Thursday, September 11, 2003

Vox populi, vox dissimulo*

Remember when Antonin "Fat Tony" Scalia was pissing and moaning about the "homosexual agenda" and how they were using the courts to override the will of the people? Remember he wrote "persuading one's fellow citizens is one thing, and imposing one's views in absence of democratic majority will is something else" and that the "premise" of democracy is such that "judgments are to be made by the people, and not imposed by a governing caste that knows best"? It would seem, then, that conservatives sure do value the voice of the people, no?


I give you further evidence that conservatives care more about their own special interest groups than they do the voice of the people:

Missouri lawmakers this afternoon voted to override Gov. Bob Holden's veto of a bill allowing Missourians to carry concealed guns.

The Senate's 23-10 vote to override the veto met the bare minimum required for a two-thirds majority.

The House voted 115-43 Wednesday to override Holden's veto. The Senate's concurrence today means the measure will become law in 30 days without the need for Holden's signature...

The fight to legalize concealed weapons has been long and bitter in Missouri. Lawmakers had been rebuffed for years by former Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan when they finally agreed to put the issue to a statewide vote in April 1999. The ballot measure -- the first ever in the nation on the issue -- was rejected by 52 percent of the vote, with strong urban opposition overcoming rural support.

You see? The people of Missouri had a chance to enact this law on their own and rejected it. Rather than putting it back up for another referendum, though -- and showing that they had persuaded their fellow citizens -- Missouri's conservative "governing caste" just ignored what the people wanted and licked the NRA's boots. Ridiculous.

It should be pointed out that Lawrence v. Texas was a matter of individuals having the majority opinion foisted upon them in their own homes and, as Sandy O said in her concurrence with the majority, the court has "never held that moral disapproval, without any other asserted state interest, is a sufficient rationale under the Equal Protection Clause to justify a law that discriminates among groups of persons." In other words, the state can't stick its nose into other people's business without cause.

In the case of Missouri legislators overriding their citizens' proven lack of interest in concealed weapons, they have chosen to deny the right of people to choose not have concealed weapons in public, a clear state interest no matter whether you think it's right or wrong.

Do conservatives have any shame at all?

Update: Tom Spencer has more.

*The voice of the people is the voice ignored. (Cicero: Vox populi, vox dei - The voice of the people is the voice of God.)


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