“Judges, Justice and Cinco De Mayo”
Judges come in all shapes, sizes, colors and levels of intellect. So constituted is the United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit based in California which is made up of almost three dozen lifetime Presidential appointees who decide what is constitutional and what is not in the western states. It is a gigantic herd of cats that leans to extreme liberalism; the 9th Circuit has a history of being frequently over-ruled by SCOTUS, the Supreme Court of the United States.
Two totally divergent judgments from the 9th Circuit have been made by the Court recently that fascinate lovers of freedom, justice and the Constitution.
The first came a few weeks ago when a three judge panel ruled that the San Diego County Sheriff’s process for granting concealed weapons permits was unlawful. Law enforcement people had collective heart failure.
Sheriffs going back 50 years in San Diego County (4,000 square miles in size with 3,000,000 inhabitants, one third of which are Hispanic) had restricted concealed weapons permits no matter the reason to a small coterie of pals and political contributors of the various sheriffs, including the current one, Bill Gore who retired from the FBI known best for his escapades in Idaho that resulted in a dead mother and her baby.
The process: An applicant filled out a Sheriff’s Department form and paid a fee requesting the ability to carry a concealed firearm, for self-defense or to protect valuables such as commercial jewelry en transit or in stores or to fend off threats – all viable reasons; reasons relying on the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution’s right to “bear arms.” Nonetheless, regardless of the reason in the application, permits were granted for political reasons, not self-defense or safety.
The 9th Circuit set aside the Sheriff’s rules. 2nd Amendment fans and supporters cheered the “conservative” ruling while gun critics and supporters of gun restrictions and banning soured on the traditionally liberal 9th Circuit. Even if the San Diego Sheriff appeals to an 11 judge court, it will lose for the court rarely overturns one of its own panels. If the Sheriff decides to appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court most observers believe that court will not entertain the appeal for an avaricious sheriff has no more claim on constitutional rights than any ordinary citizen who believes in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Fans and supporters of guns and the specificity of the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment regarding the bearing of “arms” are happy with the judgment of the 9th Circuit and how it limits the “infringement” the Sheriff imposed on bearing arms. On the other hand, they are upset with the ruling this week supporting a Northern California school that ordered four white teenage boys to turn their American flag t-shirts inside out or go home on the 5th of May while the school’s student body celebrated the penultimate Mexican fiesta-holiday, Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May.
The schools vice-principal, Mr. Rodriguez, decided that the four boys had intended to start trouble and based on previous incidents between white boys and Hispanic students, it was in the best interests of the student body that the boy provocateurs had to be stripped of the obvious provocation. Parents of the boys protested to the school board that supported the school, then went to court. Their argument, the boys were not treated equally as Mexican American boys were permitted to have Mexican flags. The 9th Circuit disagreed and relying on previous U.S. Supreme Court rulings declared that the school’s first obligation was to protect students from harm and violence. The school being 50-50 White and Hispanic the Court realized that the four complaining boys didn’t have a chance against a riled up Hispanic body of students. Thus, the school protected the American flag wearing middle-class suburban boys despite their not knowing that.
Will the case go up to the Supreme Court? No. The parents and their ambulance-chasing attorneys will file for a full-court hearing of the 9th but even if granted the 11 judges will likely rule the same as the three judge panel did unanimously. The US Supreme Court will not hear the case.
Of course, there would be no argument if the suing parents had read my book “CINCO DE MAYO, AN AMERICAN HOLIDAY?” in which I posit that the United States of America won the critical battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 because the Mexicans routed 8,000 French troops at Puebla on May 5th, 1862 and sent Europe’s finest Army running away begging for reinforcements. A new French Army from France was needed to fight the victorious Mexicans who, by defeating the French on the 5th of May, may have saved the United States of America from a Confederate victory at Gettysburg and subsequent destruction of the United States of America.
The defeated French were not able to supply the Confederates with the cannon it desperately needed because an agrarian South simply could not manufacture enough cannon. The Confederates lost at Gettysburg because their faux-genius General Robert E. Lee screwed up and he didn’t have enough cannon. That, thanks to 4,000 brave Mexicans who used cattle, machetes and 50-year-old rifles to beat Europe’s finest army in the Mexican mountains on Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, 1862. ###
Contreras formerly wrote for the New America News Service of the New York Times Syndicate