The Supreme Court’s Mistaken Notion of a Swing Vote

Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said Friday she fears the high court may lack a justice going forward who would serve as a swing-vote on cases, speaking hours after President Trump’s second nominee Brett Kavanaugh secured enough votes to be confirmed.
“It’s not so clear, that I think going forward, that sort of middle position – it’s not so clear whether we’ll have it,” Kagan said.
With all due respect, Justice Kagan, there’s absolutely zero inherent purpose laid forth in our United States Constitution for a “swing vote.”  It’s a misnomer, simply a thing that sometimes happens, and most certainly not any sort of thing to strive for or achieve.  In fast, such thinking is rather toxic to a healthy judicial process.
1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour… – Article III, Section I
2. In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make. – Article III, Section 2
Your oath of office is two-fold,
5 U. S. C. § 3331: “I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Revised Judicial Oath (28 U. S. C. § 453): “I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”
The idea of a “swing vote” originated not from any basis in law, but rather, merely out of happenstance, whereby on some issues the Supreme Court is otherwise split.
Quite frankly, when a Supreme Court is often split, that’s a very BAD sign. It means Justices are voting along party lines and NOT in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and their oaths of office like they’re SUPPOSED to.
A healthy Supreme Court will general find most justices voting one way whereas you sometimes have stragglers voting in opposition or with Constitutionally informed dissent. Convoluted dissent, as has been quite comment with Democrat Justices, is not healthy, as the Constitution is not convoluted. It takes a great deal of convoluted thinking and wording to make it appear as if B is the better course of action when the Constitution clearly says, “do A.”
Once he gets his feet wet, Justice Kavanaugh should help keep you on the straight and narrow path of our Constitution which you swore to uphold.
Justice Kagan, you also stated the following
“All of us need to be aware of that – every single one of us – and to realize how precious the court’s legitimacy is,” she added. “It’s an incredibly important thing for the court to guard is this reputation of being impartial, being neutral and not being simply extension of a terribly polarizing process.”
Always or even often requiring a swing vote seriously, if not severely undermines the court’s legitimacy, grossly tarnishing it’s reputation of being impartial and neutral, because it clearly communicates the court is not judging an issue on its own merits, but rather, is merely judging an issue along party lines.
Again, healthy courts are NOT “evenly balanced.”  They are firm, with conviction, and Constitutionally sound.  Just as constantly unanimous votes are unhealthy, so to are constantly split votes.  In a nine-member court, decisions with 6, 7, and 8-member majorities tell me most justices, regardless of party, are doing their job.  Your job, Justice Kagan, isn’t to find some “center” or any sort of “middle ground.”  This isn’t kindergarten.  Your job is arriving at the objective, non-partisan and Constitutional truth of a matter.
Good luck, and may God be with you.
In closing, please use this graphic to ascertain when the court has been most healthy, and when it has been saddled by partisanship:

Rights are NOT “Privileges” and are NOT lawfully subject to license or licensing requirements

I wrote the following letter to my state representative.  I’ll share the response with you when it arrives, and will let you know if it doesn’t.

I’m writing you today concerning a point of Constitutional law I recently uncovered that appears to put much of Colorado’s licensing efforts in a dim light.  In particular, I’m licensed by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to carry a concealed handgun, and fully understand all the privileges and restrictions associated with that permit.  However, I’m also a student of both the words and wisdom of our Founding Fathers, and know full well they never intended any right be reduced to a privilege or subject to license.

I recently came across two U.S. Supreme Court decisions along these lines and wanted to run them by you:

“No state shall convert a liberty into a license, and charge a fee therefore.” (Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105)

“If the State converts a right (liberty) into a privilege, the citizen can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right (liberty) with impunity.” (Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, Alabama, 373 U.S. 262)

Here’s our Founding Father’s take on the issue:  “…the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)  That seems abundantly clear to me.

Here’s my take on the issue:  All concealed carry “permits” are licenses of a right (liberty).  The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 (1943) that such licenses are illegal.  Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, 373 U.S. 262 (1963) that citizens “can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right (liberty) with impunity.”  Combined with fact that the Second Amendment clearly states the act of keeping and bearing arms is a right seems to withdraw all wiggle room for law enforcement to behave otherwise, unless the legal examiner or legislator ignores either the Constitution or the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Thus, my question to you:  Which States are willing to stand by the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court decisions which support it?  More specifically, when will Colorado stop violating the U.S. Constitution and these U.S. Supreme Court decisions and instead correctly join with the ranks of those states who have passed “Constitutional Carry” laws?

As of July 1, 2015, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Vermont and Wyoming are considered constitutional carry states. In Wyoming’s case, permitless carry is for residents only; non-residents must have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in that state. Maine will join the list in October 2015.

If I’m not mistaken, these decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court cover the much large issue of licensing efforts in general.  What other Constitutionally-guaranteed rights are illegally treated as “privileges” under Colorado law?  What steps will you take to restore Colorado law to a more lawful basis commensurate with “the supreme Law of the Land?” (Article VI, U.S. Constitution)


Addendum:  Our Founding Fathers had GOOD REASON to ensure that our Second Amendment was ratified WITHOUT RESTRICTION.  In fact, as it stands, it specifically PROHIBITS ANY AND ALL restrictions:  “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

Second Amendment – NO RESTRICTIONS!


Why?  Because it says so.  That’s why.  Out.