CNN anchor Piers Morgan devoted a considerable portion of his Friday program to pushing for more gun control, breaking with those who have advised delaying such talk until after a period of mourning for shooting victims in Aurora, Colorado.
Morgan not only began Piers Morgan Tonight with a "Piers' Special Commentary" calling for more gun laws, but, later in the program, he included three guests who argued in favor of more gun control, with only one to argue against, with whom the CNN host ended up becoming agitated as Denver University Professor David Kopel scolded Morgan for not waiting longer before launching into a divisive political debate.
Shortly after beginning the show, Morgan played a clip of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg advising the presidential candidates to talk about the gun control issue, and then began his commentary:
Update: According to the Library of Congress website, July 28, 1868 was the day when Secretary of State William Seward "issued a proclamation certifying without reservation that the Fourteenth Amendment was a part of the United States Constitution." Todd told his viewers that July 28, 1868 was the day the amendment "officially became part of the U.S. Constitution" although Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that amendments "shall be valid to all intents and purposes...when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths" of the states, which in the case of the Fourteenth Amendment would be July 9, 1868.
Wanted: Better fact checkers for MSNBC.
For today's "Flashback" feature on the "Daily Rundown," anchor Chuck Todd misinformed viewers by noting that on July 28, 1868, the 14th Amendment went into effect.
Gosh, isn't it convenient that Associated Press reporter Jim Abrams, in a Wednesday evening dispatch ("Democrats say Obama should invoke 14th Amendment"), was able to find "some legal scholars" who believe that President Obama can invoke Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to ignore the nation's current debt ceiling and have the government go out and borrow more money, but "somehow" didn't name any? Not only that, he didn't even tell readers why 14th Amendment power creationists might be wrong, let alone find "some other" dissenting legal scholar to explain why. Instead, he instead went to White House spokesman Jay Carney, who only said that the president doesn't have such authority.
I suspect that Abrams' "oversight" occurred because the only "legal scholars" he could have cited would have been uncomfortable Democrats in Congress who don't want to be on record voting against any and every effort to control spending which might be attached to whatever bill or bills House Republicans might attempt to pass -- a matter of fierce internal GOP debate as of late Thursday evening.
One wonders how Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center managed to get a hold of a private letter sent to President Obama by Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe advising him against nominating Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, but be that as it may, its contents are quite interesting and show just how nakedly political Tribe’s view of a justice really is and also how little he thinks of Sotomayor.
In the May 2009 letter (PDF link here), Tribe advises Obama to refrain from choosing Sotomayor because “she’s not nearly as smart as she seems to think she is” and also that she is a “bully” who would would be unable to try to persuade frequent SCOTUS swing vote Anthony Kennedy to a “pragmatically progressive direction,” something that Tribe believes former justice David Souter had managed to do on occasion.
I have said consistently that I believe the Second Amendment is an individual right. -- Barack Obama, June 26, 2008
In some ways, the Supreme Court term that just ended seems muddled: disturbing, highly conservative rulings on subjects like voting rights and gun control . . . In another sharp break with its traditions, the court struck down parts of the District of Columbia’s gun-control law. After seven decades of holding that the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms is tied to raising a militia, the court reversed itself and ruled that it confers on individuals the right to keep guns in their homes for personal use. The decision will no doubt add significantly to the number of Americans killed by gun violence. -- NYT editorial, A Supreme Court on the Brink, July 3, 2008 [emphasis added]
How far left is the editorial board of the New York Times? Far enough that, when it comes to the Second Amendment, Barack Obama would seemingly qualify as "highly conservative" in its eyes.
The gist of the Grey Lady's editorial of today is to warn voters that the Supreme Court is just a vote away from a conservative majority. The paper instructs voters to keep that grim prospect "firmly in mind when they go to the polls in November." In the course of its scare-mongering, the editorial liberally sprinkles terms sure to send a shiver down lefty spines: "highly conservative," "a far-right majority," "cold-hearted," "dedicated members of the conservative movement," "the conservative bloc," "far-right bloc," 'one more conservative appointment would . . push [the Court] even further in a dangerous direction."
Noting Sen. Barack Obama's recent statement that he considers the Second Amendment an individual right -- setting aside for a moment his pro-gun control record and defense of the D.C. handgun ban -- ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg dismissed private gun ownership as constitutionally protected, holding instead that the "orthodox" view defends only a state's right.
Here's the relevant portion from a February 15 entry at Greenburg's Legalities blog (emphasis mine):