View Poll Results: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

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  • Letter of the law

    4 22.22%
  • Spirit of the law

    10 55.56%
  • Depends on the crime/situation (please elaborate)

    4 22.22%
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Thread: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

  1. #11
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    Re: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

    Citizens can only be held accountable to the letter of the law - they cannot be expected to interpret what some legislative body may have meant to enact. Likewise, a judge and/or jury must be limited to the letter of the law. A country gets in trouble when the judiciary substitutes their opinion for the words enacted. If, in practice, a law is applied contrary to the intent, the legislative body is free to amend or rescind it at its convenience.

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    Re: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMTA View Post
    Really?

    Then explain to me why the 1A and 2A amendments cannot be understood the same by everybody?

    Their wording is quite simple and short.
    Sorry, meant to say is indeed NOT black and white.

    My bad.

    However, the amendments are challenged not because of interpretation, but because of political bias. As I mentioned before, the BoR is meant to be a limitation on government, not on people. However, liberal anti-gun nuts want to use a piece of paper meant to strip federal powers to strip the people it was designed to protect.

  3. #13
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    Re: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    Sorry, meant to say is indeed NOT black and white.

    My bad.

    However, the amendments are challenged not because of interpretation, but because of political bias. As I mentioned before, the BoR is meant to be a limitation on government, not on people. However, liberal anti-gun nuts want to use a piece of paper meant to strip federal powers to strip the people it was designed to protect.
    Gottcha!

    Ah, my friend, I would argue that political bias is interpretation.

    Whether an individual of a group, the ideology is their opinion, yes?
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    Re: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMTA View Post
    Gottcha!

    Ah, my friend, I would argue that political bias is interpretation.

    Whether an individual of a group, the ideology is their opinion, yes?
    Oh, if it's any jackass on the street, sure...they can have whatever opinion they want.

    I just want my judges to stick somewhat close to the letter of the law. Bench-sponsored activism needs to be squashed at every instance.

    Their political bias is important, and there's a system designed to make sure it is very minimal.

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    Re: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    Oh, if it's any jackass on the street, sure...they can have whatever opinion they want.

    I just want my judges to stick somewhat close to the letter of the law. Bench-sponsored activism needs to be squashed at every instance.

    Their political bias is important, and there's a system designed to make sure it is very minimal.
    Those jackasses on the street whom you detest vote for judges that you like.
    Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength - Henry Ward Beecher
    Baby sister, I was born game and I intend to go out that way - Rooster Cogburn

  6. #16
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    Re: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

    Ultimately only the letter of the law when it comes to the Constitution. For the body of the Constitution one can go to the Federalist Papers if one needs to see the underlying spirit that the letter is determined by. For the Bill of Rights the Anti-federalist papers will do so. And with each other amendments one should view the debates when this Amendment was being brought up.

    When it comes to statuary laws thee is a little more wiggle room but the letter of the law should be predominant.
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    Re: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    Sorry, meant to say is indeed NOT black and white.

    My bad.

    However, the amendments are challenged not because of interpretation, but because of political bias. As I mentioned before, the BoR is meant to be a limitation on government, not on people. However, liberal anti-gun nuts want to use a piece of paper meant to strip federal powers to strip the people it was designed to protect.
    I would probably be labelled as one of these "liberals" that you speak. I most definitely agree that the Bill of Rights is a limitation on the government, not the people, and this is most definitely a good thing. However, some of these rights are not absolute, nor should they be. I am a big fan of the freedom of speech, but I think there should be certain limitations to the 1st Amendment. I am a fan of a persons right to own a gun, but I think their should be certain limitations. Should libel and slander be legal? No. Should it be legal to incite and riot? No. Should any ordinary person be able to purchase a machine gun? No. Should a mentally unstable be able to easily purchase a firearm? No.

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    Re: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

    Quote Originally Posted by zstep18 View Post
    I would probably be labelled as one of these "liberals" that you speak. I most definitely agree that the Bill of Rights is a limitation on the government, not the people, and this is most definitely a good thing. However, some of these rights are not absolute, nor should they be. I am a big fan of the freedom of speech, but I think there should be certain limitations to the 1st Amendment. I am a fan of a persons right to own a gun, but I think their should be certain limitations. Should libel and slander be legal? No. Should it be legal to incite and riot? No. Should any ordinary person be able to purchase a machine gun? No. Should a mentally unstable be able to easily purchase a firearm? No.
    I don't want guns to be like gum, where anyone can walk in to an establishment, pull one off the shelves, swipe a credit card and walk out. However, I'm not against the sale of machine guns because they still operate under the same rules as any other firearm. It's no more of a crime, in my opinion, to unload hundreds of bullets on innocent people with a machine gun than it is a handgun.

    "Assault weapons" are no more or less deadly than any other firearm you can get out there. My main limitations involve who qualify for ownership. Felons, minors, and the mentally ill come to mind.

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    Re: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    I don't want guns to be like gum, where anyone can walk in to an establishment, pull one off the shelves, swipe a credit card and walk out. However, I'm not against the sale of machine guns because they still operate under the same rules as any other firearm. It's no more of a crime, in my opinion, to unload hundreds of bullets on innocent people with a machine gun than it is a handgun.

    "Assault weapons" are no more or less deadly than any other firearm you can get out there. My main limitations involve who qualify for ownership. Felons, minors, and the mentally ill come to mind.
    Well, the difference would be that a machine gun has a much greater potential for mass killings than a handgun would. A crazy nut with a handgun won't inflict nearly as much damage as a crazy nut with a machine gun.

    This is a bit off topic, but I'm actually thinking of purchasing a gun myself (I've always been open to the idea of owning a gun). Mostly for self-defense purposes and having fun at a shooting range. I'll admit, I don't know a whole lot about the types of guns, specifically. I don't know if you're the person to ask, but any recommendations?

  10. #20
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    Re: What's more important: The spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

    The letter.

    Because there we can, at least, call for reason, logic - and - for what it's worth - semantic clarity. The "spirit" is anything you want it to be.

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