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WeThePeople
07-16-2009, 2:46 PM
When CBS news knows Sotomayor is anti-gun, why is the NRA wishy-washy? Obviously, it's because the NRA does not want to chance being on the losing side of a battle. I would prefer that the NRA come out with "guns blazing", even if she is later confirmed. This would force all senators to be on record as being for or against the 2A.

Like many of you, I'm a proud life member of the NRA. Save your NRA-hater rants.



http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/07/16/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5163548.shtml?tag=stack

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor refused on Wednesday to elaborate on her views about firearms regulations and the Second Amendment, saying she would "make no prejudgments" about future firearms-related cases.

President Obama's first nominee to the high court did say that she believed Americans do not currently enjoy a fundamental right to bear arms, which echoes her two previous rulings on the topic as an appeals court judge.

Existing Supreme Court decisions indicate the Second Amendment only limits "the actions the federal government could take with respect to the possession of firearms" and can't be used to strike down broad state laws, Sotomayor told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right from overreaching federal laws (and in federal enclaves like the District of Columbia). The case is called D.C. v. Heller.

But the justices chose not to rule on the broader question of whether the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms applies to state laws. Attorneys in two cases raising that question -- including an appeal of Sotomayor's January 2009 decision -- have petitioned for Supreme Court review in the last few weeks, and another petition is likely by the end of the summer.

Because Sotomayor has not clarified her position on gun rights, and has declined repeated invitations to do so during this week's Senate hearing, advocacy groups have turned to her written opinions and the president's own record on firearm regulation. (This parallels the abortion question: While Sotomayor parried those questions on Wednesday, the White House had previously reassured liberal groups that she would be a staunch pro-choice vote on the court.)

The results were predictable. The Brady Campaign on Tuesday formally endorsed Sotomayor, saying her opinions show respect "for precedent and for the considered judgments of legislative bodies in protecting communities from gun violence."

And Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's executive vice president, wrote after Tuesday's hearing that: "The Supreme Court is compelled to respect the Second and Fourteenth Amendments and to interpret and apply them correctly. The cases in which Judge Sotomayor and her colleagues have mishandled these issues raise serious questions about her fitness to serve on the highest Court in the land."

So far, the NRA has not formally opposed Sotomayor's nomination, even though past president Sandy Froman has called on NRA members to do so, and other gun rights groups including the Second Amendment Foundation have.

If the NRA chooses to take that step, it could cost Sotomayor some Senate votes, especially from senators in more rural states. (One aspect of this week's hearing worth noting is that liberal Democrats like Patrick Leahy and Russ Feingold have taken pains to stress their support for gun rights.)

Then again, losing a few votes isn't the same as losing the nomination. The Sotomayor hearing continues on Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET with approximately 30 more witnesses, including ex-NRA president Froman, gun rights advocate David Kopel, and Ilya Somin, an assistant professor of law at George Mason University who has written critically about firearm restrictions in the past.

GP3
07-16-2009, 2:49 PM
Received at 7:25AM this morning from NRA-ILA Alerts:

Joint Statement

Wayne Lapierre, Executive Vice President, National Rifle Association
And
Chris W. Cox, Executive Director, National Rifle Association - Institute For Legislative Action
On
Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Nomination To The United States Supreme Court


Other than declaring war, neither house of Congress has a more solemn responsibility than the Senate's role in confirming justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the Senate considers the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Americans have been watching to see whether this nominee - if confirmed - would respect the Second Amendment or side with those who have declared war on the rights of America's 80 million gun owners.

From the outset, the National Rifle Association has respected the confirmation process and hoped for mainstream answers to bedrock questions. Unfortunately, Judge Sotomayor's judicial record and testimony clearly demonstrate a hostile view of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right of self-defense guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

It is only by ignoring history that any judge can say that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right and does not apply to the states. The one part of the Bill of Rights that Congress clearly intended to apply to all Americans in passing the Fourteenth Amendment was the Second Amendment. History and congressional debate are clear on this point.

Yet Judge Sotomayor seems to believe that the Second Amendment is limited only to the residents of federal enclaves such as Washington, D.C. and does not protect all Americans living in every corner of this nation. In her Maloney opinion and during the confirmation hearings, she deliberately misread Supreme Court precedent to support her incorrect view.

In last year's historic Heller decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual's right to own firearms and recognizes the inherent right of self-defense. In addition, the Court required lower courts to apply the Twentieth Century cases it has used to incorporate a majority of the Bill of Rights to the States. Yet in her Maloney opinion, Judge Sotomayor dismissed that requirement, mistakenly relying instead on Nineteenth Century jurisprudence to hold that the Second Amendment does not apply to the States.

This nation was founded on a set of fundamental freedoms. Our Constitution does not give us those freedoms - it guarantees and protects them. The right to defend ourselves and our loved ones is one of those. The individual right to keep and bear arms is another. These truths are what define us as Americans. Yet, Judge Sotomayor takes an opposite view, contrary to the views of our Founding Fathers, the Supreme Court, and the vast majority of the American people.

We believe any individual who does not agree that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right and who does not respect our God-given right of self-defense should not serve on any court, much less the highest court in the land. Therefore, the National Rifle Association of America opposes the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the position of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.


- NRA -

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

WeThePeople
07-16-2009, 2:56 PM
Thanks, GP3. All I had seen was the wishy-washy letter that Wayne inserted into the hearing record.

I hope the NRA puts pressure on the senators.

bwiese
07-16-2009, 3:09 PM
I don't think NRA will pull a graded roll-call on this one, though.

1. even if ALL the R's pick up several Dems, she'll still pass thru.
There's no chance she'll be blocked unless they find bad checks,
bribery or kiddy porn in her past, or that she doesn't have a
bar card.

2. she's replacing Souter, so Heller balance doesn't move

3. since she's a sure thing, the NRA will press their views but will
not be a**holes about it. Beating a dead dog is stupid.

M. D. Van Norman
07-16-2009, 3:10 PM
The NRA can gain nothing but enmity by formally opposing Judge Sotomayor.

bwiese
07-16-2009, 3:16 PM
The NRA can gain nothing but enmity by formally opposing Judge Sotomayor.

Correct - state their case and reasons, recommend a no vote and move on.

Don't drag it out like GOA will.

strangerdude
07-16-2009, 3:16 PM
What benifits do you have as an NRA member?

Doheny
07-16-2009, 4:32 PM
The train has left the station. I have to think that the NRA is saving their bullets for another fight.

berto
07-16-2009, 4:54 PM
Sotomayor was a done deal from the start. The theatrics this week were for a future SCOTUS nomination fight where (shudder) Obama might have the opportunity at replacing a conservative justice with one more liberal than Sotomayor. NRA is saving ammo for a real fight.

SmokinMr2
07-16-2009, 5:07 PM
What benifits do you have as an NRA member?

http://www.nra.org/benefits.aspx

There's a list...

7x57
07-16-2009, 5:08 PM
Yeah. So far as I can tell, here's the deal: there are plenty of Southern and Western Democrats who really value their NRA rating. That means the NRA can twist their arm when necessary. But the NRA has to be careful not to abuse this lever too much--at some point, they'll just take their lumps with the NRA, and at that point we never have a lever on them again.

So what the NRA does is choose its battles, and it will not factor some votes into the rating. If a bill is certain to pass, then what point is there in simply reducing the margin by which it passes? None. But it costs the legislators to vote against it, because they have to defy their leadership to do so. So the NRA often decides that this is all cost and no benefit, and chooses not to grade a vote so that it has leverage on future votes where the pro-gun D's (principally, though of course the same applies to pro-gun R's in liberal districts, if there are any left) can make the difference. Basically, the NRA is smart enough to want to keep it's friends alive. That's why it works--the legislators know that the NRA won't order them to commit suicide without very good reason (my guess, and only my guess, is that at this point the NRA would grade an AW ban bill no matter what because of the importance).

Yeah, that's not ideological purity, but it accomplishes an awful lot more than purity would. Nobody cares when the GOA lobbyist comes calling, but they sure do when the NRA lobbyist does.

Of course, the GoA milks the NRA's effective strategy for all the donations it is worth by using their useless "uncompromised" rating as a stick to whip the NRA. Of course, they never accomplish anything concrete, but they're "pure." Right?

7x57

bohoki
07-16-2009, 5:11 PM
she cant answer a straight question and nobody has asked her the right question


"does your nra relative have an absolute right to keep and bear the arms ?"

navyinrwanda
07-16-2009, 5:26 PM
As noted above, there's not much the NRA can do. Her confirmation is a foregone conclusion as a purely partisan exercise in power politics.

Sadly, her testimony has been vacuous, contradictory and, to be charitable, confused. In answering a question from Senator Coburn, she shows that she doesn't even understand the legal meaning of a "fundamental right".

SOTOMAYOR: In the Supreme Court's decision in Heller, it recognized an individual rights to bear arms as a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment, an important right and one that limited the actions a federal the federal government could take with respect to the possession of firearms. In that case we're talking about handguns.

The Maloney case presented a different question. And that was whether that individual right would limit the activities that states could do to regulate the possession of firearms. That question is addressed by a legal doctrine. That legal doctrine uses the word fundamental, but it doesn't have the same meaning that common people understand that word to mean. To most people, the word by its dictionary term is critically important, central, fundamental. It's sort of rock basis.

Those meanings are not how the law uses that term when it comes to what the states can do or not do. The term has a very specific legal meaning, which means is that amendment of the Constitution incorporated against the states.

COBURN: Through the 14th Amendment.

SOTOMAYOR: Through and others. But the generally. I shouldn't say and others, through the 14th. The question becomes whether and how that amendment of the Constitution, that protection applies or limits the states to act. In Maloney, the issue with for us was a very narrow one. We recognized that Heller held and it is the law of the land right now in the sense of precedent, that there is an individual right to bear arms as it applies to government, federal government regulation.

The question in Maloney was different for us. Was that right incorporated against states? And we determined that, given Supreme Court precedent, the precedent that had addressed that precise question and said it's not, so it wasn't fundamental in that legal doctrine sense. That was the Court's holding.

Of course, the Ninth Circuit got it right, conducting the "fundamental right" analysis first, and then deciding whether the 2nd Amendment should be incorporated. Randy Barnett has more on this exchange over on the Volokh Conspiracy (volokh.com/archives/archive_2009_07_12-2009_07_18.shtml#1247671867).

berto
07-16-2009, 7:02 PM
she cant answer a straight question and nobody has asked her the right question


"does your nra relative have an absolute right to keep and bear the arms ?"

She would respond with a talking point answer about Heller being precedent for an individual right. When pressed she would discuss how Scalia left room for some regulation. When pressed further on specific examples her answer would dance around the issue because she can't comment on hypotheticals that might reach SCOTUS.

aplinker
07-16-2009, 7:56 PM
She would respond with a talking point answer about Heller being precedent for an individual right. When pressed she would discuss how Scalia left room for some regulation. When pressed further on specific examples her answer would dance around the issue because she can't comment on hypotheticals that might reach SCOTUS.

+1, she can't actually answer the straight question.

I think we're stuck with her. :( It's obvious she's anti-.

I love the, "I have friends who hunt." It's like the old, "I have friends who are black." :rolleyes:

7x57
07-16-2009, 8:10 PM
+1, she can't actually answer the straight question.

I think we're stuck with her. :( It's obvious she's anti-.

I love the, "I have friends who hunt." It's like the old, "I have friends who are black." :rolleyes:

Well, let's look on the bright side. "I have friends who are black" is a phrase to be used when it isn't quite kosher to be openly anti-black; in a *real* anti-black society, that is the last thing anyone would say.

The point is that a bigoted racist anti-gunner appears to find it inconvenient to be so open, so she borrows a linguistic dodge from the end of segregation.

It is a measure of success.

7x57

berto
07-16-2009, 9:18 PM
If OBLAMA picked her shes anti HOW do we get rid of her?? Maybe keeping track over her voting and impeaching her for misconduct on the bench>???> Shes gotta go And why isnt the public voting for who they want??

Not gonna happen. She's there until she decides to leave.

Do you really want the public voting for SCOTUS? Think American Idol or the last presidential election.

mikehaas
07-17-2009, 3:09 PM
Do you really want the public voting for SCOTUS? Think American Idol or the last presidential election.
No, in fact, I think it was better when the public didn't elect the senators. When the state legislature appointed the senators, the states had a much greater say in federal legislation.

wildhawker
07-17-2009, 3:40 PM
No, in fact, I think it was better when the public didn't elect the senators. When the state legislature appointed the senators, the states had a much greater say in federal legislation.

+1. The unintended (or were they?) consequences of the modern format of elections we now have largely gone to move our culture into an expecting democracy.