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Which is more important? U.S. Constitution or...

Discussion in 'Legal' started by lanternlad1, Jan 12, 2009.

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  1. lanternlad1

    lanternlad1 Member

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    Which is more important? U.S. Constitution or...<Your State> Constitution.

    I only ask because I hear so many refer to the Second Amendment of The U.S. Constitution, but very few tend to recall their own State's Constitution where gun rights are concerned.

    In my case: The Texas Constitution Bill of Rights regarding guns goes as follows:

    Sec. 23. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

    Given that many states invoke State's Rights when unwilling to bend to the Fed. mandates, (as Vermont and Montana did when choosing not to enforce the Patriot Act) which laws hold jurisdiction?

    California, New York, and Massachusetts don't seem to have any RKBA clauses in their State Constitutions, so does the Second Amendment automatically trump local laws in that case? Or can those states use their State's Rights to try to trump the U.S. Constitution?
     
  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Sort of depends on which one, my state or the feds, are the ones currently infringing upon my right.
     
  3. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that the supremacy clause trumps state rights in the sense that states can't make amendments that are unconstitutional (ie california can't make a law denying women or minorities the right to vote).
     
  4. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    IMO, THE Uninted States of America's Constitution is THE most important document there ever has been. if you dont like your state constitution, you can move!
     
  5. a2fireball

    a2fireball Member

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    A very good question. I am a strong supporter of states rights. I think it comes down to: States can make any law they want, as long as it does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

    :)
     
  6. JWF III

    JWF III Member

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    +1 But ever since the Civil War the Federal Government doesn't see it that way. That is the main reason for the War of Northern Aggression. The Southern States wanted the right to govern as they saw fit. But the Federal government wanted to always hold the trump card.

    The Founding Fathers wanted the states to have the final say so, as long as they didn't violate the BOR. Remember there was no Constitution other than the BOR then. They wanted a minimal Federal Government, not the massive government that we have today.

    If we could only get back to that, but I digress.

    Wyman
     
  7. dave_pro2a

    dave_pro2a Member

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    Neither, both are just an expression of philosophical truths that trancend the works in which they are expressed.

    Burn them all, the philisophical ideas and truths are still valid: natural laws, natural rights, classical liberalism.
     
  8. WTBguns10kOK

    WTBguns10kOK Member

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    I agree with the above. Just know your own right to have guns, because everything else will probably be taken away eventually.
     
  9. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

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    All rights not spelled out in the US Constitution are reserved for the states. Seems pretty clear The US Constitution trumps state law.
     
  10. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Member

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    OR THE PEOPLE!... er.. Or the people I mean. :)
     
  11. carlrodd

    carlrodd Member

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    i have to agree with the idea that the principles that inspired and helped form the bill of rights are what is important. we've too many examples of the constitution being seen as a living document that can be twisted to serve whatever dubious political agenda. ultimately, the document will mean nothing, as it resembles the original intent less and less. people really need to start thinking about this more, because that document is about to be dealt it's death blow, and the principles that inspired it are already under constant assault.
     
  12. subknave

    subknave Member

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    Anyway back to the original question. In our current society the federal constitution trumps the state but in many issues, including firearms, the states get away with restrictions on rights that are codified in the US constitution. There are a wide variety of systems in place from state to state and all politicians try to manipulate them to their personal advantage.
     
  13. TimRB

    TimRB Member

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    As it stands right now, the Second Amendment does not apply to the states, so if your state constitution doesn't have a RKBA clause, then only the Federal government is bound by the 2A. In other words, the 2A has not been incorporated yet. This is why the NRA (and others, I suppose) have filed lawsuits at various locations around the country in the wake of Heller.

    Heller has said that the 2A protects the people's right to keep and bear arms from attack by the Feds. If the 2A is incorporated as a result of one of the new suits (likely) then it will apply to the states, too.

    Edit: Sheesh. Do people think I'm making this up?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_(Bill_of_Rights)

    From that article:

    "Even years after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment the Supreme Court in United States v. Cruikshank, still held that the First and Second Amendment did not apply to state governments."

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Folks seem to have lost sight of the questions in the OP.

    Just a reminder...

    :D:D:D
     
  15. subknave

    subknave Member

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    Most state constitutions have some sort of right to keep and bear arms provision.

    Illinois:
    SECTION 22. RIGHT TO ARMS
    Subject only to the police power, the right of the
    individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be
    infringed.

    Wisconsin:
    Right to keep and bear arms. SECTION 25. [As created
    Nov. 1998] The people have the right to keep and bear arms for
    security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.

    Califronia:
    CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
    ARTICLE 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
    SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or
    recognized in California.

    No right to keep and bear arms in Cali, New Jersy or New York that I could find. Most states are similar to ILL and Wisconsin.
     
  16. MAKster

    MAKster Member

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    The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of our nation and trumps everything. That includes federal statutes, state statutes, state constitutions, treaties, executive orders, you name it.
     
  17. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    From Article VI of the Constitution of the United States of America:

    Emphasis added.

    And from the Fourteenth Amendment:



    Not to sound critical, but I had to pass a test on the subject in eighth grade. I guess that's no longer in the required curricula.
     
  18. deacon8

    deacon8 Member

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    more important?

    I believe the Constitution of the United States is the most important for two reasons. First, as alluded to earlier, one can always move to another state. Second, people always forget that the "Bill of Rights" was collaborated by the Founding Fathers, who deemed them "inalienable rights." Inalienable rights are rights that cannot be given, or taken, by man. They can be amended (difficult process), but they cannot be given or taken by corrupt politicians (even though they are obviously tampering with the most important one).
     
  19. legaleagle_45

    legaleagle_45 Member

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    Dang, I wish your eighth grade teacher would have a chat with my Con Law Prof in Law School. I had to learn all sorts of fancy things, such as "selective incorporation", "federalism", preemption, "dormant commerce clause"....

    Your methodology is much simplier...:rolleyes:
     
  20. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    I am the nation's leading scholar of Third Amendment jurisprudence. Everyone gets so excited about the First and Second. But the Third Amendment is third for a reason, too. Nobody knows more than I do about the Third Amendment.
     
  21. 50caliber123

    50caliber123 Member

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    yeah. I think the 3rd is way under-rated. I mean, who wants to have to quarter soldiers or police in their homes? I think that the 3rd is a silent safeguard now that we may have to battle for in the future, depending on how world events play out.
     
  22. Cuda

    Cuda Member

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    The US Constitution. It sets the framework for our Government and most importantly places limits on their power. IE: Shall not infringe

    Which of course they completely ignore.

    States rights, those not enumerated in the US Constitution, unless the state law breaks the Federal level.


    C
     
  23. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    Kentucky constitution

    I would have to say the the US constitution does kinda have the final say in things....

    I have however wondered about Kentucky's constitution....
    Is it just me or does the seventh section kind of seem to infringe upon the first, third, and fifth sections by preventing the carrying of concealed weapons? and why were they worried about the carrying of concealed weapons in 1891?
     
  24. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    fireman: "... why were they worried about the carrying of concealed weapons in 1891?"

    The crime rate was much higher in the 1870s than it is now. Most concealed weapon laws derive from that period.
     
  25. Chukpike

    Chukpike Member

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    At least in California the Constitution and Federal law take precedence over state law.

    California Constitution
    Article 1. Declaration of Rights
    Sec. 31
    (h) This section shall be self-executing. If any part or parts of
    this section are found to be in conflict with federal law or the
    United States Constitution, the section shall be implemented to the
    maximum extent that federal law and the United States Constitution
    permit. Any provision held invalid shall be severable from the
    remaining portions of this section.

    Whether California follows this is open to interpretation.
     
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