July 16th, 2009
02:07 PM ET
5 years ago

NRA opposes Sotomayor nomination to Supreme Court

 The National Rifle Association announced Thursday that it opposes Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.
The National Rifle Association announced Thursday that it opposes Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The National Rifle Association announced Thursday that it opposes Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"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," said a joint statement by Wayne LaPierre, the NRA executive vice president, and Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Reform.

Opposition to Sotomayor by the powerful gun lobby reflects conservative unease with President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee, but is considered unlikely to prevent her confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

On Wednesday, Sotomayor strongly rejected a Republican senator's contention that she had pre-judged the issue of gun control, insisting at her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing that wasn't true.

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, asked if she would recuse herself from future gun control cases because she ruled in the past that the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment does not apply to state gun control laws.

"I have not made up my mind. I didn't say that I didn't believe it was fundamental," Sotomayor shot back.

She explained that the word "fundamental" in legal terms refers to whether a federal statute applies to the states. Her ruling cited by Sessions referred to a prior case that made the determination, Sotomayor said, so she was following the precedent.

The NRA statement said Sotomayor relied on an improper precedent.

"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," the statement said. "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."

Previously in the confirmation hearing that started Monday, Sotomayor said she recognizes an individual right to bear arms as recently identified by Supreme Court in the ruling District of Columbia v. Heller.

The recent Supreme Court 5-4 ruling concluded that a sweeping handgun ban in the nation's capital violated the constitutional right to "keep and bear arms."


Filed under: NRA • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Randy in AZ

    So how is the NO Rifle Association any different from the rest of the Grand NO Party? "No, No, No." That's all they can say, regardless of the lack of any logic to their statements.

    July 16, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    thank-you the great folks of the NRA now that something I can agree with.

    July 16, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Debi

    Am I the only person in this country completely tired of the "agree with us or else" attitude of the anti-abortion activist and the NRA members?

    As Sotomayor said, it is settled law.

    July 16, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. skeeve

    Who cares what NRA has to say. If they want to cling to their guns let them cling to their gun. There is a good negative correlation between IQ/education and a number of gun in a household. Why should anybody care about an ignorant opinion.

    July 16, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Ken in Gainesville

    And to hell with the NRA!

    July 16, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Julie in AZ

    I'm pretty sure that the Second Amendment is not actually defined as a "God-given right of self-defense!"
    That is the most ridiculous statement. Obviously, look who's making it. Yes-more guns. Less law. That's exactly what this country needs. What an ignorant idiot

    July 16, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. CF

    As a sportshooter and a person who wants to protect my family, I fully support the right to bear arms when necessary.

    However, your right to bear arms does not trump my right (or anybody else's) to not be shot.

    The NRA doesn't get that. Rather than restrict dangerous weapons in areas where they are a problem, or step up the requirements and background checks for getting a gun, they would rather allow anyone and everyone applicable to get their hands on these weapons, and only punish them after they've misused them.

    How many more innocent people need to be shot before they realize that an ounce of prevention beforehand is worth more than a ton of punishment afterward?

    July 16, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Truth Teller

    Hey NRA, too bad, she's coming in. So blow it out your....you know the rest.

    Que Viva Puert Rico Libre!!!

    July 16, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. drman

    So what will the NRA zealots do if she's confirmed? Will they hunt her down and shoot her because they disagree with her?
    Wayne LaPierre is about as good a fear monger as Palin the quitter is, maybe they could join forces and rally the radical right wing-NUTS.

    July 16, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. tjaman

    Isn't the NRA raising this objection a little late in the game? I mean really, she _was_ nominated quite awhile ago ...

    July 16, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Janelle in VA

    What else is new...

    July 16, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Steve in Kentucky

    Truth means nothing to the NRA.

    July 16, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Sammy

    Well the 2nd amendment doesnt deal with self-protection, but whether or not people have the right to have guns to do it with. Also whether or not states have the power to decide. The constitution says no. Based on its wording the only question is whether or not congress can regulate it. Since that word is included the answer is yes. And pretty much every time congress makes good law doing so its upheld.

    So really, if people want strong regulations for handguns get congress to do it. Once such a law is passed, if carefully written, it will hold. It will also get my support.

    July 16, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. David Newport, OR

    too bad...it is a done deal. Isn't democracy grand?

    July 16, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Ken

    Good grief. As a gun owner, I despise the imbecilic rightwing rhetoric from the goon LaPierre. If NRA's Amerika is against it, it certainly must be good for America.

    July 16, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. harvey

    defending yourself is not a God-given right, there's no such thing. your rights are guaranteed by the Constitution. why don't you explain why you have a right to possess an assault weapon, because it's Your choice, but a woman can't have an abortion, because it's HER choice? because you can't. Why don't you all move to Alaska, secede from the Union, install the Palins as King and Queen, and keep your oil and your guns to yourselves. then you can Drill, Baby, Drill and Kill, Baby, Kill until eternity.

    July 16, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. will nyc

    NRA has become more fringe and extreme in its stance than ever...

    July 16, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. BLS

    Big surprise. I'm not a huge gun control person, but I've learned to ignore basically anything coming from the NRA. If they had their way, everyone would be able to go to the corner grocery for some milk and an uzi.

    July 16, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Dear NRA gun nuts,
    I swear to God, nobody is going to take away yer gun. We on the left are certain that we couldn't even if we tried. And as far as our list of things to do...taking away yer gun ain't on it! I may be a liberal, but I am also a Texan and I like to shoot and hunt...I have guns...but come on, can't we apply some common sense to the argument?
    AND as far as the confirmation of Sotomayor...your opposition is even more irrelevent than GOP opposition...just calm down

    July 16, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. Steve

    Shocking....America! A country and people heading straight toward it own self destruction simply to keep the right to have the right to kill his fellow man anytime he gets pissed on the highway because he had a bad day at the office of get the middle finger.

    Oh well! We will overcome one day!

    July 16, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. Geoff

    Is it a second Amendment right or a God-given right? They are legally separated as far as I remember.

    Wasn't the second Amendment written before the country had an organized military and farmers might need to band together to keep the King of England out of their faces?

    July 16, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. yuri

    The other name for NRA is GOP. They practically do not want to know anything else except guns and other firearms. They will vehemently deny it and get too defensive.

    July 16, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Mike

    The NRA is this countries biggest union and that's not a compliment. They use bullying tactics to get their way. They wave the second amendment. Anytime someone speaks out against what they believe, they try to silence them which violates the first amendment. Absolutely no gun control is thier mantra and they'll vehemntly oppose anyone who even suggests any type of control. They say guns don't kill, people do. Well, if that's true then what was an uzi designed to do? Hunt quail?

    July 16, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Andy

    As law-abiding Americans, we should denounce and dismiss any NRA stance on guns, especially since we know that the easy accessibliity of firearms in this country has killed more more than saved. The only ones who should have guns arre officers who are trained and authorized to use them.

    July 16, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. single mom

    I can't wait to read the comments on this!
    The 2nd Amendment is part of the US Constitution. When she becomes a Supreme Court Justice (as she hasn't had 'foot-in-mouth-itis') she will be sworn to uphold the ENTIRE Constitution.
    No, a hunter doesn't need an AK 47 to hunt deer, buffalo or moose, but the right to bear arms and protect hearth and home is one of the reasons this country has survived this long.
    It's as important as, say the 14-16th amendments and I'm sure she would support those.

    July 16, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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