A recent decision by the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that says illegal aliens—what the left likes to call “undocumented immigrants”—enjoy a Second Amendment right to bear arms, even if their presence in this nation is criminal.
In the case of a Milwaukee man deported over a single .22 caliber cartridge, a federal appeals court ruled last week that even unlawful immigrants can be part of “the public” that enjoys a Second Amendment right to keep a gun for self defense.
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeas said even undocumented immigrants can be part of “the people” protected by the Bill of Rights, though it upheld the man’s conviction on a specific law that prohibits most such persons from having guns.
“It is now clear that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is no second-class entitlement, (and) we see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded,” Judge Diane Wood wrote for a panel that included judges Richard Easterbrook and Joel Flaum.
“No language in the Amendment supports such a conclusion, nor, as we have said, does a broader consideration of the Bill of Rights.”
Because four other federal circuit courts have come to the opposite conclusion, legal commentators were quick to suggest the issue of whether undocumented immigrants have Second Amendment rights could now be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.
While rejecting the idea that undocumented immigrants could never have any rights under the Second Amendment, Wood noted that even for citizens, those rights are not unlimited. She found that a federal law tailored to keep guns out of the hands of undocumented immigrants — like gun restrictions imposed on felons and those convicted of domestic violence — was constitutional, and upheld the conviction on those grounds.
My basic, over-riding belief on the Second Amendment is that any case involving the right to keep and bear arms should be held to the legal standard of strict scrutiny, and that all law-abiding citizens and legal resident aliens should have the right to keep and bear arms.
This case, however, is stating that criminals who aren’t citizens nor legal resident aliens have Second Amendment rights… and I’m having a hard problem with that. I’m apparently not alone, as the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Circuit court aren’t buying the argument, either. The split among the courts suggests that the basic issue will head to the U.S. Supreme court at some point.
Something that makes me even more leery about this case is that the progressives at Think Progress gleefully predict that if the Seventh Circuit’s views hold, they could use it to win even more rights for illegal aliens. In specific, they’re hoping these illegals will get expanded First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment protections if United States vs. Meza-Rodriguez holds. Put another way, they’re hoping this Second Amendment case will turn into an “anchor baby” that makes it more difficult to send criminal aliens back home.
Call me a “butter” if you want, but I don’t think for a second that the Founding Fathers would support the concept of granting criminal invaders the same legal status as legal immigrants, legal resident aliens, and citizens. Let’s hope that when this case makes it to the Supreme Court that the justices with the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth circuit courts.