Just two weeks ago, Vice President Mike Pence spoke approvingly of a California law that permits police officers, via a valid court order, to temporarily take weapons away from people deemed a danger to themselves or others. President Trump retorted that he preferred to “take the guns first, and go through due process second.” While the White House has since tried to backpedal on the President’s remarks, there is little doubt of his position: there are, in his words, too many “checks and balances.”

No matter your views regarding gun rights, Trump’s casual dismissal of due process should alarm you. The implications of his statements go far beyond the Second Amendment and signal a deep ignorance — or worse, indifference — when it comes to the Constitution and the rule of law.

Due process, as enshrined in the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments, means that the state […read the full op-ed here.]

 

Elizabeth Goiten coauthored this op-ed. Elizabeth Goitein co-directs the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.

 

Image credit: Lutsenko_Oleksandr