July 1st, 2010
04:25 PM ET
4 years ago

Opposing gun groups take opposite stands on Kagan

The National Rifle Association and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence have taken opposing views on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.
The National Rifle Association and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence have taken opposing views on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

Washington (CNN) - Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan received a mixed reaction Thursday from groups on opposite ends of the gun control debate.

The National Rifle Association announced it will oppose President Barack Obama's choice to sit on the high court, while the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced its support for Kagan's nomination.

The NRA, a powerful lobby group, warned senators of severe political consequences if they end up supporting the nominee.

A statement by top NRA officials said Kagan has "repeatedly demonstrated a clear hostility" to gun rights while working in Democratic administrations and academia.


"She should not serve on any court, let alone be confirmed to a lifetime seat on the highest court in the land," said Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, who told senators that the vote on Kagan "will be a part of future candidate evaluations."

Kagan concluded her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. On Thursday, the committee planned to hear from several panels of witnesses both for and against the 50-year-old lawyer.

Democrats openly predicted Kagan would be confirmed by the committee and the full Senate. A Senate vote on her nomination to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens is expected by the end of July, in plenty of time for her join the bench before the court's term begins in October.

Kagan did get the endorsement of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

"Her testimony has provided ample reason to think that she will interpret and apply the Second Amendment consistent with the urgent need to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people," said the group's president, Paul Helmke.

Gun rights became a key topic during Kagan's confirmation hearing. The same day that the Senate committee hearing began, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling affirming the idea that the Second Amendment's "right to bear arms" is a fundamental individual right. The 5-4 conservative majority limited the ability of states and cities to pass overly restrictive gun regulations.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was one of four liberal dissenters in that case.

The NRA last year opposed her elevation to the high court in what was the first time the powerful lobby had weighed in on a Supreme Court nominee.

Kagan herself offered few specifics on how she would vote on future gun rights cases, if confirmed to the bench. She did note that high court rulings over the past two years affirming an individual right to ownership for self-protection was "settled law" deserving full consideration as legal precedent.


Filed under: Elena Kagan • NRA • Supreme Court
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Vicky from Milwaukee

    I guess we'll see if anyone in Washington has the balls to stand up to these creeps. The NRA won't be happy until we're all dead from gun shot wounds.

    July 1, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Barack.Hussein.Obama-America's-Benevolent-DICTATOR

    Anybody that values their rights under the Constitution should OPPOSE Progressives and liberals from being appointed to the USSC. If they get a majority on the USSC then the American Constitution can just be shredded.

    July 1, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. JJ

    "The NRA, a powerful lobby group, warned senators of severe political consequences if they end up supporting the nominee. "

    Ok folks, who do the legislators work for – the citizens or the NRA?

    July 1, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    She was right, but the red necked nra groupies are not the majority. Unfortunately because they hide behind the second amendment nobody wants to touch them.
    Enough of these self serving groups. I am sure the rethugs are shaking in their hunting boots! They are all a disgrace :( :(

    July 1, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Wisconsinite

    I am with the NRA on this issue. Kagan is flaming, gun-grabbing liberal.
    VOTE HER DOWN!!!

    July 1, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    Always good to see the modern-day McCarthy-ite NRA out blathering their demogogic idiocy. Just another screeching pawn of the rightwing underbelly of this nation - and there are millions of toothless idiots out there in America that can't wait to put on a brown shirt and cheer on the mindless rhetoric!

    I celebrate daily the free-speech rights provided by a LIBERAL constitution to rightwing idiots like the NRA who then use those very rights to prove my point.

    July 1, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    Hell, why doesn't the NRA just shoot her; and anybody else that disagrees with THEIR AGENDA !!

    July 1, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    I'll be glad when libs out-number the wuss progressives on the SC.

    Quit bowing down to corporations. The people should be protected from big "good ole redneck boys clubs" and from corporate $$$.

    July 1, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Naqib

    She doesn't matter... still 5/4...
    She is what she is replacing... doesn't change anything...
    Let her in... under this congress she's in anyway... they control everything... the Reps have no say at all... that being said remember that come Nov... times are tough... and the Dems are in complete control now and they've had congress since 2006.... of course this will all change in November... Change (this time) you can believe in!

    July 1, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    So what if any group opposes or supports any president's supreme court picks. It's not any groups job to confirm the nominee.

    As far as the NRA is concerned they are nothing but a front organization for hate groups. If you look at these extremist groups and the NRA it's guns that are the common link.

    I would have more respect for the NRA if they spoke out against hate groups as much as they do against the Democratic Party.

    July 1, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. billybob 'n NC

    I am sick of the NRA trying to run this country. They have had nothing to offer except their policies of fear, guns and death. I live in a small town in N.C. that once was a peaceful little hamlet. Now, we have shooting death every day; and it is not gand or drug related. It is people getting angry and shooting each other.
    Guns are ruining our society!

    July 1, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. geecee

    The NRA controls Washington, D.C. along with other big corporate lobbyists. That's why Congress, particularly Republicans, are so unproductive, useless, and hateful. They don't care about what is good for Americans, they just want to protect their donations received from the NRA and other groups that want them to vote a certain way. Justice Kagan will do a fine job, but the conservatives still outnumber the progressives, and that will be so for a very long time to come, unfortunately.

    July 1, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Victim of GOP Taliban

    The NRA is just a front for Republican right-wing activism. The Republicans always grossly exaggerate threats to gun rights to hype-up a bunch of fear-mongering and especially scare tactics.

    People are free to arm up as long as they obey registration/permit laws, with the exception of the 2 worst cities in the nation for crime. I had enough of the fear-mongering tactics and lies. Obama and Kagan are not going to show up at your doorstep to collect your guns.

    Only 2 cities out of 10's of thousands of cities had a ban. Get a life.

    July 1, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. David

    Sounds like a threat from the NRA. I guess we will see whom runs this country; the people or the lobby groups. My money is on the lobby groups, even though I believe they should all be abolished. wasted money, a lot of wasted money.

    July 1, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Shucks

    So the NRA is holding politicians at gunpoint. How Ironic.

    July 1, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Dave

    Great, another queer after our guns. Not gonna happen Pat.

    July 1, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. denver2

    When will the American people stop allowing special interests to drive political discourse into sad single-issue debates? Oh for the day when people could grasp a little nuance rather than falling back on issues like gun control or abortion or labels like "progressive."

    July 1, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Joe Gaines

    oh my, my, my, if Kagan gets to the court the cry babies from the NRA feel they won't be able to buy another 100 guns to to with the 300 they already
    have

    July 1, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Patricia

    Gun rights is one thing, the NRA is quite another. Anything the NRA opposes, I happily support. Go, Elena.

    July 1, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Michael - Portage

    Threats from the NRA show them for the thugs that they are. I wish as much attention was paid to other firearm support groups that take a much less extremist and radical position than that of the NRA. These nuts claim that they support the Consitution but the truth is that they are more of a threat to this country than any appointee to the Supreme Court could ever be.

    July 1, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Mike

    I'm calling these guys out. Every time a conservative complains because liberals are in the pockets of special interest groups, look to the statement the NRA made .... warning of severe political consequences. The NRA does not run this country. Remember last year when everybody was up in arms over Sotomayor? Kagan will get confirmed. And to the comment about Progressives and Liberals ... let me remind you we are not the same nation we were when the Constitution was written ... our nation has evolved and progressed and if that doesn't sit well with you then take a time machine back a couple hundred years.

    July 1, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. BR

    Every election, every time a supreme court position is filled, every time the wind blows you idiots run down the street screaming "They're coming for our guns".

    Guess what, I still have my guns. I still have my concealed carry. I can still do anything I've needed to do for the last 30 years.

    It's become obvious that you use scare tactics as a membership drive.

    July 1, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. artraveler

    Well if teh NRAis against her, she must be what we need. This self-righteous group already owns too much of the government.

    July 1, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. anotherGDlefty

    The NRA gets to pick judges now based on threats?

    In other news: NO ONE is coming for your guns. The sky is still blue.

    Fear and smear, nice job NRA.

    During the election cycle in 2008 I got a call from the NRA telling me that if I sent them money to stop Obama, no one would be coming for my guns. I asked the caller what made them think that Obama would be coming for my guns. He told me because Obama was a democrat & that all democrats hate guns. It got really quiet before he hng up after I informed him I was a gun totin' democrat in Arizona.

    The NRA lies. Why? Who knows.

    July 1, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. TRH

    Anyone on this zealotous NRA side care to detail how she has "'repeatedly demonstrated a clear hostility' to gun rights"?

    I've been watching her confirmation hearings very closely. I've also researched her history independantly. And yes, she's liberal in her leanings.

    But I have not seen ONE piece of evidence that she has a "clear hostility" towards anything, except the lack of the rule of law.

    She refused to say gun ownership was a God given right. And you know what? It's not. It's a LEGAL right. Quite literally everything I've seen from and about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is that she would base any and all her decisions about gun ownership and everything else based on the LAW. Which is exactly what a Supreme Court Justice should do.

    I'm so sick of people wanting people to be biased, but only when it's in their favour. Can't people see the importance of having impartial judges and people who can think and decide based on rational thought?

    In my opinion we need more people in government like Elena Kagan. People who will put their personal bias aside for respect of their profession and their role in government.

    July 1, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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