amended, the government has no authority to implement a law that violates the constitution.

How many times do you hear that drugs are bad because they are illegal? The fact that it is illegal (or legal) does not address the validity of the law in of itself; it only addresses the consequences of the law (the fact that something currently is a crime or not). If it did, then juries should not be able to nullify laws by refusing to convict.

I've never heard someone argue that drugs were bad because they are illegal. I've heard people argue that drugs are illegal, so you can go to jail if you get caught using them. Drugs are illegal because drugs are bad, they are not bad because they are illegal. Do I believe drugs should be illegal? No. Do I believe you have a right to use drugs despite the law? No. Do I believe drugs are bad? Hell yeah. You would have to be a fool to believe drugs are good for you.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
ironmaiden
Posts: 456
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10/10/2013 7:32:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/10/2013 1:49:15 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
There a two different aspects to this:
1. Using the Constitution as a matter of law to challenge current law, or use as a defense against a crime that shouldn't be, because it is unconstitutional.
2. Using the Constitution as a rebuttal for an idea or principle.

Using gun control:
1. It cannot be illegal for me to own a hunting rifle because the 2nd amendment allows me to. Therefore, being charged with a crime for owning it on my property is improper.
2. Gun control is wrong because of the 2nd amendment.

Yes and no. We have the right to bear arms for a reason, and that reason is secured by the 2nd Amendment. At least, it's supposed to be.

I take issue with the second use of the Constitution as a defense.
The reason? Because the Constitution can be amended, and if it were, then where is your argument?

Example of gun control:
You can't take my guns away because of the 2nd amendment.
28th amendment repeals the 2nd amendment.
There is no argument anymore.

The government is not allowed to infringe upon our constitutional rights, and as soon as they do (which they have), they have become tyrannical. Which is why we have these rights, so we can overthrow that tyrannical government.

So, my question:
Do you think people who use the Constitution as a defense for ideas are lazy and stupid, or just trying to make their point quickly (and poorly)?

Our Founding Fathers created these amendments for a reason. And the government doesn't take them seriously.
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being that his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"