Are we guaranteed Due Process?

posted in: Life, Politics, Rants & Raves | 1 The other day, my cat and his friend, we’ll call him ‘the Commodore,’ were discussing the recent school shootings.  The Commodore it seems, had recently written a letter to his congressman (lower c intentional). In his letter he said…

I am writing about DUE PROCESS.  I understand that when it comes to school shootings, we “have to do something”.  Are we sure that the elimination of due process in this matter is the proper course to follow?

What separates us from a third world tin pot dictatorship is due process.

We lost due process when Congress approved the no fly list.  It’s only to protect the country they said.  It will never happen again they said. Yet here we are… I will bet that gun owning law abiding citizens never thought they would lose constitutional rights without due process.

What’s next?  Perhaps we should suspend due process on deportation of illegal immigrants.  After all, they are criminals by definition, and are not US citizens.  Why should they have more legal protection than a citizen?

What follows one may consider hyperbole, but look at Nazi Germany and what happened to the Jews.  What followed was the holocaust, and it was not just the Jews.  It was the Gypsy, the Enemy of State, the non-Aryan bloodline… the list goes on.

Just remember, you take away one person’s due process thinking it’s for the good of society, and that it will never happen to you… Think twice, think thrice.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Do the right thing, the hard choices; tighten gun laws, fix the loopholes, provide funding for the mental health issues, advocate a moral life style, encourage families and parenting… the list goes on…

But, the loss of due process?  It’s a slippery slope.

My Nickel

Needless to say, my cat thought long and hard about what the Commodore wrote, prior to his asking me to publish his letter.  Like my cat, I happen to agree.  Without Due Process, we are no better than every other country with a tin pot dictator.  I guess the basic question is this, are we, as citizens, guaranteed due process from our government?  I would have to say yes, although note, I said nothing of law enforcement.  Law enforcement is reactionary, not preventive, by the shear nature of their mandate. This begs a question to be asked, can a local government take you guns away?  The short answer is: Yes they can.  There are four examples given in an article by website: What are the reasons cited?  They include:

  1. Mental illness: While I don’t think many would argue that a nut case shouldn’t own a gun, the problem comes as to WHO says a person is a nut case.
  2. Disaster confiscation:  After a disaster, the police can confiscate any and all firearms for the safety of the citizenry. I’m not saying it’s a good idea; just that they can, which surprised me, as I didn’t know that.
  3. Self-defense firearm use: Yep, unlike your memory, if you use your gun, you may just lose it.
  4. Marijuana: Another reason that I found interesting, along with the other controlled substances.

Given the good news provided by the Liberty Block, it seems any law abiding gun owner is screwed.  I would hope not.  I have faith in our legal system, but we, as a nation have to insist that the authorities follow the legal system, and do not shortcut when it is “economically prudent” to do so. Remember these three things about our lady, Justice:

  • Her blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of money, wealth, power, or identity; blind justice and impartiality.
  • In her left hand, Lady Justice holds balance scales, which represent the weighing of evidence. When taken with the blindfold, the symbolism is that evidence must be weighed on its own merit.
  • In her right hand, Lady Justice is seen to have a sword that faces downwards. This sword represents punishment. This sword is held below the scales to show that evidence and court is always held before punishment.

We, as a citizenry, are guaranteed due process by the Federal government (Fifth Amendment) and our State governments (14th Amendment).  But what, exactly, is Due Process?  Due process embodies society’s basic notions of legal fairness, AND the courts have interpreted the language of these Amendments as a limitation on substantive powers of legislatures to pass laws affecting various aspects of life.

We are a great land, a power, of the people, by the people, and for the people – all the people.  What say you?

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  1. Charles Rucker

    Dr. D. Interesting and thought-provoking by the Commodore and your comments. I remember visiting the Holcost Museum in Washington D.C. and the notation by a Lutheran minister, Martin Niemoller (1892-1984), an early Nazi supporter, who was later imprisoned for opposing Hitler’s regime: writes “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me”.

    This writing about our rights, “due process”, is concerning.

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