July 16th, 2009
02:07 PM ET
12 years ago

NRA opposes Sotomayor nomination to Supreme Court

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/16/art.nrahat0716.gi.jpg caption=" 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. MCD, SF, CA

    I object to the NRA... period. They push and push for just anybody to own a gun, any kind of gun, uzis included and then refuse to take any kind of responsibility for all the deaths in this country. They SHOULD be willing to work with the government to put into place some kind of safety limits. They are TOTALLY UNWILLING to compromise in any way... it is either their way or the highway.

    July 16, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Kate in SW Fla

    Why are these people so obsessed with guns? It makes no sense. No one is challenging their right to buy guns. It is fearmongering at its worst and about time the US stood up to these bullies.

    July 16, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    It always makes me laugh when someone says that it's their "God given right" to carry a gun. If someone can show me the commandment in the bible that states that each person has the right, given by God, to carry a gun, I'll happily stop harping on the term "God given right".

    For the millionth time, this nation was not founded by God, nor was the Constitution written by God. Yes, the nation was founded by people in search of a place they could worship freely, but it was founded by people, nonetheless, and its laws were written by a Continental Congress, which was comprised of men.

    Besides, Judge Sotomayor said that she is not against hunting, and would not try to take gun rights away on a national level. These idiots just want something to whine about.

    July 16, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Melissa- Ohio

    Haha! Sorry NRA, but the majority of mainstream America doesn't care what you think! Your days of influence are numbered. =)

    July 16, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Jim Doyle

    I don't see how some drug dealer in a gang in New York or Los Angeles carrying an AK47 can claim a "God given right to self-defense" These bozos need to get real. No one's going to take away your hunting riffle, bubba. We just need to get some CONTROL of the millions of weapons flooding our society. Get it?

    July 16, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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