NRA growing more alarmed over Sotomayor
TheHill.com - NRA growing more alarmed over Sotomayor
NRA growing more alarmed over Sotomayor
By Alexander Bolton
Posted: 07/15/09 01:06 PM [ET]
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has questioned Sonia Sotomayor’s fitness to serve on the Supreme Court, a troubling sign for the nominee in what has so far been a smooth confirmation hearing.
The NRA is considered one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington and holds sway with Democrats from conservative states, who could side with Republicans in opposing the nominee.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, blasted Sotomayor for ruling that the Second Amendment’s protection of gun rights does not apply to state and local governments and for being “evasive” when asked about whether gun ownership is a fundamental right.
“As the Senate considers the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Americans are watching to see if this nominee would lend her support to those who’ve declared war on the rights of America’s 80 million gun owners,” LaPierra wrote in a statement posted on the group’s website Wednesday. “After the first day of confirmation hearings, gun owners have good reason to worry.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, referred to the NRA's statement during Wednesday's question-and-answer session.
Sotomayor ruled in Maloney v. Cuomo (aka Maloney v. Rice) that the Second Amendment only applies to federal law. In U.S. v. Sanchez-Villar, Sotomayor concluded that the right to possess a gun is not fundamental.
Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R) repeatedly asked Sotomayor whether she believed citizens have a right to defend themselves, a line of inquiry the nominee dodged.
“I don’t know if that legal question has ever been presented,” Sotomayor said.
Coburn kept pressing: “I wasn’t asking about the legal question, I’m asking about your personal opinion.”
Sotomayor: “That is sort of an abstract question with no particular meaning to me outside —"
Cornyn grew impatient, cutting her off: “I think that’s what American people want to hear, Your Honor.”
On Tuesday, Sotomayor declined to answer a question from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) challenging her ruling that gun ownership is not a fundamental right.
“[What] you wrote leaves the impression that unless the right to bear arms is considered fundamental, any gun restriction is necessarily permissible under the Second Amendment,” Hatch said. “Is that what you believe?”
Sotomayor answered: “I'm not taking an opinion on that issue, because it's an open question.”
The NRA raised concerns about Sotomayor before the hearing.
On July 7, Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, wrote a letter to Senate leaders raising concerns over Sotomayor.
“Out of respect for the confirmation process, the NRA has not announced an official position on Judge Sotomayor's confirmation. However, should her answers regarding the Second Amendment at the upcoming hearings be hostile or evasive, we will have no choice but to oppose her nomination to the Court,” Cox warned.
That is precisely what he is saying
That is precisely what he is saying, notwithstanding all manner of rulings to the contrary and also notwithstanding that he chooses to completely ignore the meaning and intent of the 14th amendment. But heck, the opinions are coming from a guy who thinks judges can't lawfully judge, and that the supreme court takes cases for which it has no lawful jurisdiction.
Originally Posted by zacii
What is really interesting about the position is that it is exactly the argument that an anti-gun rights activist would use. Just look at how much criticism Sotomayor got (from pro-gun conservatives) for holding that 2A isn't binding on the states. ANd contrast that with the correct position held by a different circuit court.
Now the supremes will have to sort it out. What we will see is an upside down world in which the pro-gun conservatives will be forced to uphold their hated 14th amendment while the liberal justices who are so often accused of activism will be forced to fall back on antiquated 19th century rulings designed to promote Jim Crow laws.
resinstitution of slavery
Not really. First there were post Civil War amendments ratified by the states which completely changed the previous arrangement--and which are the basis for the BOR applying to the states in almost all manner.
Originally Posted by zacii
We also have some very clear assertions on the meaning and intent of the 14th by the authors of the document, Congressional members of the day, and some justices.
The Supreme Court has also applied, or incorporated--whatever you want to call it-- all of the key BOR provisions against the states.
That is why for example Arizona lost Miranda and now everyone must be mirandized so the cops don't deliberately violate the 5th.
That is why you can't be forced to testify against yourself in state procedings. That is why you are free to post here without interference by the states. That is why you can refuse to give consent to having your car searched, and insist on a warrant for other searches; and if done without these the evidence is excluded.
The second amendment is the only one in which for a variety of peculiar reasons mired mostly in judges being fearful of guns and many DAs and police being influential members of the legal community, 2A somehow never got the same treatment.
The anti- gun rights posters here (who call themselves conservatives) do not want everyone in this great country of ours to enjoy the full rights and freedoms given to us in the BOR. The misconstrue the word Congress because they think the framers were great writers and said precisely what they meant with no ambiguity, no awkwardness of language usage and great precision. Yet, it takes just a little effort to uncover instance after instance in which grammatical errors, word usage errors, and very poor punctuation cause confusion about meaning.
There are folks here who want to return our country to the ways of the mid-19th century, and they mask their reactionary purposes behind lofty proclomations on what they proclaim the constitution to mean.
Bottom line though, we don't know what 2A means in terms of binding the states. THe circuit courts are split and the issue has not yet been taken up by the supreme court. THe very court these very same ultra conservatives will tell you lack all such jurisdiction anyway.
Make no mistake about it, the only reason for opposing application of the 14th and the full BOR to the states is a reactionary purpose--a desire to return to the bad old days.
It was in fact quite clear from the start that the BOR applied to the states as well. Were it not for slavery and the post civil war reconstruction disasters, and an occasional labor strike here or there in the late 19th century, the precedential rulings we are now being lambasted with would never have been made.
We as a people get a choice. We can have one nation indivisible with guaranteed rights for all or we can continue to play games with the true meaning of the BOR and watch our rights as gun owners go down the toilet along with our rights against self-incrimination, protection from warrantless searches, our rights to speak up on poltical matters (Southern States did limit free speech inthe anti-bellum period), AND OUR GUN RIGHTS.