A judge should be wise enough to look to the possible consequences of his or her decisions. A judge should be wise enough to change his or her mind. A judge should generally accord these qualities to the decisions of his or her predecessors. And, given that judges pass judgment on others, a judge should be law-abiding, of good moral character, … above reproach.
At the present time we have three, maybe four or five, supreme court justices: Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch*, and perhaps Kavanaugh*, and Roberts, who feel that they, more than anyone before them or now on the court, know how the constitution should be interpreted; would impose their interpretation on the nation no matter the consequences. Some consequences of this sort of thinking of late include: District of Columbia v. Heller, McDonald v. City of Chicago, Shelby County v. Holder, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and, most recently, Rucho v. Common Cause; all decisions with horrendous consequences.
Columbia v. Heller:
The Second Amendment to the Constitution:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
In 2008, in the Heller decision, the Supreme Court, by a 5 to 4 margin, affirmed a Court of Appeals ruling that a citizen had the constitutional right to possess a firearm separate the militia clause.
The Supreme Court held:
(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.
(1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
In writing the majority decision, Justice Scalia invoked his theory of original intent based on his review of colonial history and the early years of the republic and concluded that the Constitution’s Second Amendment meant, not what others before had said it meant, but whatever he said it meant some 230 years later. Scalia said that the second part, not the first part, was the operative clause. Scalia, not the second amendment, said, “ … to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” Scalia was joined in the majority by Justices Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito. Justice Stevens, who wrote the dissent, recently called Heller, “… the worst decision of my tenure.”