Gun Owners of America applauds immediate past NRA President Sandy
Froman, who stepped up to the plate last week with a call to arms for
all NRA members to vigorously oppose the nomination of Judge Sotomayor
to the Supreme Court. (See the article below).
GOA has been calling on our members to oppose this nomination since it
is clear that Sotomayor is anti-Second Amendment and wants to legislate
from the bench.
The official position from current NRA leadership is to take a "wait and
see" approach to the Sotomayor nomination which may well allow her to
wiggle through and be confirmed.
GOA calls on all pro-gunners across America to urge NRA leadership to
join in this critical fight to protect the Constitution -- and
especially our gun rights.
-- GOA Vice-Chairman Tim Macy
NRA Members Must Oppose Sotomayor
by Sandy Froman
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's first nominee to the
U.S. Supreme Court, has a narrow view of the Second Amendment that
contradicts the Court's landmark decision in District of Columbia v.
Heller. A heated debate has started in the U.S. Senate over her
opposition to the right to keep and bear arms. This issue, which has
decided the fate of presidential elections, could also decide her
nomination. Gun owners, and especially the members of the National Rifle
Association, must aggressively oppose Judge Sotomayor's confirmation to
the Supreme Court.
On June 24, senators began speaking on the floor of the Senate
expressing grave concerns over Judge Sotomayor's Second Amendment
record. Senator Jeff Sessions R-AL, the Ranking Member of the Senate
Judiciary Committee, pointed out that although her record on the issue
is "fairly scant," she has twice stated that the Second
Amendment is not
a fundamental right. Senator Sessions also noted that in Second
Amendment and other constitutional cases, Sotomayor's analysis of
important constitutional issues has been lacking suggesting "a troubling
tendency to avoid or casually dismiss difficult Constitutional issues of
exceptional importance." Sotomayor's view on the Second Amendment
clearly reflects an extreme anti-gun philosophy, and some Democrat
senators from pro-gun states are justifiably nervous.
Last year, the Supreme Court held in Heller that the Second Amendment
guarantees the right of individual Americans to keep and bear firearms.
But that ruling was a fiercely-contested, 5-4 split decision. Justice
Kennedy joined the four conservatives on the Court to make the majority,
with the four liberal justices writing passionate dissents about how the
Second Amendment does not apply to private citizens.
Bluntly speaking, the Second Amendment survived by a single vote. Had
one justice voted differently, the Second Amendment would have been
erased from the Bill of Rights forever. Today in the Supreme Court, the
right to bear arms hangs by a single vote.
The next question the Supreme Court will decide is whether the Second
Amendment is a "fundamental right" that applies to cities and
thus preventing them from restricting gun rights. Even the liberal
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held earlier this year in Nordyke v. King
that the Second Amendment is a fundamental right, yet Judge Sotomayor
When Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, it
belied his flowery rhetoric about respecting our constitutional gun
rights. Out of almost 200 federal appeals judges in this country, Judge
Sotomayor is one of only six to weigh in (after the Heller case) to hold
that the Second Amendment only limits federal actions. If your state or
city chooses to ban all guns or take away the ones that you already have
in your home for hunting and self-defense, Sonia Sotomayor says the
Constitution can't help you.
This position becomes all the more radical when it's revealed how she
reached this conclusion. Only six judges have denied gun rights against
the states. Of these, three did so in a recent Seventh Circuit case, NRA
v. Chicago, writing a detailed opinion that the Second Amendment doesn't
apply to the states because they thought an old 1800s Supreme Court case
tied their hands on the issue, and they commended the case up to the
Supreme Court after long and scholarly consideration. Judge Sotomayor
and two of her liberal colleagues, however, wrote only a single
paragraph on the whole issue when deciding their own New York case,
Maloney v. Cuomo. In one paragraph, she said the Second Amendment gives
people no rights at all when it comes to state or city laws. She gave no
explanation, and made no call for Supreme Court action.
Then we find that this has been a consistent belief for Sotomayor. In a
case before her in 2004, she and her colleagues concluded that there is
no fundamental right in the Second Amendment but provided no substantive
analysis to justify this conclusion. Throughout her career, Judge
Sotomayor's record is one of consistent opposition to the private
ownership of firearms.
America has almost 90 million gun owners who value their rights. And of
these, no one does more to protect the Second Amendment than the four
million members of the National Rifle Association.
I served as an officer of the NRA for nine years, including a two-year
term as president. I saw NRA members turn the tide on Election Day 2000
to defeat Al Gore. We fought again to help defeat John Kerry in 2004. We
can do the same with Sonia Sotomayor, if we call our U.S. Senators and
tell them to vote against this anti-gun judge. No fewer than fourteen
Democrat senators have solid records on the Second Amendment, and we
must urge them to oppose this nominee.
Next year, the Supreme Court is likely to take up NRA v. Chicago, which
will decide whether the Second Amendment applies to states and cities
like it does the federal government. This case is as important as
Heller, and will massively impact gun rights forever.
We already know where Judge Sotomayor stands. It's time to tell the
Senate, "Vote No! on Sonia Sotomayor."
Tags: GOA, Gun Control, News, NRA, Politics