Texas Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Michele Byington talks about the pros and cons of Judge Neal Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Will he likely be a friend of the 2nd Amendment, or not? Click to watch the more-in-depth interview to find out.
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The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, Gun Owners of America, and the Second Amendment Foundation have all come out against the recent nomination of U.S. Appeals Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This week, President Barack Obama nominated Garland, 63, to replace Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13. Garland was appointed to the appeals court in 1995 by President Bill Clinton and has been chief justice of the court in Washington since 2013.
Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement, “With Justice Scalia’s tragic passing, there is no longer a majority of support among the justices for the fundamental, individual right to own a firearm for self-defense. Four justices believe law-abiding Americans have that right — and four justices do not. Obama has already nominated two Supreme Court justices who oppose the right to own firearms, and there is absolutely no reason to think he has changed his approach this time.
“In fact, a basic analysis of Merrick Garland’s judicial record shows that he does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. Therefore, the National Rifle Association, on behalf of our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country, strongly opposes the nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The Gun Owners of America said Wednesday that it would oppose the nomination of U.S. Appeals Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court because he “is not only anti-gun, he supports the ability of a president to illegally use executive power to advance liberal causes.”
“If Garland were confirmed, we can expect to see more gun registration, more gun bans, more limitations on ammunition — and all of it would be approved by the Supreme Court,” said the group’s executive director, Erich Pratt. “As a practical matter, good people will go to prison for exercising their constitutionally-protected rights.”
Pratt added that in 2007, Garland voted to reverse a D.C. Circuit Court decision striking down Washington’s handgun ban as unconstitutional. A three-judge panel had ruled against the ban in what became known as the Heller case.
Seven years earlier, Garland backed a Clinton administration move to maintain the registration of gun owners in NRA v. Reno.
His vote in the McDonald case supported the White House’s efforts to use the instant check to illegally retain the names of gun owners for six months.
Both decisions were later struck down by the Supreme Court in 5-4 decisions. In the Heller case, Scalia cast the deciding vote and wrote the majority opinion, the Daily Signal reports.
“Hence, we don’t have to speculate as to how Garland would vote on Heller if confirmed to the Supreme Court,” Pratt said. “He’s already voted against Heller once before, thereby showing he’d effectively rip the Second Amendment from the Constitution.”
The founder of the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation, Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, said, “This is not a good nomination and Judge Garland should not be confirmed.”
Gottlieb said, “Judge Garland voted to grant an en banc hearing to Heller after the three judge panel struck down the District of Columbia’s gun ban law. The only reason to do so would be to overturn the pro Second Amendment ruling. That was hostile to gun rights.”
Gottlieb said, “Those of us on the front lines of the Second Amendment battle have warned for the past eight years that the right to keep and bear arms can live or die on a single vote, and nothing makes that more clear than today’s nomination. I hope the Senate, if it takes up this nomination, promptly rejects it.”
United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of the Court’s landmark Second Amendment decision Heller v. District of Columbia, has died at age 79. Scalia was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.
Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.
Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.
According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.
In a statement, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism. And he authored some of the most important decisions ever, including District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized our fundamental right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms….”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Saturday afternoon, calling Scalia a man of God, a patriot and an “unwavering defender of the written Constitution.”
“He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution,” Abbott said. “We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”
President Obama has said he will try to name a Supreme Court successor to Scalia immediately. Should the Senate try to block such a move? Let us hear your strategy in the comments section below.
On the campaign trail recently, Hillary Clinton said she thinks it would be a “great idea” for Barack Obama to serve on the high court. The most recent Second Amendment cases at the U.S. Supreme Court have been decided by a 5-4 vote. Would a Justice Obama tip the ideological balance of SCOTUS against gun rights?