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. ANGIE IN PA

    The NRA Are Pathetic!

    July 16, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Brad

    It is for the Supreme Court to declare that any rights under the Bill of Rights apply to the states under the 14th amendment due process clause. Other federal appellate courts have ruled the same way.

    If a nominee is not "packing" at the confirmation hearing you know the NRA is going to oppose the nomination.

    July 16, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. E Coli Tainted Palin Word Salad Hazardous To Your Health

    Really? I'm shocked! Just shocked beyond words! Next thing you know the right to lifers will oppose her, too! Then, all the old, bald southern white rednecks will line up and oppose her! Imagine that, will ya?! What is this world coming to, I ask you?! Please, someone explain this right-wing nutjob paranoid lunacy. You mean there are people who actually believe that the Fauxytale News Channel courtesy of News Crap Inc. is a legitimate source for factual news?

    July 16, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Jon

    The NRA has lawyers. They should know better and it indicates their knowledge that their members are idiots. She cannot comment on how she would rule or what she believes. That would be the basis for a "fundamentalist" judge. Her job would be, as is the job of all judges, to interpret the law and facts presented before her. The NRA is just pandering to their uninformed followers. Further, the senators asking these questions are also pandering. Most of them are lawyers and know very well that commenting on a legal scenario and your personal belief for the outcome of that scenario would warrant the candidate unqualified to serve as judge. Attention NRA and NRA members, learn about a topic before you comment – it makes for a better conversation.

    July 16, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Too True For You

    It's funny how the conservatives say they abhor judicial activism (when it's not conservative) and then repeatedly ask her to make policy statements on their pet issues.

    She kept trying to clarify that as a judge she cannot make statements about rulings out of the context of a specific case, which includes the facts of the case, the arguments before the court, applicable precedent, and the laws of the specific state venue. But the republicans kept hammering away trying to get her to perform the activist role they so decry.

    July 16, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    The NRA is the single worst special interest group in the history of our country. "“The Democratic National Committee is virtually 100 percent anti-firearms ownership, and the Republican National Committee stands on the side of the freedom.” – Wayne LaPierre. Big surprise that he's not supporting a Democratic nominee.

    July 16, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Texas

    Who cares? They don't contribute anything legal or professional. Nobody is taking Americans right to bear arms. It is an individual right and the NRA is ridiculous. They are just trying to scare the ignorant people so they can buy more guns they can't afford.

    July 16, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. Rick CT

    If I had a vote, I might well consider invoking Obama's 5% standard n opposing her nomination. However, I'm not at all swayed by the views of the NRA bozos.

    July 16, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Soren

    Of course those maniacs oppose the Judge.
    Another good reason to appoint her.

    July 16, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Denise

    Of course they do. All they want to do is kill.

    July 16, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Lauren

    Another excuse from the right wing not to vote for her, they are so afraid someone is going to take away their guns. I truly don't think Sotomayor even cares about taking guns from anyone, that does not seem to be a priority of hers.

    July 16, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. guy

    What a surprise!

    July 16, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Oakland Tracy

    If the NRA opposes her, then it's just another reason to see her confirmed and sitting on the Supreme Court bench.

    July 16, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Scott

    So what?

    July 16, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. sean

    The NRA is just another nutty ultra-right special interest group. They have turned the 2nd amendment from a call for a legally armed citizen militia to the right to bear rocket launchers. Their opinions are no longer valid as they have grown too extreme.

    July 16, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. kishen c.rao

    why???? it is a business deal???????

    July 16, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Jefferson Handcock

    This group is still functioning ???????????

    July 16, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. skyhawkdriver

    As a long time life member of the n.r.a. I can say that for a long time I have had no use for wayne lapierre and have many times questioned their practices..that being said,I agree that sotomayor has no buisness being on the supreme court..trying to read some of her decisions will make your head spin and your eyes water..her inability to answer questions with a straight forward answers makes you wonder where she stands on a variety of subjects

    July 16, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  19. Open Your 3rd Eye

    God-given right to own and use guns?

    Wow.

    I'm totally baffled, really?

    Yea, I'm sure God just absolutely love guns. I mean hey, look at all the wonderful things that occur due to the use of guns such as murder. Whether it be another human being or animal.

    Honestly now, that has got to be one of the most ignorant statements I've heard in all my life.

    Understand this: God and guns do not mix or match in any way what-so-ever!

    The same as God and money, there should never, ever be such a comparison.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

    July 16, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Wes

    Right, everyone should pretty much bow down to them and kiss the feet of the all mighty gun lobby–wait, pretty much everyone has.

    Guns in bars? "Common sense" according to the NRA.
    A person can't walk around in public with an open container of alcohol because it could lead to reckless behavior. Yet permitting a person with a drink (or two) in their hands–AND a gun in their pocket–it's not only sensible, but it's 'American!'

    At this rate, the way everyone's cavning to these good ol' boys, guns in schools and airplanes (yes, airplanes) won't be far behind.

    July 16, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Zero.

    My ore! What does that mean. The last time I heard anything like it.

    It was in a movie about German Gestapo, in praise for their superiors.
    They clicked heels, just before..

    July 16, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. NRA all the way

    Sotomayor will next try to take the guns out of the hands of white policemen because the latino and black drug dealers, robbers, and rapists are at a disadvantage with smaller guns.

    Wake up America - President Oblamo AKA President O'Blah Blah is selling this country down the river to latinos, Wall Street, and China.

    July 16, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Cassandra Washington

    "God-given right of self-defense"
    Are they nuts? Guns, guns, and more guns ... how many people have to die like the couple in Florida before the politicians stop allowing the NRA to have their way?

    July 16, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. JEM

    Let's see Mr. LaPierre...could you give me a chapter and verse on that "God given right" thing???? Or did God speak to you directly???

    July 16, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. RAG

    Tinfoil Hats For Everyone!

    July 16, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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