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Biden’s Debate Performance Shows U.S. Supreme Court and Second Amendment on the Ballot in 2020

Monday, October 5, 2020

Biden’s Debate Performance Shows U.S. Supreme Court and Second Amendment on the Ballot in 2020

Since the death of Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in mid-September, the more vociferous elements of the radical left have called for a total transformation of the high court should the Democratic Party capture the presidency and the U.S. Senate in November. These extreme voices have called for an end to the Senate filibuster in order to enable a purely partisan court-packing scheme that would secure a left-wing majority on the Supreme Court. The strategy amounts to a tacit admission of what many have long suspected – that the plan’s proponents view the federal judiciary as another legislative branch of government that is key to ratifying unconstitutional measures, rather than an independent body tasked with acting as the arbiter and defender of the U.S. Constitution.

When given the chance to reject this fanatical plan, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has demurred.

Consider the following exchange between moderator Chris Wallace and the former vice president during the September 29 presidential debate:

Wallace: One final question for you, Mr. Vice President, if Senate Republicans -- we were originally talking about the Supreme Court here -- if Senate Republicans, go ahead and confirm justice Barrett, there has been talk about ending the filibuster, or even packing the court, adding to the nine justices there. You call this a distraction by the president, but in fact it wasn't brought up by the President, it was brought up by some of your Democratic colleagues in Congress. So my question to you as you have refused in the past to talk about it: Are you willing to tell the American people tonight, whether or not you will support either ending the filibuster or packing the court? 

Biden: Whatever position I take on that, that'll become the issue -- the issue is, the American people should speak. You should go out and vote. We're in voting now, vote and let your senators know how strongly you feel. Vote now, in fact let people know it is your senators. I'm not going to answer the question.

Following Biden’s refusal to answer, Wallace did not press the candidate but instead moved on to another topic. An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in September showed that Americans oppose increasing the size of the high court by a 22-point margin.

Given Biden’s steadfast refusal to state his position on such a monumental policy measure, it is rational for concerned citizens to conclude the worst.

It was a narrow 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision that concluded in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. A similarly narrow 5-4 majority also incorporated that right to the states in McDonald v. Chicago. Even with a majority of justices that recognize the proper individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment, the narrow majority has proven reluctant to vindicate this right when presented with the opportunity. 

Second Amendment supporters cannot afford to permit a President Biden and Democrat-controlled Senate to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with anti-gun justices. Especially when leading anti-gun politicians have made clear their intent to not only curtail any future pro-Second Amendment rulings, but to overturn Heller outright. 

On September 25, 2015, leading Democratic luminary Hillary Clinton attended a private fundraiser in Greenwich Village, New York City where she told those gathered, “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.” Shedding further light on what she meant, while speaking at a Democratic candidate forum on February 3, 2016, Clinton told the audience that in considering potential Supreme Court nominees, “I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests, because the next president could get as many as three appointments.” 

Biden has similarly made clear that he does not consider the Second Amendment to protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. During a September 2019 “townhall” event, Biden was asked, “Do you agree with the D.C. v. Heller decision in regards to protecting the individual right to bear arms that are in common use and which are utilized for lawful purposes?” 

Biden responded in part, “If I were on the court I wouldn’t have made the same ruling. OK, that’s number one.”

As District Attorney of San Francisco, Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) signed on to an amicus curiae brief in Heller that argued the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. In 2009, Justice Ginsburg has noted that a “future, wiser Court” could overturn Heller. 

Given the fervor with which these Democratic Party leaders have opposed Heller, there is every reason to believe that any court-packing scheme would involve installing a solid anti-Second Amendment majority to the U.S. Supreme Court that would work to eliminate recognition of the individual right to keep and bear arms. NRA members and gun rights activists must work to inform their family, friends, neighbors, and other freedom-minded individuals about the dangers a Biden presidency poses to the U.S. Supreme Court and the Second Amendment.

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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.