<i>De mortuis nihil nisi bonum</i>

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

De mortuis nihil nisi bonum

Updated 06/11/2013 – 12:19 pm

In the case of New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, who died yesterday at age 89, however, it's difficult not to.

Never mind discovered trying to take, at public expense, his mistress on a junket to Israel, in 1997 he sponsored legis­la­tion, subsequently enacted as the "Lauten­berg Law" (18 USC § 922) making anyone who "has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence," a pro­hibited person in respect to possession of a firearm.

What, you may ask, is the problem with that?

  1. It exempted no one, in particular members of the military or a law enforcement agency!
  2. It is an ex post facto law which applies retroac­tively and affects anyone and everyone who has ever been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

The practical effect of this law is that suddenly a whole lotta cops wound up on their department's "rubber gun squad," desk duty with an empty holster instead of out on the street catching bad guys.

By that same provision, members of the military, active duty or reservists, were disarmed and given adminis­trative assignments, often clerical in nature.

And this applied whether the offense was on-going and serial in nature, or had been a solitary occurrence 30-40 years ago.

Ex post facto laws are expressly forbidden by Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, yet this has been allowed to stand for more than 15 years.

Liberal, Conservative... I don't care! I don't like bad laws and I won't miss Frank Lautenberg one bit.


1. Rob F. said...

By your mention of the Constitution, I suspect you may have meant "ex post facto" and not "nunc pro tunc." Congress and the States are prohibited from enacting such laws under Article I, sections 9 and 10, respectively.

Of course I did, and completely went up on that! Thank you!

True story: when I was to enter prep school at the eight grade level, I was scheduled to take Latin... until it was discovered how poor my English was! It was one of the happier changes in my life, even though I spent an entire school year learning how to diagram sentences.

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