While the media and special interest groups have been in a frenzy since Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, President Trump was finishing the selection process for his next Supreme Court Justice nomination. While none of the finalists had a record of opposing the “Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” Judge Brett Kavanaugh arguably had the strongest record of supporting the Second Amendment, which is a win for gun owners.
After President Trump’s announcement, Judge Kavanaugh was offered a chance to make a statement. His opening point noted, “A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law.” Supporters of the Second Amendment can all breath a collective sigh of relief at this. Regardless of your personal politics, can you imagine the bias against the Second Amendment that a ‘President’ Hillary Clinton would have had when she nominated Justices to the Supreme Court?
The Second Amendment is very clear. Any justice who interprets the law as the founders of the Constitution intended cannot infringe on the Second Amendment or our rights. Judge Kavanaugh’s record speaks volumes about his strict adherence to the Constitution and original intent. For example, Judge Kavanaugh recently wrote a minority dissent regarding a case many dubbed to be Heller II. In this case, Judge Kavanaugh dissented:
In Heller, the Supreme Court held that handguns – the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic – are constitutionally protected because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens. There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles. Semi-automatic rifles, like semi-automatic handguns, have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses. Moreover, semi-automatic handguns are used in connection with violent crimes far more than semi-automatic rifles are. 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, which is significantly more stringent than any other federal or state gun law in the United States, is likewise unconstitutional. Heller and later McDonald said that regulations on the sale, possession, or use of guns are permissible if they are within the class of traditional, “longstanding” gun regulations in the United States. Registration of all lawfully possessed guns – as distinct from licensing of gun owners or mandatory record-keeping by gun sellers – has not traditionally been required in the United States and even today remains highly unusual. Under Heller’s history, and tradition-based test, D.C.’s registration requirement is therefore unconstitutional.
While having another Supreme Court Justice with a record of upholding the original intent of the Second Amendment would be a win for gun owners, Judge Kavanaugh is far from being confirmed. Several forces, within the media, political circles, special interest groups, and grass roots efforts are rising up to oppose Kavanaugh. If you are a supporter of the Second Amendment, this is an opportunity to make your voice heard and ensure the Senate’s confirmation of a new justice who will protect the Second Amendment for the next generation and beyond.
Have you supported the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association or any other gun rights groups efforts to get Judge Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court? Will you? How? Share your answer in the comment section.