Left-wing Scholars Rewriting History,
Affecting Court Decisions

Richard Poe
November 10, 2003

David Bach is a warrior. A former Navy SEAL, a Naval Reserve officer and a naval attorney with top-secret clearance, Bach stands at the front lines of the War on Terror. Yet, on Sept. 25, a federal judge forbade him to carry a gun in New York state. The ruling is part of a growing trend. More and more federal judges today contend that Americans have no – I repeat, no – constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

How did this happen? Simple. Left-wing historians and law professors have been rewriting American history and reinterpreting the Constitution for years. Now their work is bearing fruit. Anti-gun judges parrot the lies their professors told them. With each stroke of their gavels, they infuse those lies with the force of law.

David Bach lives in Virginia Beach but visits his parents in Ulster County, N.Y. Denied a license to pack a side arm during these visits, Bach sued in federal court. "[B]ecause of my occupation within the Department of Defense and Naval Special Warfare, I believe my family and I are at greater risk of being targeted by those seek[ing] to carry out symbolic acts of terror," Bach argued in court papers.

Bach also invoked his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

No such right exists, said U.S. District Judge Norman A. Mordue of Syracuse, N.Y. In his ruling, Judge Mordue wrote, "[T]he court adopts the view that the Second Amendment is not a source of individual rights."

Echoing the lie taught in many law schools today, Mordue argued that the Second Amendment secures only a "collective" right of state National Guard units to bear arms in military service.

Constitutional scholar Stephen Halbrook says that's baloney. Having argued and won three gun cases before the Supreme Court, Halbrook is probably America's leading expert on gun rights. In his book, That Every Man Be Armed, Halbrook notes that, during the debate over the Bill of Rights in 1789, Tench Coxe – a friend of James Madison – published a defense of the proposed amendments in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette. Coxe wrote that "the people are confirmed ... [by the Second Amendment] in their right to keep and bear their private arms."

James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, applauded Coxe's article. Upon receiving a copy, Madison thanked his friend for "the cooperation of your pen" in helping to explain the Bill of Rights to the public.

Halbrook writes:

Coxe's defense of the amendments was widely reprinted. A search of the literature of the time reveals that no writer disputed or contradicted Coxe's analysis that what became the Second Amendment protected the right of the people to keep and bear their "private arms." The only dispute was over whether a bill was even necessary to protect such fundamental rights.

Why, then, do so many law professors teach exactly the opposite – that the Second Amendment secures no individual right to keep and bear arms? Simple. Many law professors are leftists who oppose gun rights. Therefore, they lie to their students about the true meaning of the Bill of Rights.

"One will search the 'leading' casebooks in vain for any mention of the Second Amendment," wrote University of Texas law professor Sanford Levinson in the Yale Law Journal in 1989. Levinson accused the "elite bar" of "sheer opposition to the idea of private ownership of guns."

Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe scandalized academia in 1999 when he revised his treatise American Constitutional Law – a standard text in law schools since 1978 – and finally acknowledged the obvious; that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms. "I've gotten an avalanche of angry mail from apparent liberals who said, 'How could you?'" Tribe told USA Today.

Subsequent editions of Tribe's book now carry the correction. But the book misinformed law students for 20 years.

In his ruling against David Bach, Judge Mordue cited United States v. Miller (1939) – a Supreme Court decision which leftists claim overruled individual gun rights. In fact, it does just the opposite.

Not only does United States v. Miller confirm citizen gun rights, but Levinson says it also strongly implies "that the individual citizen has a right to keep and bear bazookas, rocket launchers, and other armaments that are clearly relevant to modern warfare."

It is time to purge what Levinson calls the "elite bar" of liars and ignoramuses. Too many Americans died to give us our Constitution. Will we surrender it now to the whims of leftist judges and law professors?

Richard Poe is a New York-Times best-selling author and cyberjournalist. His last book, The Seven Myths of Gun Control, is now in paperback and his forthcoming book, The New Underground: How Conservatives Conquered the Internet, will be available soon.

Contact Richard Poe at

Copyright © Richard Poe

Reproduced with the permission of All rights reserved.

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10 nov 2003