Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
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Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
Monday, July 11, 2005
It looks like the judicial rumor mill was right on the money. There
had been increasing speculation in recent weeks that a Supreme Court
Justice would be stepping down soon.
And while many thought it would be Chief Justice Rehnquist because of
his failing health, many Capitol Hill insiders suspected it would be
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
They were right. Justice O'Connor retired from the high court
earlier this month, leaving a huge vacancy that President Bush will
now have to fill.
Obviously, no one outside of the President's closest advisors can
definitively know who is on the President's "short list." But many
insiders are reporting that the initial nod could go to Attorney
General Alberto Gonzales.
In a recent column, columnist Robert Novak reported, "George W. Bush
loves Al Gonzales and would like his former chief counsel to head a
And The Washington Post recently admitted that Alberto Gonzales' name
"echoes in Washington as one of the most likely Supreme Court
candidates" (July 4, 2005).
So what do we know about Alberto Gonzales? Would he be a plus or a
minus when it comes to the Constitution in general or the Second
Amendment in particular?
As a matter of fact, we know quite a bit about this potential Supreme
Court nominee. And what we know of the former Texas Supreme Court
Justice is not comforting. (Gonzales was put on the highest state
court by then-Texas Gov. George Bush in 1999.)
When he testified before the U.S. Senate on January 18, 2005,
Gonzales expressed his unequivocal support for gun control. Fox News
quoted Gonzales on that day as saying, "The president has made it
clear that he stands ready to sign a reauthorization of the federal
assault weapons ban if it is sent to him by Congress. I, of course,
support the president on this issue."
Lest one think that Gonzales is just being a good soldier supporting
his boss' position, one should realize that his support for gun
control is heart felt.Gonzales referenced his brother, Tony, who is a
SWAT officer in Houston. "I worry about his safety and the types
of weapons he will confront on the street," Gonzales said. And he
immediately proceeded to tell his senatorial inquisitors about his
support for the semi-auto ban.
Because he is a gun control supporter, one should immediately
question Gonzales' commitment to the U.S. Constitution.
Here again, the early indications are not good. Gonzales believes
the Constitution is a "living document" and that only the nine
justices on the court have the capacity to explain what it means.
Such is the report from Joseph Farah, founder and head of
Farah spent some time with Gonzales at a private dinner meeting, and
in a November 11, 2004 column, reported he was "stunned" and
"horrified" at Gonzales' view of the Constitution."The
Supreme Court tells us what the Constitution says and means,"
Gonzales said. And in his view, the high court actually "makes
law" through its precedent-setting rulings.
Thankfully, not all the potential nominees support gun control or
have such a low view of the Constitution.Several justices who are
currently on the bench would make excellent choices for the new
vacancy. For example, Justice Janice Rogers Brown is one of the most
recently confirmed judges to the federal courts. Brown was confirmed
by the Senate last month by a 56-43 vote.
As a Justice on the California Supreme Court, Brown referred to
Roosevelt's New Deal as our "own socialist revolution." In
taxpayer supported welfare, she said that, "Theft is theft even when
the government approves of the thievery."
On gun rights, Brown sounds like a modern-day Annie Oakley. She used
language from an amicus curiae brief that was submitted by Gun Owners
of California to argue against Los Angeles' ban on gun shows.
And her most extensive Second Amendment scholarship appeared in the
case involving the California ban on semi-automatic firearms (Kassler
v. Lockyer). In a decision upholding the California ban on certain
semi-autos (the so-called "assault weapons"), she faulted the U.S.
Supreme Court for picking and choosing which rights it liked.
She most definitely came down on the right side, stating that the
individual right to keep and bear arms is a "right expressly
guaranteed by the Bill of Rights."
There are other conservative judges who are currently on the federal
bench who also have a high regard for the U.S. Constitution. Judge
Samuel Alito, Jr., in the Third Circuit, has argued that Congress has
no right to regulate the private possession of machine guns. There
is Edith Jones in the Fifth Circuit who understands that our
"unalienable rights were given by God to all our fellow
And in the Ninth Circuit, Judge Alex Kozinski has chided his liberal
colleagues for falling prey to the popular delusion that we are
"better off leaving all weapons in the hands of professionals on the
government payroll." He cites chapter and verse, showing how gun
control has been used to subjugate blacks in the South, as well as
other minorities all across the world."
All too many of the other great tragedies of history -- Stalin's
atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name
but a few -- were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed
populations," Kozinski said. "Many could well have been avoided or
mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were
equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act
[To see Kozinski's entire dissenting opinion against the California
semi-auto ban, go to http://www.gunowners.org/op0326.htm
on the GOA
The point should be clear. There are good judges who can fill the
void on the Court. Despite his friendship with Alberto Gonzales, the
President should be reminded that millions of people did not flock to
the polls to defeat Al Gore and John Kerry just so he could appoint
liberal anti-gunners to the high court.
ACTION: Please contact President Bush and urge him to nominate a
constitutionalist to the Supreme Court. And remind him that American
gun owners do NOT want Alberto Gonzales, or anyone like him, to sit
on the Court.
You can visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at
to send the President the
pre-written message below. You can also contact the President using
any of the following mediums:
--- Pre-written letter ---
Dear President Bush:With the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor,
you are faced with a tremendous opportunity to appoint a constitutional
scholar who truly understands the rule of law and respects the Bill of
Unfortunately, Alberto Gonzales is NOT that man!
As one who respects the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
(especially the Second Amendment), I hope that you will not appoint
someone who holds views similar to those of Gonzales.
You truly made an excellent choice in putting Justice Janice Rogers
Brown on the federal bench. She understands the Second Amendment
protects an individual right, and she realizes that the Supreme Court
is supposed to interpret, not make, the laws. I hope that you will
nominate either her or someone like her to the Supreme Court. Thank