Democrat Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has repeatedly let the proverbial cat out of the bag by mentioning that when Judge Neil Gorsuch faces confirmation hearings Monday, the Supreme Court nominee will be quizzed “on his positions on abortion rights and gun control.”
Make no mistake about it, anti-gunners who last year expected the high court balance to shift, either with a Barack Obama nominee or under an anticipated President Hillary Rodham Clinton, cannot abide Gorsuch filling the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia more than one year ago. Blumenthal, a perennial gun control supporter, noted to CNN Monday that “he’s concerned about Gorsuch’s judicial independence considering that ideologically conservative groups lobbied (President Donald) Trump for his nomination.”
Over the weekend, he told WTNH News that he will ask Judge Gorsuch “about gun control and consumer protection.”
Rest assured that Blumenthal would utter nary a peep if Clinton had won in November and had been lobbied by liberal groups to nominate a liberal anti-gunner to the Supreme Court. The gun prohibition lobby was salivating over this one year ago, perhaps even expecting to reverse the 2008 Heller and 2010 McDonald rulings.
Pete Ambler, executive director of Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun control group founded by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and husband Mark Kelly, was quoted weeks ago by USA Today observing, “His irresponsible record indicates he would actually weaken the gun laws on the books.”
Early last month, the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility launched an email fund-raising blast that labeled Judge Gorsuch a “gun-extremist.” The group then declared, “Trump’s friends in the Gun Lobby LOVE Gorsuch for his gun-friendly judicial rulings. He’ll even make it easier for criminals to obtain guns — and harder to prosecute them.”
With Gorsuch on the high court bench, balance will be restored and gun rights groups including the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association, can continue challenging state and local gun laws on constitutional grounds.
Anti-gunners were furious in 2008 when Scalia wrote the majority opinion in Heller, affirming that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right. For years they had argued that the amendment only protected some “right” of the states to organize militias.
They were further flustered two years later with the McDonald ruling that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment.
Democrats are already promising to use “every tool” to fight the Gorsuch confirmation.
If Gorsuch is confirmed, it is not time for gun rights activists to fold up their tents and go home. The work will really begin, with more legal and legislative actions that challenge existing gun laws.
It could provide opportunities to, as Alan Gottlieb with the Second Amendment Foundation, “make the Second Amendment Great Again.”