Friday, June 27, 2008

Chambliss Statement on Recent Supreme Court Rulings

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, today made the following statement regarding several recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings:

District of Columbia Handgun Ban

On Thursday the Court, in a 5-4 decision, struck down a 32-year-old District of Columbia ban on handguns, ruling that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting.

Said Chambliss: “Finally the Court got something right. The Second Amendment clearly states: ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ I am pleased the Supreme Court recognized this fundamental individual right in their ruling today. The ability of decent, hard-working Americans to own a gun, whether for sport or protection, is clearly defined in the Constitution and must not be compromised. Only a government that does not trust its citizens would refuse them the right to bear arms.’”

Child Rape

On Wednesday the Court, in a 5-4 decision, struck down a Louisiana law allowing the state to execute people convicted of raping children, the decision stating that the state law allowing capital punishment in cases of child rape violates the U.S. constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Said Chambliss: “I am disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday that the crime of child rape cannot be punishable by death because it violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The rape of a child is one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed, and I think every Georgian agrees. Law enforcement should be able to punish heinous criminals who commit this act, and states should be able to determine the circumstances under which the death penalty should be applicable. The State of Georgia has a law on the books today that makes child rape a capital offense when aggravating circumstances are present, including but not limited to a prior conviction. I am pleased that Justice Kennedy indicated in his ruling that Georgia’s law permitting execution for child rape is still in effect. As a father and grandfather it frankly makes me sick to think the Court would have such poor judgment”

Rights of Terror Suspects to Sue in Federal Court

On June 12, 2008, the Court ruled that suspects in the War on Terror detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have the right to challenge their detention in federal court.

Said Chambliss: “Sadly, the Court has now established an even more generous set of protections for enemy combatants beyond what already existed. Now, terrorists detained for aiding al-Qa’ida will enjoy the same privileges as our own citizens – and possibly more than our own citizens would enjoy in the criminal context. I am baffled by this decision and think it is one of the worst I have seen come out of the Court.”
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