Ethics Quote Of The Week: Popehat Lawyer/Blogger/Individual Rights Defender Ken White, Saving My Head

Duct tape doesn't work. Ken White's candor does.

Duct tape doesn’t work. Ken White’s candor does.

“What the Democrats are really saying is, ‘Because this restricts gun rights, we don’t give a shit. And before, to be honest, the Republicans and most of the Democrats would say, ‘Because this is related to terrorism, we don’t give a shit.’ I’m disgusted with them all.”

California lawyer and former federal prosecutor Ken White, the erudite, occasionally vulgar, clear-eyed and courageous head blogger at Popehat, sparing no venom in describing the current push by Democrats to allow the government to remove a citizen’s Second Amendment rights based on suspicion only.

Thank heaven, not for the first time, for the great Ken White. I had just turned off CNN this morning in an effort (successful!) to keep my head from exploding after watching CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, David Gregory and others disgrace themselves; they were all calling the unconstitutional bill allowing the Feds to take away the right to purchase a gun of those the FBI has placed on the “no-fly list,” now being supported by Democratic Senators Diane Feinstein of California, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, “mild,” and “reasonable,” while noting that “some conservatives” had raised “due process concerns.” Really? Those bloodthirsty, gay-hating, child-hating, gun-worshiping conservatives think that allowing the government to remove Constitutional right unilaterally based on their suspicion alone violates the Fifth Amendment? What’s the matter with them?

Then, just in time, as I felt a deep ominous, rumbling inside my skull that reminded me of Sensurround, I read Ken’s bullseye of a quote, which came in an interview and not in a Popehat blog post, here.

This is the rest of Ken’s comments to the Washington Examiner:

“The huge due process concern is about limiting any constitutional right based on what amounts to an arbitrary, mostly unreviewable, mostly secret, frequently clearly incompetent list of people. It’s hard to imagine a bigger due process violation.The list is notoriously full of people who have done nothing at all. It really doesn’t matter what right [the list is] being used to deny, whether it’s the right to bear arms, the right trial or any other right. It’s the government putting you on a list according to secret justification that they won’t share. When you try to challenge it in court, the litigation drags on for years. The secrecy procedures will deny you information about why you’re on the list, and it’s very rare to be taken off. If you do manage that, it’s only after years of litigation, effort and money..Imagine a list like that being used to deny someone the right to speak, or the right to vote or anything like that.”

When Ken was asked specifically about Manchin and Murphy, White said their attitudes were “completely contemptible,” as indeed they are, I also noted last week, here, here,and here.

“Either stupid or dishonest to be saying it. There is no rational basis to believe that a list restricting any right based on this list is going to be treated any differently.”

Thanks. Ken. I thank you, my head thanks you, and the Founders thank you.

18 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Popehat Lawyer/Blogger/Individual Rights Defender Ken White, Saving My Head

  1. I had just turned off CNN this morning in an effort (successful!) to keep my head from exploding after watching CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, David Gregory and others disgrace themselves; they were all calling the unconstitutional bill allowing the Feds to take away the right to purchase a gun of those the FBI has placed on the “no-fly list,” now being supported by Democratic Senators Diane Feinstein of California, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, “mild,” and “reasonable,” while noting that “some conservatives” had raised “due process concerns.”

    They have no credibility complaining about Donald Trump wanting to profile Muslims.

    • I could write post after post on this, but I’m going to try to restrain myself. I just saw CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield smugly roll her eyes and imply that there could be nothing more ridiculous than the Senate not agreeing to “keep guns out of the hands of terrorists”—meaning keeping citizens with no record of convictions from being able to exercise their Constitutional rights if the government thinks they MIGHT some day be terrorists and puts them on a secret list. See, Ashleigh, you moron, you don’t become “a terrorist” until you actually engage in terrorist conduct. Then she sasy she can’t understand why “Republicans” won’t vote for this “when the public overwhelming wants Congress to DO SOMETHING! after the Orlando shooting” …although the measures being proposed, its sponsors admit, wouldn’t do a thing to prevent a shooting like in Orlando, and a public poll can’t veto the Bill of Rights.

      Did you know the host of “Legal Views” isn’t a lawyer? Did you know she was this irresponsible and ignorant? (I did, by the way)

  2. CBS’s website has an article today called “Why more than 100 gun control proposals in Congress since 2011 have failed.” It’s 1,278 words, approximately the same length as the Declaration of Independence. The Second Amendment is not mentioned. The Constitution is not mentioned. Curiously, a constitutional law professor is quoted, raising the question: why is his expertise needed if the Constitution is not involved?

  3. Let’s face it, the vast majority of people living in the U.S. don’t understand the significance of the Constitution or give a rat’s ass about it. It’s simply a nuisance to them, a constant impediment to ‘doing something.’

    Amazing that one of the U.S. Navy’s original ships was named The Constitution by George Washington. Kind of tells you something. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Constitution

  4. Not exactly true about the Republicans. Senator Toomey of Ohio for one will not vote for Barbara Feinstein’s bill which he considers badly flawed and which doesn’t protect 2nd Amendment considerations.

  5. The last freaking talking head that should open their noise-hole over gun laws is David Gregory. The only reason he doesn’t have a criminal record involving firearms is because the DC police were too cowardly to to investigate, and the Prosecutor’s office to cowardly to file charges against him.

    If he ever says “we need to enforce the laws on the books” my head might explode from the irony.

  6. I am finding it increasingly hard to believe that Democrats, of all people, want the government to be able to compile a secret list via arbitrary parameters that can be used to deny Americans their rights, knowing full well how problematic those no-fly lists have been in the past all the while surely being cognizant enough to recognize that Donald Trump might be elected President.

    Not that I don’t trust Mrs. Clinton not to misuse The List or further contribute to the misrepresentation of our civil liberties, but I think we can agree that Mr. Trump will be horrible about it.

    Do they really want such arbitrary power in the hands of the government?

    • Of course they do. They run the government. For now.

      It’s that last bit that politicians never seem to grasp. I have been shocked and disheartened by how many people seem to have never even considered the “President Trump” argument I’ve started using to make the case against expansive, vaguely defined government powers.

  7. No other place to put this: as I write it, the blog is finally at 1000 WordPress followers and over 2000 Twitter followers, after flirting with both numbers for what seems like forever. I note this because if the past is prelude, a whole bunch of people will get ticked off and we’ll be back to 990 and 1,993 in no time..

    • This just reminded me of the sadness of people “unfollowing” and “unfriending” others because they disagree with their political views.

      Again, I am forced to lament the state of not only this country’s discourse, but the narrow-mindedness of its body politic on both sides of the various debates. If you refuse to listen to rational arguments on the other side, how can you consider yourself informed on an issue?

      Are emotions the only thing that matters now? Is that truly where we are?

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