Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Second Amendment

Sotomayor's Bias

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Other than declaring war, neither house of Congress has a more solemn responsibility than the Senate’s role in confirming justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. 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.

After the first day of confirmation hearings, gun owners have good reason to worry. Those of us who respect the Second Amendment are concerned about the case of Maloney v. Cuomo, which reviewed whether this freedom applies to all law-abiding Americans or only to residents of Washington, D.C. If it’s incorporated, the Second Amendment prevents the states from disarming honest Americans. If it’s not, the Second Amendment is meaningless outside of our nation’s capital.

Judge Sotomayor was on the Second Circuit panel that decided the Maloney case in a short, unsigned, and clearly incorrect opinion. The fact that the Maloney panel misread precedent in order to avoid doing the Fourteenth Amendment “incorporation” analysis required by the Supreme Court is troubling to say the least.

Equally troubling is the fact that Judge Sotomayor said she wasn’t even familiar with the Supreme Court’s modern incorporation cases. There are few issues more important for a judge to understand than whether the fundamental guarantees in the Bill of Rights apply to all Americans. Our First Amendment right to free speech applies to all Americans. Our Fourth Amendment protection from illegal search and seizure applies to all Americans. It’s hard to believe that a potential Supreme Court justice wouldn’t be familiar with those cases.

Despite that judicial amnesia, Judge Sotomayor co-authored an opinion -- in January of this year -- holding that the Second Amendment does not apply to the States. So that leaves two options: either she failed to follow the Supreme Court's direction in Heller that judges are required to analyze the modern incorporation cases; or she actually did review those cases, but came to an incorrect conclusion. Neither option gives gun owners much confidence in her view of the Second Amendment.

It is only by ignoring history that any court can say—as the Second and Seventh Circuits did—that the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to the states. The one part of the Bill of Rights that Congress clearly intended to apply to all Americans was the Second Amendment. History is clear on this point. In his speech introducing the proposed amendment, for example, Senator Jacob M. Howard listed the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights “such as … the right to keep and bear arms,” and said the proposed amendment would “restrain the power of the States and compel them at all times to respect these great fundamental guarantees.”

Under questioning, Judge Sotomayor was also evasive on the question of whether the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right. In fact, her previous decision in United States v. Sanchez-Villar held that it was not. Let me be clear on this -- any judge who does not believe the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right is unacceptable to gun owners.

Judges often try to hide behind precedent in order to avoid answering fundamental constitutional questions during confirmation hearings. But history has shown that, in many cases, precedent was wrong and needed to be changed. It was wrong when precedent prevented an African-Americans’ vote from counting the same as a white man’s. And it was wrong when precedent prevented African-Americans from owning firearms. It was equally wrong when precedent prevented women from voting. It took people with courage and conviction to stand up against this type of ill-conceived precedent.

This nation was founded on a set of fundamental freedoms. Our Constitution does not give us those freedoms – it guarantees and protects them. The right to defend ourselves and our loved ones is one of those. The individual right to keep and bear arms is another. These truths are what defines us as Americans.

The Supreme Court is compelled to respect the Second and Fourteenth Amendments and to interpret and apply them correctly. The cases in which Judge Sotomayor and her colleagues have mishandled these issues raise serious questions about her fitness to serve on the highest Court in the land.

TRENDING NOW
Washington: Vague Carry Ban and Rehashed Mag Ban Introduced and Scheduled for Hearings Next Week

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Washington: Vague Carry Ban and Rehashed Mag Ban Introduced and Scheduled for Hearings Next Week

Next week, anti-gun legislation, Senate Bill 5078 and Senate Bill 5038, are scheduled for hearings in the Senate Law and Justice Committee. 

“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

News  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

Biden issued this “pledge” in a January 8 tweet that falsely tried to suggest the men and women of the NRA were somehow implicated in an infamous crime that was committed a decade ago by ...

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

Friday, January 15, 2021

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

As Legislators begin to file bills for the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, we are getting questions about various bills due to media reports on gun bills.  Below is a partial list of bills we will ...

President Trump’s Executive Order Expands LEOSA Carry Rights

News  

Thursday, January 21, 2021

President Trump’s Executive Order Expands LEOSA Carry Rights

On January 18th, President Trump signed an “Executive Order on Protecting Law Enforcement Officers, Judges, Prosecutors, And Their Families.” The order aims to provide for more federal law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges to be able to ...

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace “Guidance”

News  

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace “Guidance”

On December 23rd, ATF posted a document to its website indicating that its recently published Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces” is withdrawn.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Kansas: Permit Recognition Legislation to be Considered on Wednesday

Friday, January 22, 2021

Kansas: Permit Recognition Legislation to be Considered on Wednesday

On Wednesday, January 27, the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs is scheduled to consider permit recognition legislation, House Bill 2059. 

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Although the 2021 session of the Texas Legislature convenes on January 12, gun control advocates financed by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg and Beto "Hell Yeah, I'll Take Your Guns" O'Rourke wasted no time in announcing their ...

Biden to Nominate Anti-Second Amendment Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General

News  

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Biden to Nominate Anti-Second Amendment Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General

President-elect Joe Biden announced he will nominate U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General. Biden’s choice of a noted Second Amendment opponent to lead the Department ...

Vermont: Gun Bills Introduced as Legislature Begins Work Remotely

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Vermont: Gun Bills Introduced as Legislature Begins Work Remotely

While the Capitol in Montpelier is atypically quiet for January, the COVID situation has not prevented the Legislature from moving forward with their business.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.