Friday, June 27, 2008

Rove-Reversal: Jewish Dems Attack McCain's "Strength" On Iran

Several of Congress' most prominent Jewish members are set to go after John McCain on an issue of perceived strength: his proclaimed "toughness" in dealing with Iran.

On Thursday, Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Ben Cardin, alongside more than half-a-dozen members of the House of Representatives and the National Jewish Democratic Council, will host a press conference highlighting a vote McCain made that helped corporations like Halliburton continue doing business with sanctioned countries like Iran.

The vote, McCain's critics argue, demonstrates a strand of political hypocrisy -- on the campaign trail, the Senator has repeatedly called for divestment from Iran -- and pokes holes in his attacks on Barack Obama.

"John McCain has been arguing that he is Mr. Tough Guy on Iran," said Ira Forman, Executive Director of the NJDC. "At the AIPAC conference he talked about how he would introduce stronger sanctions and boycott measures. He's also saying Obama is naïve and can't be trusted to deal with the Iranians. But when it came to deciding to be tough on Iran or supporting Halliburton, he stuck with Halliburton. It is easy to talk the talk but it is not so easy to walk the walk."

In July 2005, Sen. Lautenberg introduced an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that would have closed a loophole allowing U.S. corporations to do business with terrorist-sponsoring nations by setting up foreign shell companies. The measure had broad support as it became evident that several major companies, including Halliburton, had taken advantage of the system. Frank Gaffney, the neoconservative columnist, opined that the situation was an "affront to the letter and spirit of the law."

But when the provision came to the floor, the vote split almost entirely down party line. Only two GOP Senators supported the amendment and neither had the last name McCain.

Soon thereafter, a less-stringent amendment was passed, roughly reinstating the legal status quo. As a Democratic aide noted, "it allowed Republicans to cover themselves on the issue." The Center for Security Policy wrote:

"The [GOP version] would seek to penalize individuals or entities who evade [International Emergency Economic Powers Act] sanctions - if they are "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States." This is merely a restatement of existing regulations. The problem with this formulation is that, in the process of purportedly closing one loophole, it would appear to create new ones... If the Senate is serious about truly closing this loophole, it must adopt the Lautenberg Amendment."

Now, three years later, Lautenberg, Cardin, the NJDC and others are trying to extract a political price from McCain for not supporting their legislation. And, as some Jewish politics observers suggested, there could be political room to operate.

"The bottom line is this," said Mark Mellman, President & CEO of The Mellman Group. "There is an obviously grave concern in the American Jewish community about a nuclear Iran. This is a leadership that has pledged to wipe out Israel and is developing the means to do that. And so there is grave concern within the Jewish community but also outside the Jewish community."

It is a Rovian effort -- going after an opponent's perceived strength. After all, McCain has made the concept "getting tough" on hostile regimes a central thrust of his foreign policy. During a speech at AIPAC he spoke directly about the benefits of cutting off Iran's financial pipelines.

"As more people, businesses, pension funds and financial institutions across the world divest from companies doing business with Iran, the radical elite who run that country will become even more unpopular than they are already," he said.

And the Senator has often backed his rhetoric with action. In 1992, McCain coauthored the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act, which prohibited the transferring for weapons or technology to those two countries. More recently, he has championed the Lieberman-Kyl amendment, which designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. In fact, in 2006, McCain tried to have Iran banned from participating in the World Cup soccer tournament.

All this Forman acknowledged. But he added, "when you are the guy who says 'I am tough, I will be the one who will extend sanctions against Iran, and my opponent is weak' -- when you run your campaign in the Jewish community around this point, you are particularly vulnerable when you didn't do what you said you will."

As demonstrated by the Lautenberg amendment, McCain's resume isn't entirely without weak points. This list include his campaign staff, which currently includes Charlie Black, whose firm was paid $60,000 to lobby on behalf of the Chinese oil conglomerate doing business in Iran; and Carly Fiorina, who as CEO saw her company Hewlett-Packard trade with the Iranians.

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Obama using 'white guilt,' Nader says

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Ralph Nader's presidential candidacy has received little media attention, but his latest critique of Sen. Barack Obama has come under fire for its seemingly racial overtones.

Ralph Nader is running for president as an independent.

Ralph Nader is running for president as an independent.

Speaking with Colorado's Rocky Mountain News, Nader accused Obama of attempting to "talk white" and appealing to "white guilt" in his quest to win the White House.

"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American," Nader told the paper in comments published Tuesday.

"Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards," Nader added.

Obama said Wednesday in Chicago, Illinois, that Nader was simply trying to "get attention."

"What's clear is, Ralph Nader hasn't been paying attention to my speeches," he said. "Ralph Nader's trying to get attention. He's become a perennial political candidate. I think it's a shame, because if you look at his legacy ... it's an extraordinary one. ... At this point, he's somebody who's trying to get attention, whose campaign hasn't gotten any traction." Video Watch panelists weigh in on Nader's remarks »

Obama's presidential campaign earlier had called Nader's comments disappointing, and his communication's director, Robert Gibbs, said Tuesday that they were "reprehensible and basically delusional."

"I don't think he's spent a lot of time looking at the record of Barack Obama," Gibbs said on MSNBC.

Nader is a longtime consumer advocate who was blamed by many Democrats for Al Gore's loss in the 2000 presidential election; they said he claimed votes that would otherwise have gone to their candidate.

He said Obama's top issue should be poverty in America, given his racial heritage. Video Watch Nader describe whom the Democrats should be "going after" »

"I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law and is going to be liberated by the law," he said. "Haven't heard a thing."

Nader also said Obama is making a concerted effort not to be "another politically threatening African-American politician."

"He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically, he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up."

Nader formally entered the presidential race in the spring, expressing disappointment with both remaining Democratic candidates at that time.

"They are both enthralled to the corporate powers," he said of both Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton. "They've completely ignored the presidential pattern of illegality and accountability; they've ignored the out of control waste-fraud military expenditures; they hardly ever mention the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars to corporate subsidies, handouts and giveaways; and they don't talk about a living wage."
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75% blame Bush's policies for deteriorating economy

The figure includes large numbers of dissatisfied Republicans and represents a sharp increase in pessimism over the last year. Higher fuel prices have sharpened the criticism.
By Maura Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 26, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Three out of four Americans, including large numbers of Republicans, blame President Bush's economic policies for making the country worse off during the last eight years, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll released Wednesday, reflecting a sharp increase in public pessimism during the last year.

Nine percent of respondents said the country's economic condition had improved since Bush became president, compared with 75% who said conditions had worsened. Among Republicans, 42% said the country was worse off, while 26% said it was about the same, and 22% thought economic conditions had improved.
Phillip Thies, a registered Republican and clothing-store owner in Cedar, Mich., who was one of those polled, said the president was doing an able job through the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but "right after that, it was steadily, steadily downhill."

"There has been a lack of leadership and a lack of timeliness of leadership, of not being conscious of the magnitude of the problems," Thies said of Bush in a follow-up interview. "He's always a day late and a dollar short."

Said Lois Coleman, 84, of Floyds Knobs, Ind., who described herself as an independent, "I'm not as well off as I was before he was president and that pertains to all my friends, too, everyone I know."

Economic pessimism has deepened sharply in the last year, intensified by higher fuel prices, the poll found. When the question was asked in March 2007, 24% of respondents said Bush's policies had improved the nation's economy and 46% said they had made it worse.

The increased unhappiness is reflected in an all-time low in Bush's approval rating -- just 23% now, compared with 34% in February.

"It is no surprise that Americans are feeling very pessimistic about the economy -- with rising gas and oil prices and food prices affecting their pocketbooks," said Times Poll Director Susan Pinkus.

"They don't see an end to the rise in prices. . . . Americans blame the president, along with the oil companies, for not having done enough to stem the tide of rising gas prices."

Seventy percent of respondents said the rising cost of fuel had caused hardship for their families, and the pain appeared to be spread across all income groups: 79% of people with incomes of less than $40,000 a year said the higher prices were a hardship, but so did 55% of respondents with incomes above $100,000.

Scott White, 47, a registered Republican from Saco, Maine, said he had to get public assistance twice last year to pay for home heating oil. He says he expects things to get worse before they get better.

"I'm what I call middle-class poor," said White, who has muscular dystrophy and recently had to stop working because of his disability. "It seems like [President Bush] is not in touch with the American people. . . . I voted for him both elections, but I wouldn't vote for him again."

Asked for their view of the cause of the higher prices, respondents blamed the Bush administration and oil company profits in roughly equal measure -- 29% holding the administration responsible and 25% blaming the oil companies, a spread within the poll's margin of error.

Thirteen percent of those polled said commodities speculators were responsible for the increases; 14% said they were not sure who was at fault.

Amber Guckenberg, a 28-year-old stay-at-home mother in Kalispell, Mont., said she wasn't sure Bush deserved all the blame for rising energy prices, but she wished he had found a way to rein them in.

"We've had to scale back on a lot of things -- not going on camping trips, watching what we buy at the grocery store," Guckenberg said, noting that her monthly heating bills now top $300. "This year my kids probably won't be able to take swimming lessons because I can't afford it."

The poll also suggested that public support for a foreclosure rescue bill had weakened a bit while opposition had strengthened. Only 25% of respondents in a May Times/Bloomberg poll said they opposed government assistance for homeowners, while 36% oppose it now. Just 55% of respondents said they favored such government assistance now, compared with 60% in the May poll.

"I'm totally opposed to government coming to the aid of individuals who made poor decisions," said Thies, the clothing-store owner from Michigan. "It's tough cheese, Charlie."

Though respondents had strong opinions about the economy, they were not sure how to make it better. Asked what the top priority for improving the economy should be, 27% said cutting taxes, 20% said reducing the federal deficit, 13% said funding public programs and 13% said addressing the price of energy.

All together, 82% of respondents said the economy was doing badly, compared with 71% who felt that way when the question was asked in February. And the pessimism has intensified: Fifty percent of respondents said the economy was doing "very badly," compared with 38% in February.

The Times/Bloomberg poll, conducted June 19-23 under Pinkus' supervision, interviewed 1,233 adults nationwide. The poll's margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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To Hell With the Human Collateral Damage: McCain's Dangerous War Mentality

It's staring us all straight in the face.

All McCain wants to do is tie up Bush's loose ends - usher in The War to End All Wars. If he is voted into office in November, McCain will be a battle-seeking heir to Bush's tragically expanded executive powers. Put plainly, John McCain would be the Second Coming of George Bush, and I ain't just paying lip service - that's the cold, hard truth.

And you don't have to look too far to confirm it.

McCain aide Charles Black was recently quoted as saying that a terrorist attack inside the United States of America "certainly would be a big advantage to" McCain.

This aide did not come up with that idea in some sort of vacuum - probably every last member of the McCain campaign had mulled this one over until one of them decided to give it voice one day in some meeting. And as they all considered it, they found it hard to calm their giddiness over the false conclusion they drew: voters would trample each other running to the polls to vote for McCain. It's a sick fantasy, to be sure, but it is also a pitiful admission that Black made unwittingly.

Charles Black, McCain, and the rest of them don't want the public to know that, essentially, they got nothing. They know that Obama - with his strong intellect and resolve - is positioned much better to handle most issues faced by this country right now. And they never wanted the American people to know they themselves believe that McCain is so outdone that the only way he could win is if some horrific fate befalls America once again. They believe in some odd twist of logic that all of America could be frightened right into McCain's voting bloc column.

That's astonishingly disturbing.

An aide who probably had McCain's ear on a whole host of issues discussed how a human über-tragedy on America's soil would be a political plus for his candidate. This is evidence enough alone that McCain has personally kicked around the idea himself. But the tepid response to Black's remark by the media is what was most troubling. Some in the media suggested that this would probably only be a one-day story before 24 hours were even up.

I cringe at the callousness of it all.

But I'm really happy that Black revealed this ugliness that roils inside of the McCain camp for this one main reason: it reveals just how extremely similar McCain is to Bush. McCain, like Bush, wants turmoil to arise regarding Islamic terrorism so that he can come to the rescue and display just how great of a leader he is. McCain really wants to prove to us that the word "hero" fits him.

In his book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception, McClellan stated that Bush hoped that by going into Iraq he would then have an "opportunity to create a legacy of greatness" by morphing the Middle East into a democracy. McCain and Bush both want to prove themselves - whether through a manufactured war per Bush's way, or through a terrorist attack that has yet to happen on U.S. soil, as Charles Black suggested per McCain's way.

To hell with the human collateral damage.

If you don't want to take McClellan's word for it, if you don't want to accept that Bush is a decided egoist with only his aggrandizement as his first priority-- much like McCain--then just look at everything that has been neglected over the years as a result of Bush's pursuits in the Middle East.

Yeah, I've heard the entirely ludicrous assertion that an Obama presidency would be both the most dangerous and disastrous ever. But how can that be when Bush's tenure was the most unabashed and unrestrained historically in both its incompetence and its belligerence? This current administration has left us more vulnerable than we ever were prior to 9/11. And that's an incredible feat Bush has accomplished, considering the clout America is supposed to have as the greatest, mightiest nation on earth.

America now carries little to no credibility or moral authority when we waged war on a country that had not attacked us first while our very own citizens suffered in Hurricane Katrina and Darfur crumbled into a new kind of depraved inhumanity. We entered into a misguided, badly planned and executed war while the mortgage lending portion of our economy collapsed in on itself, America became one of China's greatest debtors, and oil-rich countries decided to take us for a ride.

And that torturer of his own people, Kim Jong Il remains in power, unhampered. We have no leverage to even try to persuade him to pull in the reins. And any military action against him, especially with the help of the international community, is out of the question because of the horribly mismanaged Iraq War.

Ultimately, if it's not apparent enough that the war mongering intent of McCain's is dangerously similar to that of Bush's, then McCain's WWIII imaginings should just about make it painfully clear. McCain provided just a little insight into the probable innerworkings of his and other Republican politicians' minds when he agreed partially with Newt Gingrich that we are in the "early stages" of the Third World War. McCain even once expressed that he believed that a military draft would be necessary if we were to enter into a Third World War.

Bush had echoed this same concept some time back when he said there was a possible coming, imminent World War III involving Iran as one of the main participants.

The one thing that haunts McCain, just as it did Clinton, is that McCain voted for the Iraq invasion. Since that fateful vote, Clinton has called for a withdrawal of troops and an end to this farce of war. However, McCain defends this unethical, immoral war even though he takes issue with how it's been managed.

The only question left now is, if he is elected, how long afterward does John McCain plan to initiate this War to End All Wars that he, Bush, and Rove keep talking about? How soon after the election would McCain begin to get that itch to prove himself in the only way both he and Bush seem to know how: in an unnecessarily waged war?

Original here

President Beck: I Wouldn’t Detain Terror Suspects, I’d ‘Shoot Them All In The Head’»

Today on his radio show, CNN host Glenn Beck expressed his disdain of the recent Supreme Court ruling granting terror suspects the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts, exclaiming that if he were President, he would do away with detaining and prosecuting terrorism suspects altogether. Instead, a President Beck would “shoot them all in the head [if] we think that they are against us.”

BECK: We’re going to shoot them all in the head. If we think that they are against us, we’re going to shoot them and kill them, period. Because that’s the only thing we’ve got going for us is we can put them away and get information. If we can’t put them away and they’re going to use our court system, kill them.

Listen here:

If Beck were President since 9/11, he would have killed many innocent people. Here are some of those held in Guantanamo who have either been cleared of charges or were mistakenly detained. For example:

– The “Tipton Three” who were forced into false confessions and later released.

Huzaifa Parhat, an ethnic Uighur Chinese national swept up by the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, who was improperly classified as an “enemy combatant.” Parhat has been recommended for release by U.S. officials, while a military tribunal found no evidence that Parhat was a member of any radical group.

– Over 30 former Guantanamo detainees who have already been released.

Not only would such a policy undoubtedly kill innocents, but as former Navy general counsel Alberto Mora has said, the belligerent treatment of terror suspects increases the recruitment of “insurgent fighters into combat.”

Orginal here

Laptop Searches in Airports Draw Fire at Senate Hearing

WASHINGTON — Advocacy groups and some legal experts told Congress on Wednesday that it was unreasonable for federal officials to search the laptops of United States citizens when they re-enter the country from traveling abroad.

Civil rights groups have said certain ethnic groups have been selectively profiled in the searches by Border Patrol agents and customs officials who have the authority to inspect all luggage and cargo brought into the country without obtaining warrants or having probable cause.

Companies whose employees travel overseas have also criticized the inspections, saying that the search of electronic devices could hurt their businesses.

The federal government says the searches are necessary for national security and for legal action against people who bring illegal material into the country.

“If you asked most Americans whether the government has the right to look through their luggage for contraband when they are returning from an overseas trip, they would tell you ‘yes, the government has that right,’ ” Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, said Wednesday at the hearing of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

“But,” Mr. Feingold continued, “if you asked them whether the government has a right to open their laptops, read their documents and e-mails, look at their photographs and examine the Web sites they have visited, all without any suspicion of wrongdoing, I think those same Americans would say that the government absolutely has no right to do that.”

In April, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Customs and Border Protection agency could conduct searches without reasonable suspicion.

In her testimony, Farhana Y. Khera, the president and executive director of Muslim Advocates, said Muslim Americans traveling abroad had often had electronic storage devices seized without apparent cause. She said several had also been questioned about their political views.

Susan K. Gurley, executive director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, said the seizing of laptops could hurt people who travel overseas for business.

“In today’s wired, networked and borderless world, one’s office no longer sits within four walls or a cubicle; rather, one’s office consists of a collection of mobile electronic devices such as a laptop, a BlackBerry, PDA, and a cellphone,” Ms. Gurley said in prepared remarks.

She said the searches meant that “you may find yourself effectively locked out of your office indefinitely.”

Ms. Gurley said a concern was the lack of published regulations explaining what happened to data when it was seized and who had access to it.

Tim Sparapani, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in an interview, “You can’t go into my home and search my computer without a warrant, but simply because I’m carrying my computer with me as I travel, you can search it.”

But Nathan A. Sales, an assistant professor at the George Mason University School of Law, said in a statement: “The reason the home has enjoyed uniquely robust privacy protections in the Anglo-American legal tradition is because it is a sanctuary into which the owner can withdraw from the government’s watchful eye. Crossing an international border is in many ways the opposite of this kind of withdrawal.”

Mr. Feingold expressed discontent that the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the customs and border agency, did not send a witness to testify. He said a written statement by Jayson P. Ahern, deputy commissioner for the agency, provided “little meaningful detail on the agency’s policies.”

Mr. Ahern’s statement said that the agency’s efforts did not infringe upon privacy and that it was important to note that the agency was “responsible for enforcing over 600 laws at the border, including those that relate to narcotics, intellectual property, child pornography and other contraband, and terrorism.”

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Childhood Poverty Costs the U.S. about $500 Billion a Year

In the last election, the America people spoke clearly for change. Ever since, Democrats have been taking our nation in a New Direction. In particular, we have worked to make America a place where every citizen has the opportunity to achieve the American dream. Central to that dream is a safety net in times of trouble, and also a ladder of opportunity.

After the successes of the 110th Congress we have made progress, but we must continue our efforts. When I was sworn in as Speaker, I did so surrounded by children, because they must be the center of our work in Congress. It is simply unacceptable that nearly one out of every five children in America -- 13 million -- live in poverty. In addition to the human suffering that poverty brings, an estimate by the Center for American Progress found that persistent childhood poverty costs our country about $500 billion a year by way of lost productivity, school drop-outs, crime, and growing numbers enrolled in nutrition and public assistance programs.

To address some of these challenges, we got to work right away. In the first 100 hours we took office, we increased the minimum wage for the first time in nine years. This will benefit nearly 13 million people.

To help families struggling in a difficult economy, we passed an economic stimulus package that sent Recovery Rebates to 130 million Americans to help with the higher costs of gasoline, groceries, and health care. These Recovery Rebates will also help strengthen the lagging economy.

This year we also passed a Farm Bill that makes a significant investment in the nutrition of all Americans. It helps families who are struggling with the high costs of food and provides support for food stamps and food banks; it also helps lower food prices.

For those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, we have extended unemployment insurance.

This is just the beginning. We are continuing our efforts for comprehensive and affordable quality health coverage, to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, and to improve our schools for all our children.

Our efforts to take America in a New Direction are not finished. We will continue to work to improve the lives of America’s working families and those struggling to make it, and we are counting on you for your help.
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Court: A constitutional right to a gun

The opinion can be downloaded here. Relevant quotes from the majority opinion can be found here, and a replay of our LiveBlog can be found here. Tom’s commentary is here.

Answering a 217-year old constitutional question, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a gun, at least in one’s home. The Court, splitting 5-4, struck down a District of Columbia ban on handgun possession. Although times have changed since 1791, Justice Antonin Scalia said for the majority, “it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

Examining the words of the Amendment, the Court concluded “we find they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weaons in case of confrontation” — in other words, for self-defense. “The inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right,” it added.

The individual right interpretation, the Court said, “is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment,” going back to 17th Century England, as well as by gun rights laws in the states before and immediately after the Amendment was put into the U.S. Constitution.

What Congress did in drafting the Amendment, the Court said, was “to codify a pre-existing right, rather than to fashion a new one.”

Justice Scalia’s opinion stressed that the Court was not casting doubt on long-standing bans on carrying a concealed gun or on gun possession by felons or the mentally retarded, on laws barring guns from schools or government buildings, and laws putting conditions on gun sales.

The Court took no position on whether the Second Amendment right restricts only federal government powers, or also curbs the power of states to regulate guns. In a footnote, Scalia said that the issue of “incorporating” the Second into the Fourteenth Amendment, thus applying it to the states, was “a question not presented by this case.” But the footnote said decisions in 1886 and 1894 had reaffirmed that the Amendment “applies only to the Federal Government.” Whether the Court will reopen that issue thus will depend upon future cases.

The Court in essence demolished the most recent precedent on the Second Amendment — the ruling in U.S. v. Miller in 1939, relied upon heavily by advocates of gun control (and by the dissenting Justices on Thursday). The opinion tartly remarked: “It is particularly wrongheaded to read Miller for more than what it said, because the case did not even purport to be a thorough examination of the Second Amendment.”

In District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), the Court nullified two provisions of the city of Washington’s strict 1976 gun control law: a flat ban on possessing a gun in one’s home, and a requirement that any gun — except one kept at a business — must be unloaded and disassembled or have a trigger lock in place. The Court said it was not passing on a part of the law requiring that guns be licensed. It said that issuing a license to a handgun owner, so the weapon can be used at home, would be a sufficient remedy for the Second Amendment violation of denying any access to a handgun.

While the declaration of the individual right was clear-cut, as was the decision’s nullification of key parts of the Washington, D.C., law, the Court did not lay down a standard for judging the constitutionality of any other federal laws — an omission that the dissenters attacked strongly. Even so, the opinion made it clear that, whatever ultimate test emerge, it probably would be a tough one to meet, at least when self-defense is at issue. As Justice Scalia put it, whatever remains for “future evaluation” about the strength of the right, “it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.”

Justice Scalia’s recitation from the bench of the majority’s reasoning continued for 16 minutes. Justice John Paul Stevens followed, for seven minutes, summarizing the reasons for two dissenting opinions — his and one written by Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

The decision was the final one of the Term and, after issuing it, the Court recessed for the summer, to return on Monday, Oct. 6. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., said that concluding orders on pending cases will be released by the Court Clerk at 10 a.m. Friday.

Original here