Document shows Clinton White House disagreed with right to bear arms

AP Photo

AP Photo

The Clinton Presidential Library’s latest “document dump” reveals that the White House counsel’s office disagreed with the Second Amendment interpretation of an individual’s right to bear arms.

A memo dated May 5, 1995, from Deputy White House Counsel James Castello advised President Clinton to choose his words carefully at a commencement address at Michigan State University.

“I understand that the President may talk about the right to bear arms in his commencement address today,” Castello wrote. “In doing so, he should avoid referring to a constitutional right of individuals to bear arms, because this would imply an interpretation of the Second Amendment that the courts have rejected and that might be inconsistent with the President’s own support of certain gun legislation such as the ban on semi-automatic weapons.”

Castello continued by mentioning an appearance on “60 Minutes” in which Clinton said the United States “believes and, indeed, enshrines in our Constitution the right to keep and bear arms,” an assessment with which Castello took issue.

“We have already received one press call asking whether, in this statement, the President was repudiating the courts’ (and most scholars’) view that the Second Amendment was aimed at protecting state government militias. The latter view derives support from the Amendment’s full text,” he wrote.

Clinton did not mention the Second Amendment in his address that day. He focused his remarks on domestic and foreign challenges, and anti-government extremism in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, which had occurred just more than two weeks prior.

In the previous year and a half, Clinton had signed into law the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, federal background check legislation.

 

clinton-doc-dump second amendment

Comments

Polititainment

Michael Bay might direct Benghazi movie

Bay, who has spent the last several years gaining popularity for his "Transformers" films, is reportedly in talks to direct the Benghazi film "13 Hours," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Holder wants Denzel to play him in movie

Holder spoke to The Hill about Hollywood and politics while at an event at the Washington Ideas Forum Wednesday that was hosted by The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.

'Rival Survival' premiering Wednesday

Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are getting ready to show America their bipartisan fire-starting skills on "Rival Survival," a reality show starring tho lawmakers that premiers Wednesday night on the Discovery Channel.

Lovitz has a field day with Hillary

Before Hillary Clinton's jobs comment is swept aside as a minor whoopsie, a few words from Jon Lovitz.

John Oliver has some ideas for the FDA

Some people want more nutrition information on food labels--but who really understands those labels anyway?

White House

Russian hackers broke into the White House network

Hackers with suspected ties to the Russian government recently broke into the White House’s unclassified computer network, the Washington Post reported Tuesday night.

Obama is withholding over 15,000 Fast and Furious documents

President Obama claimed executive privilege to withhold over 15,000 documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, including nearly 20 emails sent between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife.

White House fence jumper charged with assault
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats, the Secret Service said Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. […]
President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Congress

Justin Amash envisions a libertarian Congress

Rep. Justin Amash, the libertarian congressman from Michigan, knows that Congress is far from libertarian. But someday, he thinks that might change.

Rand Paul: The GOP's image ‘sucks’

Rand Paul didn’t mince words about the GOP.

Small college's students thrown into 2014 election

Young people tend not to engage much in the humdrum local politics that go into midterm elections. But what if it’s happening literally in their own backyard?

GOP senator: 'Sorry the government's so f***ed'

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made some self-deprecating jokes and colorful remarks about the state of the government during a recent private gathering, per a recording provided to CNN by South Carolina Democrats.

Top lawmaker's Ebola claim

A leading House Republican says he is aware of information that points to the United States eventually receiving non-U.S. Ebola patients for treatment.