July 23rd, 2009
01:02 PM ET
5 years ago

NRA warns senators on Sotomayor vote; CoC backs her

The NRA on Thursday reinforced its opposition to the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
The NRA on Thursday reinforced its opposition to the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The National Rifle Association reinforced its opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, warning senators Thursday their votes will be considered in the NRA's future candidate evaluations.

The NRA announced last week that it viewed Sotomayor as having a "hostile view" of gun rights under the Constitution.

Since the NRA's announcement last week, five Republicans have already pledged their votes for Sotomayor, including conservative Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and key member of the Judiciary Committee.

The nominee herself was on Capitol Hill, meeting with conservative senators. Seven Republicans have already announced they would vote against her, but that is not expected to slow what is predicted to be easy confirmation to the nation's highest court.

President Obama's first pick to the Supreme Court has attracted intense lobbying and outreach efforts from a range of advocacy groups. The NRA decision came as little surprise, with a statement by the group strongly questioning her commitment to the rule of law.

"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 Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, the NRA's top leaders, in a letter to the Senate. "Given the importance of this issue, the vote on Judge Sotomayor's confirmation will be considered in NRA's future candidate evaluation."

The issue of gun rights has become a timely issue, with senators Wednesday rejecting a bill that would allow a person with a proper permit to carry concealed weapons from state to state.

Sotomayor did receive strong support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which called her "well qualified" to sit on the high court.

"Through several years of experience as a law firm partner representing business interests, Judge Sotomayor has spent time considering the litigation environment from our point of view," said Thomas J. Donohue, the business lobby's president. "With her unique experience as both a trial and appellate judge, Judge Sotomayor has seen first hand the tremendous burdens that our legal system places on businesses."

The Chamber's Litigation Center has long been active in fighting decisions by judges and courts it considers harmful to economic growth and small businesses. While generally having a conservative business philosophy, the group has endorsed every member of the Supreme Court over the past two decades, including liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Sotomayor had private meetings planned with conservative senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Richard Burr, R-N.C., and John Ensign, R-Nev. None of the three lawmaker has announced whether they would support her when the full Senate votes, scheduled for early next month.

Other courtesy calls with lawmakers may be scheduled in coming days, but the White House and Senate Democrats are quietly confident the 55-year-old federal appeals court judge will be confirmed.

The Judiciary Committee will vote Tuesday on whether to pass her nomination on to the full Senate.


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. JGB

    Fla. The nomination is not based on reality and facts and we all know it. She will be confirmed and should NOT be. Her record cleary shows that. But hey, plead ignorance all you want.

    July 23, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Dave

    The NRA is an organiztion with a worthy cause, and an unworthy approach. The "paranoid slippery slope" take on every ruling doesn't even smell like truth and loses potential allies. That's too bad considering the base cause would otherwise have my support.

    July 23, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Chris

    Is it really fear-mongering? First your guns, then what? George Washington didn't use his freedom of speech to defeat the British...he shot them!

    July 23, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. annie s

    God given right? Gee, I never knew God said we should all have the right to own an AK47. Do radical conservatives ever issue statements where they don't drag God into the argument?

    July 23, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Coherent1

    What the backwoods crazies are really saying is: Sotomayor supports ending gun crimes via street criminals, therefore she's no friend of ours. They have no other excuse. Did you see the confirmation hearings where Senator C. (can't remember his name) tried to enrage the gun-freaks with is questioning of Sotomayor? It was too funny! I am totally convinced that if the NRA unzipped their pants, you'd find out that the lump was actually a gun and Sotomayor is the castrater. LMBO at the NRA and their senatorial puppets!

    July 23, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Ren from Baltimore

    To the NRA,

    This is not what we want out of the national organization. You are to promote gun safety, the sport of firearms, and represent the will of your membership vis a vis us all being Americans together.

    Where do you get off pushing other agendas?? Where do you guys get off interpreting the Constitution the way you do? This is the lowest form of club-ship I can imagine. Shame on the NRA, shame on the bulk of you in that h_u_g_e office building of yours out by Dulles Airport. Ridiculous is what you have become.

    July 23, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Ken in NC

    Presidents back in the 40's were pretty capable of seeing well into the future. Even then they realized the need for a National Health Care Plan. I know polliticians have been taking their time but WOW, 61 years. Another great man back in those early days not even involved in a push tried tell us of how it was going to be held up. He said, "THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF". Well someone was listening to him because Big Business is has adopted that tactic today and it is working.

    July 23, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Mariann Pepitone

    Tne NRA doesn't fear her they know she is racial and will consent to a wrong decision if a non-minority is involved. She should 't be on the supreme court and that's the fact of the matter. And who cares about the Chamber of Commerce. Obama chose her to keep the Latino vote because his poll ratings is now under 60%. What does that tell you.

    July 23, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Sarah

    The NRA does nothing but scare idiots into thinking their rights will be taken away so they run out and spend thousands on firearms. And off they run to the gun stores like Pavlov's dog!! Run doggies run!!!

    July 23, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. James

    NRA, you are making yourselves irrevelant with your ridiculous accusations. You should choose your battles more carefully.

    July 23, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Jo

    Sounds like the NRA is blackmailing Congress to get them to vote their way.

    July 23, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Dan

    The NRA!? HA HA HA...That's like asking Yosemite Sam his opinion of Bugs Bunny.

    July 23, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Jon

    If the NRA is against something you can be sure I'm for it.

    July 23, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. buckwheat

    The whole bunch is hostile.What is new.

    July 23, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. WI Vet

    Is the NRA threating her?

    July 23, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Jim in San Mateo

    Did we expect anything less from the NRA?

    July 23, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. donttreadonme

    Fla. July 23rd, 2009 1:54 pm ET

    Gee, NRA fear-mongers warn (threaten) its right-wing panderers based on absurd exaggerations…shocking

    Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce provides thoughtful support of Judge Sotomayor based on reality & facts.

    You do the math.
    ------------------------------–
    Judge Sotomayor co-authored an opinion - in January of this year - holding that the Second Amendment does not apply to the States meaning any state can take away your Second Amendment Rights.

    You must have missed the part that the CoC has endorsed every single member of the Supreme Court over the past two decades. It is in their best interest.

    July 23, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Republicans are the American Taliban

    The gun toters don't like her ....the right to lifers don't like her....what a hypocritical alliance that is.....

    July 23, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. kgeukes

    It's time for the NRA to sit down and shut up because you don't have that many supporters anymore and the ones you do have are zealots. I'm so tired of people whining about their "rights". The only right we have is to breathe. Everything else needs to be earned.

    July 23, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Hope for America

    """"""""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 Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, the NRA's top leaders, in a letter to the Senate. "Given the importance of this issue, the vote on Judge Sotomayor's confirmation will be considered in NRA's future candidate evaluation."
    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    Talk about crying wolf. When did Sotomayor say anything during the confirmation hearings about not respecting Americans' right to the Second Amendment. What is the NRA talking about here?

    The basis for their argument is non-existent if not weak. Making stuff up out of the blue I guess.

    July 23, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. allen

    "God given right for self-defense"...

    I'm curious what kind of defense that God entitles us to... possibly a handgun? Maybe a rifle or shotgun? Could God have entitled us to use a fully automatic assault rifle? What about machine guns?

    In my opinion, the second amendment right to bear arms was to ensure our ability (during the post-revolutionary war era) that the citizens could have the ability to form militia and fight back against a tyrannical government. Not so we could go to gun-shows and buy weapons that no one person could ever truly need whilst living in a civilized society. The NRA misunderstands the constitution and over-reacts when anyone questions the logic of civilians owning military grade weaponry.

    July 23, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Takeshi

    hahahaha. that is totaly admiting the NRA tries to own the gop with money and other items. LOL " The NRA warning senators Thursday their votes will be considered in the NRA's future candidate evaluations." OMG!

    July 23, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Don

    Hey guys don't worry about it, there going to get your guns and then you want be able to defend let alone complain ok?

    July 23, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Dude

    The National Racist Association can bluster all that they want. She will be confirmed.

    July 23, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. jurone

    catch up nra your once jim crow bulling is going going gone the american people are much smarter now no one judge has that much power don,t be scared that your guns will vanish you can still go hunting with your bow and arrows LOL.

    July 23, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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