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Defending the Second Amendment

Our pal Instapundit, who we read religiously every day, posits today that maybe Ashcroft isn't so dumb after all-- the Justice Department's shift in position on the Second Amendment just might turn liberal criminal defense attorneys and public defenders into a new constituency for him.

Many criminal defense attorneys are supporters of the Second Amendment, particularly in the West. They have joined forces many times with Second Amendment groups in recent years to lobby on privacy, forfeiture and civil liberties issues.

Being for the Second Amendment doesn't mean defense lawyers are not liberals. It means they won't give up any constitutional right, even ones they may not exercise personally. Give 'em an inch and.....besides, the Second Amendment is only one away from the Fourth.

As to supporting Ashcroft, we'd say, not in this lifetime. Well, okay, maybe if he pushed to end mandatory minimums, provide counsel and hearings to the detainees, argue against military tribunals, oppose the Victim's Rights Amendment, sponsor grand jury reform, endorse the Innocence Protection Act, restore discretionary relief to aggravated felons facing deportation, end the war on drugs, and last but most importantly, agree to a moratorium on the federal death penalty.

If Mr. Ashcroft were to do all that, we'd bet criminal defense attorneys and public defenders would become the biggest constituency he's ever had.

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