Thursday, July 01, 2010

NRA: Elena Kagan Probably Hates Guns

Today Wayne Pierre and Chris Cox, executives at the National Rifle Association’s headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia sent a letter to the Democratic and Republican ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee announcing that, horror of horrors, they probably weren’t going to support Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s confirmation as Associate Justice to the US Supreme Court.

The PDF of their letter to the senators is here.

Most interesting in the letter is the array of reasons that they give to their opposition to Kagan, and by proxy, to any senator who votes to confirm her.

Interesting in that they don’t really have any.

Indeed, Kagan herself has characterized gun ownership rights as “settled law.” In their letter, the two execs even own up to that. So what’s the beef here?

As it turns out, they just don’t believe her.

Here’s what they said:

“During her confirmation hearings last year, Justice Sonia Sotomayor repeatedly stated
that the Supreme Court's historic Heller decision was "settled law". Even further, in response to a question from Chairman Leahy, she said ‘I understand the individual right fully that the Supreme Court recognized in Heller.’ Yet last Monday in McDonald, she joined a dissenting opinion which stated: ‘I can find nothing in the Second Amendment's text, history, or underlying rationale that could warrant characterizing it as 'fundamental' insofar as it seeks to protect the keeping and bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes.’”
They don’t believe her because of what that other female Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor did in the recently decided McDonald v. Chicago case. Sotomayor, voted with the minority in the case, even though she also characterized gun ownership matters as “settled law.”

If Sotomayor, a woman, decided the case like that, then Elena Kagan, also a woman, would do likewise.

More to the point, Sotomayor was absolutely correct. By completely ignoring the first clause in the 2nd Amendment, that a militia is a good thing to have so . . . the Supreme Court’s more narrow definition on why gun ownership is a desirable thing – self defense – is not fundamental. Not fundamental as say, the right to life and liberty. If it were fundamental, wouldn’t everyone own a gun?

Which is, I guess, their point. The gun lobby is there to promote the purchase of guns. If everyone owned a gun because it was as fundamental as breathing oxygen, then the gun lobbyists could all retire.

And that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

1 comment:

JJR said...

Sorry, but that first clause is not a limitation on the second. Sotomayor is wrong.

The original drafts of the language said "the militia, comprised of the body of the people", which means EVERYONE.
The SCOTUS majority in Heller and McDonald know that.

I'm as Lefty liberal as you if not more so, but the mainstream Left is consistently wrong on gun rights.

Obama has wisely kept silent on it because he knows it's a political loser. It's no surprise his court nominees do reflect is values, however. Kagan is a middle-of-the-road choice. Thurgood Marshall she isn't. Just wish there were better Liberal *but* pro 2A judges out there. *sigh*