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

NRA opposes Sotomayor nomination to Supreme Court

 The National Rifle Association announced Thursday that it opposes Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

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. Candy West Virginia

    The right to carry a gun is not GOD given you morons. And give me one good reason a person needs an AK 47??

    July 16, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Enlightened Voter

    A republican will fight for your right to own a gun but not to have health care.

    July 16, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Oh what a surprise! Does the NRA have like a SPECIAL INTEREST or something?

    NRA is a sad joke.

    July 16, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Steph

    Wow, that's a shocker! The headline should read, "Crazy, gun-toting hicks don't like Latina judge because she doesn't have a rifle rack in the back of her truck."

    July 16, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. katiec

    Well, that would be a good reason to support her.
    Any radical group that supports bullets that will pierce anything ,does not give second thought to putting our police etc in danger, supports selling of lethal weapons to anyone is not someone who I would give much creditibility to.
    People should and will be allowed to hunt, own guns etc, it is their extremes that really disturb me.

    July 16, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Amy from MN

    This is a surprise?!

    July 16, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. JW

    Gotta be a good pick if the NRA disagrees with it.

    July 16, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. B Lewis in Austin

    When you look up "paranoia" in the dictionary, it refers you to NRA. Their constant use of fear tactics gets old after a while.

    July 16, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Independant from NY

    The NRA is the PETA of the conservative right. They take a good idea, take it way too far and make it a laughingstock of the socio-political world.

    July 16, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Reuben

    Your kidding. She can't answer a question with a direct answer and you think they would be against her. Maybe Obama can find soneone qualified next time. NRA lifetime membership and a large gun safe is the best money you will ever spend other than on your wife of course.

    July 16, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. Shelby

    No one gives a fat rat what you think....

    July 16, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Moderate Democrat

    First: The right to bear arms is something that should not (and will not) be taken away).

    Second: So is the right to privacy. You can NOT cherry pick your rights, for ANY reason. "Suspected but not confirmed to be a terrorist" is the same as "suspected but not confirmed to be a future murderer using a gun". So to you republicans who support giving up rights for the cowardly excuses of national security. You disgust the brave men and women such as myself who have served this country in the pursuit of guaranteeing ALL of our rights are enforced, not just the select few that choose to radically cling to while throwing out the rest of them.

    Lastly: Sotomayer, MAY have personal views, as do ALL individuals. But her record is VERY consistant. She has always based her decisions on LAW, and not BIAS.

    Conslusion: Stop whining, get on with business. Vote yes or no, but stop wasting our time!

    July 16, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Peejay

    These are the same guys who lobbied to allow guns in Section 8 housing, national parks, and college classrooms. I consider their opposition a badge of honor for our soon-to-be-newest Supreme Court Justice!

    July 16, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. The Unshrub

    As an owner of several guns I can make a decision as if I should support Sotomayor's nomination. I can now say that I strongly SUPPORT her nomination. The NRA has become an extreme organization that doesn't know the work compromise.

    July 16, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. Dave C - NJ

    The NRA is pathetic.

    The 2nd Amendment has been twisted and abused. The founding fathers would roll in their graves if they read just a day's worth of present-day news regarding the daily use of legally purchased guns.

    Don't worry crybabies, no one is going to take your precious guns away.

    July 16, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Roger

    What else is new?

    July 16, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Angus McDugan

    Get ready for hateful name calling by the libs over this. Standard lib MO.

    July 16, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. KizzyMae

    How is this a "God given" right?

    July 16, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Carmen, Miami FL

    The NRA is lying. Where is the clearly laid out hostility to the second amendment? Why didn't they mention exactly how she is hostile to the second amendment? They really will say anything, no matter how baseless it is. What a bunch of idiots.

    Haven't they realized the majority of Americans don't find her to be a lightning rod of controversy anymore, that Americans have moved on?

    July 16, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. Tony in Maine

    Should NASA decide to send someone back to the moon, I nominate Wayne LaPierre, executive director and fearmonger in chief of the NRA, but only if they'll make it a one way trip.

    July 16, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Oh my... The NRA opposes Sotomayer... I don't know if my heart can take this.

    July 16, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. JR

    Wow, it I wasn't for her before, this puts the icing on the cake. If the NRA is against, then I'm for.

    July 16, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. In her first policies response, Sarah palin flip-floped her position on "cap and trade" during the campaign and now.

    Should we be surprised?

    July 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Al-NY,NY

    Gee...what a surprise. Someone that does NOT say "Hey everyone. YOu want a gun. You have a record? No problem" doesn't like the nominee. TFB there NRA... She is in

    July 16, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. letsgetreal

    The NRA is not a valid organization as long as they endorse private ownership of fully automatic weapons.
    I own over 20 rifles, handguns and shotguns and find NO NEED for such a weapon exists.
    Throw this ridiculous notion out NRA and you may be seen as legitimate.

    July 16, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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