While leading Second Amendment organizations are hailing President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to succeed retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, perhaps the best gauge of the importance of this nomination is the reaction of the gun prohibition lobby.
Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety is essentially writhing in agony, declaring in an email blast:
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s extreme outlier approach to the Second Amendment would elevate gun rights above public safety and put in jeopardy the full range of gun safety laws — including assault weapons and large-capacity magazine prohibitions, minimum age requirements, safe storage requirements, and other common-sense gun safety laws.”
Judge Kavanaugh wrote a dissent in a case that banned possession of most semi-auto rifles in the District of Columbia. In his dissent, he observed, “It follows from Heller’s protection of semi-automatic handguns that semi-automatic rifles are also constitutionally protected and that D.C.’s ban on them is unconstitutional. (By contrast, fully automatic weapons, also known as machine guns, have traditionally been banned and may continue to be banned after Heller.)
“D.C.’s registration requirement,” Kavanaugh added, “which is significantly more stringent than any other federal or state gun law in the United States, is likewise unconstitutional…”
The angst from anti-gunners is countered by enthusiasm from Second Amendment groups. Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, released a statement in which he hoped the Senate swiftly confirms Kavanaugh.
“President Trump has made another outstanding choice in nominating Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court,” Cox stated. “He has an impressive record that demonstrates his strong support for the Second Amendment.
“Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated his clear belief that the Constitution should be applied as the Framers intended,” Cox added. “To that end, he has supported the fundamental, individual right to self-defense embraced by Justice (Antonin) Scalia in the historic Heller decision. ”
Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation quickly hailed the nomination.
“We’re encouraged by this nomination,” Gottlieb said in a statement, “because by adding Judge Kavanaugh, we might see the high court become more willing to accept and rule on important Second Amendment issues, such as right-to-carry.
“While the Supreme Court has twice affirmed in the last ten years that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual right to keep a firearm for home defense,” he continued, “but the court has yet to even begin defining the right to bear arms outside of the home or business, in public.
“We know that the Court will face enormous challenges on other rights issues,” Gottlieb observed, “but the right to keep and bear arms is a cornerstone of the Bill of Rights that has set this nation apart as a beacon of freedom and liberty. It is time for the court to examine the constitutionality of various state laws that restrict the right to carry, for example, and make arbitrary decisions about who can exercise that right.”