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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:10 AM   #41
ahhell
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I'd go after the overly broad delegation of congressional authority in a law that says, "go spend this money".
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:11 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
BobTheCoward:

As I and others have noted, your argument seems to rely on the technicalities of the wording of 1A. Something's compliance with the Constitution relies on the SCOTUS opinion, per the Constitution, and the entire doc. What exactly is the point of this narrow tunnel vision WRT the wording of 1A?
If there is a wider interpretation, no one has presented and argued that alternative explanation.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:13 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
I'd go after the overly broad delegation of congressional authority in a law that says, "go spend this money".
What do you mean by go after?
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:26 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If there is a wider interpretation, no one has presented and argued that alternative explanation.
I think it has been. The wider interpretation is that 1A says, in spirit, that the gov't won't advance one religion or suppress another. The SCOTUS, under Constitutional authority, has broadened it to our current understanding. But your argument seems to try to backpedal to the limited literal interpretation, not the SCOTUS interpretation, and I am not sure why you would want to do that. It's basically saying 'let's look at this with heavy blinders on out of full context'. What is the point of that, if I understand your argument correctly?
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:32 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I think it has been. The wider interpretation is that 1A says, in spirit, that the gov't won't advance one religion or suppress another. The SCOTUS, under Constitutional authority, has broadened it to our current understanding. But your argument seems to try to backpedal to the limited literal interpretation, not the SCOTUS interpretation, and I am not sure why you would want to do that. It's basically saying 'let's look at this with heavy blinders on out of full context'. What is the point of that, if I understand your argument correctly?
The point is that I don't understand how spirit can trump the literal in a situation that is an unambiguous application of the rule. We can start with someone actually arguing for applying the spirit in a situation directly applicable to the literal meaning.

ETA: and also, how do you conclude that is the spirit when the actual rule is so explicit?

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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:38 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The point is that I don't understand how spirit can trump the literal in a situation that is an unambiguous application of the rule. We can start with someone actually arguing for applying the spirit in a situation directly applicable to the literal meaning.

ETA: and also, how do you conclude that is the spirit when the actual rule is so explicit?
Ok. To take a literal interpretation written centuries ago by slaveowners in a wildly different cultural climate (more concerned with the Church of England being forced on them) is akin to reading horse and buggy statutes as applied to highway speed limits. The literal is too constrained for the modern. We should interpret its spirit, rather than the literal wording which was written in a smaller culture
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:52 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Congress would not be the one using the funds.
Isn't Congress the one providing the funds in this situation? If that's so, then they are the ones that are using the funds.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:14 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Ok. To take a literal interpretation written centuries ago by slaveowners in a wildly different cultural climate (more concerned with the Church of England being forced on them) is akin to reading horse and buggy statutes as applied to highway speed limits. The literal is too constrained for the modern. We should interpret its spirit, rather than the literal wording which was written in a smaller culture
If you don't have a requirement to follow the actual rules, why would you even have a requirement to follow them in spirit?
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:16 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Isn't Congress the one providing the funds in this situation? If that's so, then they are the ones that are using the funds.
As a the worker in a single income household, I provide the funds. I assure you, I am not the one using the funds.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:20 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
As a the worker in a single income household, I provide the funds. I assure you, I am not the one using the funds.
But...you are. You are providing the funds. Just like in this scenario, Congress is spending the money by giving it to the local government. Just like you are providing the money to your wife, kid, etc. even if they go out and buy something with it.

I know you HAVE to quibble because....Bob, but seriously. This isn't a complicated scenario to follow. It's basic transference. If A gives to B, and B gives that to C, then A ultimately gave that to C.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:28 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If you don't have a requirement to follow the actual rules, why would you even have a requirement to follow them in spirit?
Because it makes us happy.

More to the point, non sequitur. Following in spirit is not necessarily related to literal following.

My daughter (third year law student) showed me a case where a man was accused of attacking someone with a knife. The defense argued 'well, what is a knife?' (I'm not kidding). Case got tangled up in the minutia of literal definitions.

Language is imperfect. Intent and meaning need to be gleaned abstractly as best we can
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:47 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post

I know you HAVE to quibble because....Bob, but seriously. This isn't a complicated scenario to follow. It's basic transference. If A gives to B, and B gives that to C, then A ultimately gave that to C.
I definitely do not agree with that.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:57 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I definitely do not agree with that.
You don't agree with what? Math? Ok.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:59 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
You don't agree with what? Math? Ok.
That wasn't math.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 08:02 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
That wasn't math.
The transfer principle?

Look, whatever Bob. I never should have bothered, and I've learned my lesson again.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 08:09 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
The transfer principle?

Look, whatever Bob. I never should have bothered, and I've learned my lesson again.
If I give my kid a sandwich, and on the way to school she gives it to a cat, people will not state that I gave a sandwich to a cat. That isn't how the verb "to give" works.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 08:13 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If I give my kid a sandwich, and on the way to school she gives it to a cat, people will not state that I gave a sandwich to a cat. That isn't how the verb "to give" works.
And we aren't talking about sandwiches and cats, are we? I hate these constant analogies. Especially when they're completely off topic.

You can't spend a sandwich. A sandwich isn't monetary, despite your inevitable reply that "in some cultures" or "at certain times" or "she could trade it for" or whatever other ******** theory you're about to spout off, it's going to be irrelevant. Even more irrelevant than your nonsensical cat comparison.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 08:17 AM   #58
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If only there were some designated legal experts that could evaluate these conflicts and make judgments. One could even collect all of those judgments and interpret some cohesive system of laws from them.

Alas, we are doomed to treat every legal question as a blank slate, free of all context and precedent except the literal text of the constitution. Woe is me!
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Old 3rd September 2019, 08:17 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What do you mean by go after?
If I were to attempt a legal challenge to the law noted in the OP, it would be to challenge it as an unconstitutional delegation of congressional authority to the executive branch rather than on first amendment grounds. If successful, this would prevent the executive branch from circumventing constitutional restraint on its power and the power of congress in the manner noted.

In the end its probably unwarranted, as the courts would likely rule that the executive is unable to spend money on churches because despite the law saying, spend money on things the executive is still in violation of the first amendment if they spend money on things that congress is constitutionally forbidden from authorizing.

Last edited by ahhell; 3rd September 2019 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 08:25 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
But...you are. You are providing the funds. Just like in this scenario, Congress is spending the money by giving it to the local government. Just like you are providing the money to your wife, kid, etc. even if they go out and buy something with it.

I know you HAVE to quibble because....Bob, but seriously. This isn't a complicated scenario to follow. It's basic transference. If A gives to B, and B gives that to C, then A ultimately gave that to C.
In this case its a little more clear.

According the constitution, the President can't do things that congress hasn't said he can do, with very rare exceptions.

The way congress tells the President to do things is by passing legislation.

The President can not spend money in ways that the congress has not authorized, and the congress can not authorize the president to spend money on churches. Regardless of how vaguely written, no law passed by congress can legally authorize the executive branch to transfer money to churches.

There is likely an exception for churches that are deemed national monuments, in theory this should mean that those churches can not be active in what ever religion they were consecrated in.

I'm no constitutional lawyer, but this seems pretty clear to me.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 08:27 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
And we aren't talking about sandwiches and cats, are we? I hate these constant analogies. Especially when they're completely off topic.

You can't spend a sandwich. A sandwich isn't monetary, despite your inevitable reply that "in some cultures" or "at certain times" or "she could trade it for" or whatever other ******** theory you're about to spout off, it's going to be irrelevant. Even more irrelevant than your nonsensical cat comparison.
You were talking about the letters A,B,C and you never limited what they were giving.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 08:35 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
In this case its a little more clear.

According the constitution, the President can't do things that congress hasn't said he can do, with very rare exceptions.

The way congress tells the President to do things is by passing legislation.

The President can not spend money in ways that the congress has not authorized, and the congress can not authorize the president to spend money on churches. Regardless of how vaguely written, no law passed by congress can legally authorize the executive branch to transfer money to churches.

There is likely an exception for churches that are deemed national monuments, in theory this should mean that those churches can not be active in what ever religion they were consecrated in.

I'm no constitutional lawyer, but this seems pretty clear to me.
The actual right is laws respecting....two appropriately vague laws actually seem permissable.

I would agree for free speech.

Quote:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
For freedom of speech, it is explicitly listed as abridging. A law too general that accidentally abridges free speech is in violation.

But the first amendment seems to actually okay the scenario you describe. Those laws are not respecting the establishment of religion.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 11:45 AM   #63
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Meh, congress can't delegate a power it doesn't have, thus, the executive can't legally interpret a law in such a way as allowing them to do something congress couldn't have ordered them to do.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 11:59 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Meh, congress can't delegate a power it doesn't have, thus, the executive can't legally interpret a law in such a way as allowing them to do something congress couldn't have ordered them to do.
I really like that answer.

And extra thank you for not punting by saying it is up to the supreme Court.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 12:35 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
As a the worker in a single income household, I provide the funds. I assure you, I am not the one using the funds.
It doesn't matter if you've delegated the spening.


Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If I give my kid a sandwich, and on the way to school she gives it to a cat, people will not state that I gave a sandwich to a cat. That isn't how the verb "to give" works.
It depends; was your intent that the cat have a sandwich? If so, we can certainly say that you gave the cat a sandwich, regardless of how it precisely obtained the sandwich. Same thing with Congress.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 02:54 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
Well, why didn’t you say that in the first place?

I suppose Congress could use some funds to build a monument to a specific church. Perhaps some church that had significance in the Revolutionary War, but as soon as you let someone hold a service, then it is no longer a monument, it is really an active place of worship and Congress has therefore spent money on the establishment of a religion (or the furthering of one religion over another). So:no. It would not be kosher.

If this thread isn’t amusing enough for you, go ahead a start a similar one on a Christian board, but substitute mosques for churches.

In California,you have a gray area;the state has given some money toware the restoration of some of the Catholic Missions which are owned by the Catholic Church.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:12 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
We simply can ignore their jurisprudence in Constitutional interpretation when they are wrong.
SCOTUS is never wrong, by definition. You can ignore their jurisprudence at your peril.

Quote:
What would actually happen to the law and what the Constitution actually says should happen are different things.
True, but if everything that should be so was so we wouldn't need laws. Sometimes a law that should be constitutional turns out to not be. But your interpretation is irrelevant. You do not have the authority to make that decision.

Quote:
The supreme Court has a bad Track record on truth.
The law is true by definition. Whether or not it aligns with your personal idea of 'truth' is irrelevant.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:13 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
SCOTUS is never wrong, by definition. You can ignore their jurisprudence at your peril.

True, but if everything that should be so was so we wouldn't need laws. Sometimes a law that should be constitutional turns out to not be. But your interpretation is irrelevant. You do not have the authority to make that decision.

The law is true by definition. Whether or not it aligns with your personal idea of 'truth' is irrelevant.
Their legal opinions sometimes include statements of fact that are not true or statements of value they do not actually defend.
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Old 10th September 2019, 02:25 PM   #69
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Your hypothetical 9n the OP would seem to violate the Lemon test......and your protestations to the contrary not withstanding, the SCOTUS is the final arbiter on what is and is not constitutional. They are (literally) infallible. Government spending on a church as you propose would be primarily religious in nature, would serve no secular purpose, and would foster an excessive government entanglement in religion. Therefore, it would be unconstitutional and it really matters not even a little what any of us believe the first amendment says, doesn’t say, or was intended to say.
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Old 11th September 2019, 01:00 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post

For freedom of speech, it is explicitly listed as abridging. A law too general that accidentally abridges free speech is in violation.
Hold on – I thought you were insisting on being literal. There is nothing mentioned about a law being too general. It says “No Law abridging the freedom of speech” so free speech should be absolute with no restrictions of any kind, right?
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Old 11th September 2019, 01:07 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Finster View Post
Hold on – I thought you were insisting on being literal. There is nothing mentioned about a law being too general. It says “No Law abridging the freedom of speech” so free speech should be absolute with no restrictions of any kind, right?
That is what I said. The part that applies to the first amendment is less limited than the establishment clause.
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Old 11th September 2019, 01:18 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
That is what I said. The part that applies to the first amendment is less limited than the establishment clause.
No it's not - I quoted what you said. You said a law that was too general would be in violation - if you take it literally there can be no law of any kind restricting free speech. Is that what you meant to say?
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Old 11th September 2019, 01:21 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Finster View Post
No it's not - I quoted what you said. You said a law that was too general would be in violation - if you take it literally there can be no law of any kind restricting free speech. Is that what you meant to say?
I said it was less limited (or more restrictive depending on how you look at it) than the establishment clause. I'm not commenting on the extent of how less limited.
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Old 11th September 2019, 01:25 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by sarge View Post
Your hypothetical 9n the OP would seem to violate the Lemon test......and your protestations to the contrary not withstanding, the SCOTUS is the final arbiter on what is and is not constitutional. They are (literally) infallible. Government spending on a church as you propose would be primarily religious in nature, would serve no secular purpose, and would foster an excessive government entanglement in religion. Therefore, it would be unconstitutional and it really matters not even a little what any of us believe the first amendment says, doesn’t say, or was intended to say.
But they can always rule no one has standing to challenge the spending like in faith based initiatives.

Bang no need for pesky testing of its constitutionality.
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:31 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Finster View Post
Hold on – I thought you were insisting on being literal. There is nothing mentioned about a law being too general. It says “No Law abridging the freedom of speech” so free speech should be absolute with no restrictions of any kind, right?
An even more literal interpretation is to note that the first amendment says "Congress shall make no law . . ." meaning that it doesn't apply to the states.

However, the SC later ruled that the 14th amendment extends the first amendment rights to the states even though "speech" and "religion" are not mentioned once in the 14th amendment.
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Old 12th September 2019, 04:37 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
An even more literal interpretation is to note that the first amendment says "Congress shall make no law . . ." meaning that it doesn't apply to the states.

However, the SC later ruled that the 14th amendment extends the first amendment rights to the states even though "speech" and "religion" are not mentioned once in the 14th amendment.
That is quite true, it wasn't until after 1800 that massachusetts legalized catholics for example.

Of course if you want that then second amendment rights are not protected by the states either.
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Old 12th September 2019, 04:41 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
An even more literal interpretation is to note that the first amendment says "Congress shall make no law . . ." meaning that it doesn't apply to the states.

However, the SC later ruled that the 14th amendment extends the first amendment rights to the states even though "speech" and "religion" are not mentioned once in the 14th amendment.
Expanding the protection seems like it would also restrict state legislatures in the same manner (respecting requirement) rather than creating a general right against establishment.
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Old 12th September 2019, 08:42 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
That is quite true, it wasn't until after 1800 that massachusetts legalized catholics for example.

Of course if you want that then second amendment rights are not protected by the states either.
On the contrary. The second amendment states:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Note that it doesn't say Congress shall not infringe the right to bear arms. The second amendment would appear to prevent all US authorities from infringing the right to bear arms.

Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Expanding the protection seems like it would also restrict state legislatures in the same manner (respecting requirement) rather than creating a general right against establishment.
I don't understand. Where in the 14th amendment is the extension of the 1st amendment to the states?
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Old 12th September 2019, 08:46 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post

I don't understand. Where in the 14th amendment is the extension of the 1st amendment to the states?
I have no opinion on if it does or not
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Old 12th September 2019, 08:54 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I have no opinion on if it does or not
I see. You are perfectly willing to express an opinion until you are challenged to back it up. Suddenly your opinion disappears.
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