Louisiana Conservative endorses Amendment 2

October 13, 2012

by Mark Parham

Rational basis or Strict Scrutiny, your freedom could depend on it.

The Louisiana Conservative administration and this author are proud to endorse Amendment 2 on our November ballot.

After much research, we are endorsing the passage of Amendment 2 on November 6th, strengthening Louisiana citizens gun rights. Included is this article by David Kopel, Research Director of the Independence Institute in Golden, Colorado, Associate Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute, contributor to the National Review magazine and Volokh Conspiracy legal blog. Previously he was Adjunct Professor of Law, New York University, on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, and Former Assistant Attorney General for Colorado, spelling out the current and anticipated law and what it will mean for Louisiana.

Louisiana’s current gun laws are based on rational basis. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Rational+Basis+Test

A person challenging a law on equal protection grounds has a very difficult task. The Supreme Court has used the rational basis standard to practice judicial restraint and to limit its ability to overturn legislation. In areas of social and economic policy, where constitutionally suspect classifications (race, religion, alienage, or national origin) are not at issue, nor are any fundamental constitutional rights at stake, a law must be upheld if there is any “reasonably conceivable state of facts that could provide a rational basis for the classification” (United States Railroad Retirement Bd. v. Fritz, 449 U.S. 166, 101 S. Ct. 453, 66 L. Ed. 2d 368 [1980]).

In addition, the Court does not require a legislature to articulate its reasons for enacting a statute, holding that “[i]t is entirely irrelevant for constitutional purposes whether the conceived reason for the challenged distinction actually motivated the legislature” (FCC v. Beach Communications, Inc., 508 U.S. 307, 113 S. Ct. 2096, 124 L. Ed. 2d 211 [1993]). Thus, the Court stated, a “legislative choice is not subject to courtroom fact-finding and may be based on rational speculation unsupported by evidence or empirical data” (FCC v. Beach Communications). This means that a court is permitted to find a rational basis for a law, even if it is one that was not articulated by the legislature.

Under Strict Scrutiny, http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Strict+Scrutiny  Once a court determines that strict scrutiny must be applied, it is presumed that the law or policy is unconstitutional. The government has the burden of proving that its challenged policy is constitutional. To withstand strict scrutiny, the government must show that its policy is necessary to achieve a compelling state interest. If this is proved, the state must then demonstrate that the legislation is narrowly tailored to achieve the intended result.

By adopting Amendment 2 on November 6th and adding the language :  “Further provides that any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny”, Louisiana citizens will have the up-most protection from our Legislature’s attempts to change or re-write our gun laws in the future. The present law reads:

The Constitution provides that the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged and this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit carrying a concealed weapon.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides that the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Further provides that any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment deletes the provision relating to the passage of laws to prohibit carrying a concealed weapon.

Abridged versus infringed.

Abridge: to diminish or reduce in scope

Infringe: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another (citizens)

It is clear to see that infringe and strict scrutiny go hand in hand whereas strict scrutiny and abridge simply do not mesh.

 

With that being said; Give me strict scrutiny and put rational basis to bed!

Please vote YES to 2 on November 6th.

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