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. Frisky

    Special interests, bullies and money grubbing congressmen, beware. We are watching you on this as well. Who do you work for? The NRA or the people?

    July 23, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Rick CT

    Lindsey Graham, for all the criticism heap on him by the libs, showed a lot more common sense and knowledge of the confirmation process than Obama ever dreamed of as a Senator.

    Who cares what the NRA says.

    July 23, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. Hilary

    Isn't there a word for threatening to hold campaign donations if someone doesn't vote how you want them to?

    July 23, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    I think when ONE special interest "group" outweighs the will of the people in this country, it's time to call a halt to the special interest groups.

    NRA is a bunch of illogical, mis-informed, mostly republican bigots.

    July 23, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Carprin

    WHo voted for the NRA?
    Why are they always trying to influence or shape our legislation.

    July 23, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. I'm in Charge, Here at The White House

    The NRA is just like the GOP ... they think they are secretly in charge of the world. In reality, their influence has slipped and they are behaving like those fringe elements that are yapping about President Obama not being a US Citizen

    It's a new day. The NRA would be smart to try a more collaborative approach.

    Bombastic luncay is over.

    July 23, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. S Callahan

    whooooooooooo...I have not heard her say she doesn't support the Second Admendment....where is this coming from? I have actually heard the opposite.....
    This is fear mongering.....stop it....I don't think there is a citizen in the country that would stand for the loss of the Second Admendment....stop being so fearful.

    July 23, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Jon in CA

    Can't wait to hear the party of "tolerance" begin spewing hate on the NRA.

    NRA = bad
    NARAL (killing babies) = good

    Right dems?

    July 23, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The NRA is shaking in their cowboy boots. A bunch of whacko 2nd Amendment don't tread on me types.

    July 23, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. JGB

    And the big revelation is ???? She's a Democrat isn't she?

    July 23, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. makesUwonder

    As a member of the NRA I stand behind them.............now let the hate begin in 5.......4.........3............2.............1.........and the far left is off!!

    July 23, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Blue Dog

    Once again the Radical-Reich gun nuts threatens Americans' public safety. Who the hell do these lunatics think they are coming out and publicly threatening United States Senators? I'm a proud veteran and have been hunting since I was 7 years old but the positions the NRA takes are becoming increasingly more extreme. I supported them when they supported hunters' rights and responsible gun ownership but now, they have lost touch by attempting to block any and all sensible and responsible regulation. I'll just keep my support for responsible organization dedicated to hunting and conservation like Ducks Unlimited.

    July 23, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Doug, New Jersey

    The NRA and the progressives don't want to hear this but the facts are the facts, gun laws have to be different based on the type of people in each area.

    In red areas like most of Texas, people can carry guns on them into walmarts and on the streets and if anything it is a crime deterant, as these people are responsible with their guns, and care about human life.

    In blue areas where people are killed walking into a wallmart from being trampled, where people could care less and are seen walking on the dead person, people just cannot be trusted to carry guns. These people for the most part are very selfish, mean, angry, and don't really put a value on human life.

    Just spend time in both kind of areas and you see the major differences. We should not punish honest repsonsible red Americans for the actions of those in blue areas, at the same time we need to understand that most blue area people cannot be trusted to be as responsible and caring as those in the red areas either. Let's deal with the truth, a gun in the hands of a conservative is much less dangerious than a liberal behind the wheel of an automobile. the later is far more life threatening.

    July 23, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. donttreadonme

    Of couse she doesn't like guns she comes from the bronx where they use guns to kill each other. Liberals and guns just don't mix.

    July 23, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Charles

    NRA does not represent the gun owners, they represent the Gun manufacturers.

    July 23, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Chuck Malchow

    It appears many cogress men who have been bought and paid for by insurance and pharmmaceutical companies are trying to come up with reasons to not vote for a govt. option. without revealing the real reason. Maybe the govt should not offer them medical coverage if it is so bad.

    July 23, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    what a thuggish organization..... I'm sick and tired of public bullies.

    July 23, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Screw the NRA and every other group of one-issue voters, i.e., retards.

    July 23, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. BanPoliticalParties

    Putting Sotomayor on the Supreme Court is like pulling the blindfold off of Lady Justice. This racist should not be allowed anywhere near a courtroom much less the Suprem Court of the United States.

    July 23, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. harvey

    if the NRA wants to exercise its God-given rights, and Pat Buchanan wants to appoint an evangelical Christian to the Supreme Court as he advocated in a recent column, they should move to a Republic governed by religious fanatics – the Islamic Republic of Iran. there's a reason why the founders, who you rely on so heavily when you can rationalize their written words to suit your misguided opinions, kept Church and State separate. they understood the ramifications of state-controlled religion and persecution. when God comes down and does an interview on Fox TV with O'Reilly or Hannity, and says he's against abortion, pro gun rights, and wants to limit healthcare coverage to the poor and disenfranchised, maybe I'll listen.

    July 23, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Jero

    i'm surprised the NRA don't threaten senators with their guns....

    July 23, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. Steve (the real one)

    Before you liberals get into a tizzy about about the NRA targetting supporters of Judge Sotomayor; remember this story from today? "HCAN, AFSCME turn sights on critics of Obama plan" You want to criticize the NRA, fine but unless you also criticize these 2 unions, you are an endorsor of politics as usual AND a hypocrit! Same applies to the conseravtives too!

    July 23, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Bill in Illinois

    Ahhh – so the folks that think that "A chicken in every pot" should be replaced with "An assualt weapon in every home" don't like having someone with less radical views than theirs on the Supreme Court.

    I agree with them that folks should be able to own firearms but can see no valid reason for owning an assualt weapon. The interesting thing is that the only argument that they seem to be able to make in favor of assualt weapons is that it is their right to have them. If they were able to present one solid reason why they should be permitted then I would be willing to listen, till then – NO!!!

    July 23, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Danny, OH

    FOOLS. GUNS GUNS AND GUNS and nothing else.

    July 23, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Jo

    Hey you stupid NRA people. If you don't want to vote for her, don't encourage others not to do the same. All you people care about is GUNS GUNS GUNS and not the welfare of how much GUNS are killing people. Why not express a number of classes on GUN safety and how it will help the people who have them use them responsibile. The is always a good side to every show.

    July 23, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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