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Statement on Elena Kagan's Confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President, National Rifle Association &
Chris W. Cox, Executive Director, National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action


On Thursday, August 05, 2010, the U.S. Senate confirmed Elena Kagan to the highest Court in the land.  To NRA members and gun owners nationwide, Ms. Kagan presents a clear and present danger to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  Her political record reveals that she does not believe the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right and, in her recent testimony, she refused to acknowledge respect for the God-given right of self-defense.  That is why, more than a month ago, the NRA announced its strong opposition to Elena Kagan's confirmation to the Court.  In that announcement, it was made very clear that this vote matters and will be considered in the NRA's candidate evaluations.

The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental, individual right that applies to all law-abiding Americans.  Nonetheless, during the hearings Ms. Kagan refused to state her support for the Second Amendment, saying only that the matter was "settled law."  When asked about the Heller decision, Justice Sonia Sotomayor used the phrase "settled law" repeatedly during her confirmation hearings to win support.  Justice Sotomayor then worked to destroy the Second Amendment in the McDonald case.  We have no doubt that Ms. Kagan shares the same view of the Second Amendment.

Since she has no judicial record, we have only her political record to examine.  And that political record demonstrates a clear hostility to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  As a clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall, Ms. Kagan said she was "not sympathetic" to a challenge to Washington, D.C.'s ban on firearms.  As a domestic policy advisor in the Clinton White House, a colleague described her as "immersed" in Clinton's aggressive assaults on the Second Amendment.  As U.S. Solicitor General, Ms. Kagan chose not to file a brief last year in the landmark McDonald case, 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.

The expansive support that self-defense laws, the decisions in the historic Heller and McDonald cases, and the Second Amendment enjoy from the American public is a clear indication that Elena Kagan's radical views are out of the mainstream.  Any nominee, that far out-of-step with the American people, should not be on the Supreme Court.

The nomination and confirmation of two justices with an inherent bias against the Second Amendment is a direct assault on our treasured freedom.  The fate of our Second Amendment hangs perilously -- by one vote.  The need for eternal vigilance on the part of every American has never been greater.

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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.