Dear Readers:

THE SUPREME COURT, created in 1789, was considered weak and ineffectual at first. That changed in 1801 when John Marshall became the 4th Chief Justice. In 1803, Marshall affirmed the court’s authority to overturn laws passed by Congress “when unconstitutional.” Fifty years later, in one of its first really poor decisions, the court ruled against Dred Scott, a Missouri slave, who had sued for his freedom. The Civil War followed not long after. A recent controversial decision was when the court ruled against the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election, handing the election to George W. Bush by a margin of a few hundred votes. Several wars followed that decision.

Originally bipartisan, the court has seen its reputation for fairness and objectivity weakened as its decisions increasingly fall along party lines. The recent elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the court does not speak well for the process by which justices are appointed or how objective future decisions are likely to be.

That’s why we think you should read Joe Genshlea’s book, N is for Knuckleheads. Joe has interesting things to say about important topics, not just the Supreme Court, but Congress and the Second Amendment as well. We are convinced that most people who parade into Starbucks with their 30-round assault rifles have never even read the Second Amendment, which we reprint here as a reminder:

Amendment II

Right to bear arms

A well regulated MILITIA, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Yes, that’s it. That’s the entire 2nd amendment. (We added the emphasis to “militia.”)

It’s hard to imagine how these 27 words could be stretched and twisted to support Texas Senate Bill 11, “The campus carry law” of 2017 stating that anyone who has a license can carry a concealed handgun on a college or university campus. Students are a “militia”?

Joe explains how this came about. You’ll find the explanation goes right back to the Supreme Court and we know you’ll find it interesting. We also think you’ll enjoy his book. It is a timely read for the mid-term elections.


Nancy and Craig Smith

Dockside Sailing Press

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