July 5th, 2010

NRA Officially Opposes Elena Kagan Nomination to Supreme Court

On July 1st, the NRA and NRA-ILA sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee opposing the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In the letter, the NRA explained that “throughout her political career, [Kagan] has repeatedly demonstrated a clear hostility to the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution”. CLICK HERE for PDF file with full text of the NRA/NRA-ILA letter.

Highlights of NRA and NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) Letter

As [Kagan] has no judicial record on which we can rely, we have only her political record to review. And throughout her political career, she has repeatedly demonstrated a clear hostility to the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

Elena KaganAs a clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall, Ms. Kagan said she was “not sympathetic” to a challenge to Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns and draconian registration requirements. As domestic policy advisor in the Clinton White House, a colleague described her as “immersed” in President Clinton’s gun control policy efforts. For example, she was involved in an effort to ban more than 50 types of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms — an effort that was described as: “taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.” And as U.S. Solicitor General, she chose not to file a brief last year in the landmark case McDonald v. Chicago, thus taking the position that incorporating the Second Amendment and applying it to the States was of no interest to the Obama Administration or the federal government. These are not the positions of a person who supports the Second Amendment.

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”. We would also note that both Heller and McDonald were 5-4 decisions. The fact that four justices would effectively write the Second Amendment out of the Constitution is completely unacceptable.

Ms. Kagan has repeatedly declined to say whether she agrees with the dissenting views of justices Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg and Sotomayor, which leaves unanswered the very serious questions of whether she would vote to overturn Heller and McDonald or narrow their holdings to a practical nullity.

Any individual who does not believe that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right and who does not respect our God-given right of self-defense should not serve on any court, much less receive a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Justice Sotomayor’s blatant reversal on this critical issue requires that we look beyond statements made during confirmation hearings and examine a nominee’s entire body of work.

Unfortunately, Ms. Kagan’s record on the Second Amendment gives us no confidence that if confirmed to the Court, she will faithfully defend the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms of law-abiding Americans.

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July 5th, 2010

Lawyer Alan Gura Talks about Landmark Supreme Court Second Amendment Cases: McDonald v. Chicago, D.C. v. Heller

In McDonald v. Chicago, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Second Amendment applies to State and Local goverment actions, not just to Federal laws and activities. In so ruling, the High Court established that State and municipal laws can be challenged on the grounds that they violate a citizen’s individual right to “keep and bear arms”.

This landmark decision was the focus of the July 4th edition of Gun Talk Radio, when host Tom Gresham interviewed Attorney Alan Gura, lead counsel for Otis McDonald and other plaintiffs. Gura was also the lawyer who successfully challenged the District of Columbia gun ban, in D.C. v. Heller.

If you missed the July 4th broadcast, you can still hear what Gura has to say about the Supreme Court rulings in the McDonald and Heller cases. Gun Talk Radio archives its past broadcasts. Just right click on the Podcast icon below and “Save As” to download an .mp3 file with the Alan Gura interview. This is a very thought-provoking interview. We strongly recommend you listen.

podcast guntalk
Guntalk 2010-07-04 Part A
Hour One – Guests Alan Gura, Attorney
and U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, R-OK

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