Given that the right to bear arms is a Constitutionally protected right, few entities hold more power when it comes to the gun control debate than the Supreme Court. After all, it was the Supreme Court decision in DC vs Heller that established the fact that the Second Amendment guarantees a personal right to firearm ownership. Should the Supreme Court overturn this decision, though, Second Amendment rights would be in serious jeopardy. On the other hand, if the Supreme Court hands down a few more pro gun rights decisions it could be the nail in the coffin for the gun control movement.
With this much on the line, it’s hardly surprising that gun control groups across the country are dedicating all of their energy and efforts to stopping President Trump’s latest pick for the Supreme Court – Brett Kavanaugh – from being confirmed by the Senate.
Sen. Chris Murphy – a prominent voice of the gun control movement – said of Brett Kavanaugh that “this is someone who will use the courts to invalidate some of the most popular gun laws in the nation.”
Eric Tirschwell, an attorney with Everytown for Gun Safety, meanwhile said that “It is clear he [Brett Kavanaugh] has extreme and alarming views of the Second Amendment.”
Of course, those “extreme and alarming views” are views that a majority of Americans share. Brett Kavanaugh, for instance, once discussed his opposition to a semi-automatic rifles ban, saying, “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.”
Those demanding that the Supreme Court crack down on firearm ownership, though, are not calling for Supreme Court justices to dutifully follow the Constitution. Rather, they are calling for justices to legislate from the bench and create gun control laws out of thin air.
Brett Kavanaugh’s “extreme and alarming” view of the Second Amendment is that the Second Amendment should not be infringed upon or done away with by the Supreme Court any more than any other right contained within the Bill of Rights. Because of this faithfulness to the Constitution and this unwillingness to rewrite the law rather than just interpreting it, the gun control crowd continues to oppose Brett Kavanaugh with everything they have.
The good news for those who would love to see a Supreme Court that upholds the Second Amendment, though, is that these efforts to oppose Brett Kavanaugh are likely to be all for naught. Right now, Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate, and given that Supreme Court nominees cannot be filibustered, the only hope that Democrats have for stopping Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is flipping at least two Republican senators while convincing every single Democratic senator to vote against him as well.
However, the Republican senators who are thought to be the most likely to vote against Brett Kavanaugh have thus far given every indication that they intend to confirm him. Meanwhile, there are several red-state Democratic senators who are likely to vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh in order to keep themselves in favor with their constituents. All of this means that, at this point, Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is all but guaranteed.
What he will do in regards to gun rights once he is there is yet to be seen. However, there are certainly plenty of possibilities. In the wake of the Parkland shooting and the media uproar that followed, many states have passed controversial gun control laws such as “red flag” laws that enable judges to confiscate firearms from individuals without due process. Having a pro Second Amendment majority in the Supreme Court, though, might mean that questionable gun control laws such as these may soon be struck down while also preventing states from enacting other gun control laws such as a ban on semi-automatic weapons in the future.
For now, the gun control group’s fight to keep Brett Kavanaugh out of the Supreme Court rages on. Once that fight all but inevitably fails, though, supporters of the Second Amendment will be able to enjoy the backing of a Supreme Court that will hopefully reliably defend the right to bear arms for many years to come.
~ American Gun News