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. gananut

    NRA should be outlawed.

    July 23, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Fla.

    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.

    July 23, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. CF

    To the NRA, anyone who wants to prevent shootings or keep guns out the hands of those who misuse them, has a "hostile view" of guns. Nobody - not Obama, not Sotomayor - wants to ban hunting or the right for one to defend himself. But not everyone who gets a gun is responsible with it. All the so-called "anti-gun" crowd wants to do is weed out those malicious individuals and ensure only responsible gun users are allowed to own and carry.

    July 23, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. cfrench

    Yes, by all means, let's ensure that all those little militia's running around out there have their right to bare arms preserved.

    "God given right" to own a gun? Funny, I don't recall reading that in the Bible.

    The NRA's understanding and interpretation of the second amendment is on par with a first grader's understanding and interpretation of rocket science.

    July 23, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Political Junkie

    I hope our senators have the courage to stand up to the NRAs threat. The NRA has perpetuated a warped interpretation of the 2nd amendment, and needs to have its influenced checked.

    July 23, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Disappointed American

    This recent nomination of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is very disturbing as well as discouraging. Nancy Polosi, Barack Hussein Obama, and Sotomayor are all the paramount definitions of evil. Obama is killing America and everyone who supports him is an absent minded fool. Socialism will be the end of democracy. Just wait you will see.

    July 23, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. CF

    The second ammendment is not a "God given right." God is not governed by the laws that we make.

    July 23, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Peoples Voice

    Well, there goes the rotted teeth redneck vote.

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

    Boy, threats from the NRA who'd have thought that would happen.

    I'm a gun owner but wouldn't give the NRA the time of day or any consideration.

    July 23, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. GOP = RIP

    I can't believe Sotomayor so easily dismisses verse 10, proverb 428,

    "And I command that all people that believe in the father and the holy ghost shall have guns. Guns shall be placed in the firstborns crib, as it is his god given right to have a gun. It is also his god given right to use that gun to destroy gods creatures."

    She must be a communist.

    July 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. pam Eugene OR

    It is no secret that the NRA and other special interest have most of the Senators in their pocket. They are a major player in funding the Republicans. I am glad to see at least a few Senators standing in opposition to them. Money should not be able to buy a Senate vote ever, let alone so openly.

    July 23, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. CM

    NRA are a bunch of idiots. How in the heck can anybody take these gun toting morons serious. It's people that's a part of this organization that's the problem than the solutiion in our country, to hell with them all

    July 23, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Molly Weasley

    Isn't it about time lawmakers in this country stopped sheepishly following the NRA?

    July 23, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Mike Ft Collins , CO

    I am so sick of the NRA and their over the tops stand on guns.

    July 23, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. Kelby In Houston, TX

    "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,"

    Translation:
    We don't want nobody interfering with us selling guns to the population...god wants us to have guns

    July 23, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. JS

    Oh geez... the Never Represent Americans are at it again.

    July 23, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. HHH

    Why don't we continue to allow the NRA to run our country. After all, how many children are being killed every day because of guns that they should never have gotten into their hands. And while the NRA is at it, why not bring in horses and cowboys and let's just act like it is back in the western days. We need more gun control. Hunters should be allowed to hunt, but we need more gun control. When we have that, we will have crime under control. We should all be concerned about our children and so should the NRA, instead of caring more about selling guns, etc.

    July 23, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. witch

    Aren't threats against the law? Oh I forgot they think they are above the law and of course they have the guns right?

    July 23, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Angie in Pa

    Who gives a rats behind about the Lunatic dangerous NRA?

    July 23, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Tony in Maine

    The NRA is given disproportionate power by both members of Congress and the media that covers them. They do not represent the majority of Americans, but can muster a flood of angry e-mails just be frightening their paranoid membership with a, "They want to take away your guns!"

    Congressmen genuflect when LaPierre walks in a room and the press fawns over him as though he really has the interests of anyone but Wayne LaPierre at heart.

    July 23, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    Second Amendment seems clear to me:

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    July 23, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. roy

    It is amazing that a national organization is seeking to intimidate senators elected by ALL the citizens of their states. This is disgraceful.

    The NRA has sunk to a disgustingly low level, threatening people who don't agree with their narrow minded views. I would imagine that most religious leaders are opposed to guns and gun violence. How do members of the NRA reconcile that in their conscience? This is most ironic when the NRA quotes are littered with the 'God given right' verbiage.

    Perhaps the national government should start focusing its attention on groups that go around trying to intimidate government officials from voting the way that the majority of their electorate want them to vote.

    What is next? The NRA riding shotgun into Washington with guns blazing? 3:10 to Yuma? High Noon?

    July 23, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Gary Jaussaud

    Gary's Comment is:

    The "Gun" was envented for one reason and one reason only to Kill
    something or someone, period! In another time and place the Gun
    may have had a place, however in our modern World we live if Guns
    in general are the cause of so much heart break and sadness when
    a loved on kills them selves or some mad person kills for the sport of
    it, so I am no fan of the NRA, and I think they need to re-group and try
    and work to find ways to get guns out of peoples hands and stop the
    killing in this country.

    July 23, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. alvino

    This shows that you do not have to be smart to own a gun. You just have to be able to intimidate mousy politicians.

    July 23, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Hugo

    Fla. talk about fear mongers, how do you like that Democratic fear spin on another Obama fest TV infomisrepresentationmercial he gave on healthcare? Give it a break!

    Sotomayor is too race, gender and career bureaucrat biased too be in the Supreme Court, end of story. Too bad she will probably get in!

    July 23, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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