Did Kagan Compare the NRA with the KKK? [Robert VerBruggen]
It has become clear that Elena Kagan, Obama’s most recent Supreme Court nominee, is no friend of gun rights, to say the least. While clerking for Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall in 1987, she wrote the judge that she was “not sympathetic” to a Second Amendment–based challenge to the D.C. gun ban. While serving in the Clinton administration, she wrote a memo that “paved the way for an executive order banning dozens of semiautomatic weapons,” according to the L.A. Times.
And National Review has learned that in 1996, Kagan apparently tied the NRA to the KKK — yes, the KKK — while debating the Clinton administration’s position on a bill.
The bill in question was the Volunteer Protection Act, which, when it was passed and signed the following year, protected some non-profits’ volunteer workers from tort liability in certain cases. The administration worried that it would apply to volunteers from unlikable non-profits.
Two documents discovered at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and obtained by National Review suggest that Kagan was involved in these discussions. One does not contain her name, but the handwriting appears to be hers. (You can see an example of Kagan’s handwriting here.) It has the name of administration colleague Fran Allegra at the top, and lists two “Bad guy orgs” that might be covered — the NRA and the KKK.
The second does have Kagan’s name on it; it is a memo from Allegra to Kagan. Allegra reports that he checked the IRS’s “Cumulative List of Organizations Described in Section 170(c)” — the list of tax-exempt organizations, which, he says, are the only organizations the bill would cover — and that neither the NRA nor the KKK was on it. “If you have other names you want me to run down in the Cumulative List, I would be glad to check them out,” he adds, suggesting that Kagan requested the initial check of the NRA and the KKK.
Is Kagan so hostile to gun rights that she would compare the top gun-rights organization in the United States with a viciously racist hate group? It sure looks that way. We look forward to her explanation.